The application process is, without a doubt, a stressful time. You’ve been working throughout your undergraduate career to gather experiences and skills which you want to display to medical schools. You want to pick recommenders who actually know you and need, with the pressure to finish applications as soon as possible, you need to remind them to get their letters in early as well. After everything is submitted, the waiting game begins and the nerves don’t leave as you wait for interviews.
Despite the nerves, while preparing my applications and practicing for interviews, I realized that it forced me to spend time reflecting on my journey to medicine and how I envision my future in this field to look like. As a pre-med student, I had gotten in the habit of not stopping and reflecting upon the things I was doing and the reasons behind them. As passionate as I was about becoming a physician, I stopped actively thinking about the reasons that motivated me to volunteer at hospitals, the excitement that I received from medicine and the challenges that I’ve faced along the way. All of the personal statements, diversity essays, and interview preparations, however, dedicated time for me to just stop and think about who I am, and what motivates me. The application process so far has revealed more to me about myself as a person and what I am looking for in this career.
As I started answering these questions, my story came together and it was a really beautiful thing. I could finally see the foundation to this career that I was building. My interests in certain fields of medicine meshed with the experiences I pursued in college, challenging me to learn more about them in medical school, and decide if this field was really for me. As discussed these ideas during my interviews, these questions no longer posed as much stress on me as before. It became a dialogue about myself and thinking deeply about why I want to become a physician. I am so excited to learn more about the human body and connect with my patients to lead them toward better health. As you start preparing for your application cycle, don’t get too stressed or overly worried about the process. All the schools want to know is YOU and how you might fit into their school. Show the school that you do what you love and love what you do.
Written by: Sharon Pang
- Lost in Pre-Med Podcast