I’ve heard applying to medical schools can be a soul crushing process, but I didn’t really quite get it until I got hurled into the process myself. Although I still wouldn’t describe this as “soul crushing,” it has certainly brought out a lot of insecurities in me and my accomplishments. Do they not like my stated reasons for pursuing medicine? Do my extracurricular activities seem phony and under-whelming? Is this my punishment for all the people I’ve wronged in the past? I try not to let these questions bother me for too long.
Fact is, the whole process is so messy that it’s not uncommon for applicants to get lost in the cracks. With the massive number of applicants, and the infamous automatic secondary — how are they to evaluate each one of us in depth? So far, I have received one interview, from which I ended up receiving a rejection, a whole lot of “holds,” and a handful of rejections. It’s December now, and I’m starting to face the fact that it is highly likely I will not be entering a medical school next year. This was at first a hard thought to swallow. After all the money and time spent on the application, messing up my first and only interview at a great school, I had to really take a harsh look at myself, and my situation and try my best to grow from it.
One simple idea has helped me through all this anxiety. Even though my life seems consumed by this process at times, I’ve still been making an effort to grow and learn everyday. I’ve moved to a new city, found a job tutoring students for which I’m glad to go to every morning, found a doctor to shadow at my dream medical school, and an amazing community establishment to volunteer at. I’m also living with my best friends, and am still close to my family. I’ve also learned a lot about what schools are looking for, and have improved in how I communicate with them. Next time they ask, I’ll give an even better answer to why I want to pursue medicine, and even why I want to go to their establishment.
So to all those who are going to get accepted this cycle, I raise my glass to you. For the rest of us, we’ll have at it again next year with extra weapons.
Who ever said becoming a doctor is easy anyway?
Amir Razmjou is a medical school applicant.
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