Pre-med

Upset

Hi everyone,

It’s almost the end of the semester! Today’s my last day of lecture, quizzes tomorrow, review the rest of the week, lab finals this week, lecture finals next week, and I’m free for the forseable future!

I can’t wait for summer, my trip to NC for a pre-med thing, and spending more time with my family.

So why is the title of this blog “Upset?” Remember how I applied to two graduate schools a little while ago? I haven’t heard back from either school yet. No phone call, no e-mail, nothing. So I went to check on the status of my application; I have only done it for one school so far, because I have to e-mail admissions from the second school to ask them about it.

Anyway, I go to check and my application is still under review. That’s fine, it will take a little bit of time for me to hear back. Well I kept reading… and my letters of recommendation haven’t been received yet. My heart dropped. My advisor was supposed to send them in at least two weeks ago. It doesn’t take two weeks for letters to arrive… I sent in my transcripts through the mail and they arrived within two days.

I sent my professor an e-mail over the weekend to ask him about it. No response. I’m only slightly freaking out… I didn’t realize how much I DIDN’T want a gap year. I love studying, I love learning, I love the stress… what will I do with a gap year? I have the MCAT to study for, of course, but that won’t help improve my GPA.

So I went through all these worst case scenarios in my head about how I wouldn’t get in anywhere. How if I didn’t improve my GPA I wouldn’t get into med school. Honestly, I’m still really worried about all this… But I never give up. I’m going to digress a little and talk about a speech I gave last week.

It was for this project called Mi Verdad, or My Truth. It was about the struggles/stories of Latino college students. I was lucky enough to be able to participate, and I learned a lot about my culture and myself. My theme was “Hard work,” because it’s taken a lot of it to come back from my low GPA and do relatively well in my classes. I might post my speech after finals so you can have a better idea of what I’m talking about. Anyway, I told the audience that you can do anything you set your mind to, that all you need is to put in the work and it will pay off. So how could I give a sort of inspirational speech and then not take in my own advice?

Back to the problem at hand. I’m scared of a lot of things, but I will not let my fear get the best of me. I will check the status of my application again, this time for both schools, and I will e-mail my advisor one last time to ask when he sent in those letters. I will annoy him if I have to, although I really don’t want to, because I consider myself a nice person. I will make sure my application is complete and wait for the schools to make their decisions.

If I don’t get in, I will be sad. However, I will know that I did everything I could and I will figure out the best way to improve my GPA if I have to take a gap year. I will find ways to strengthen my application, and I will apply to med school June 2018. I can and I will do this.

Wish me luck,

Andrea.

Advertisements
Life

Late Afternoon Thoughts

Hi everyone,

Today’s post will be a little different. There’s something that’s been on my mind lately that I’m hoping some of you out there will be able to help with.

I’ve been struggling this summer a bit. I haven’t gotten back to my volunteering or shadowing, let alone studying the way I wanted to. I feel like I’ve been stuck in this “shame spiral” my neuro professor talked to me about. I can’t bring myself to call anyone to set anything up because I’m afraid to leave my twins home, even if the person watching them is someone I trust (husband, mum, aunt, etc). Studying is difficult because they always need something (like any normal baby) and they like to take turns. By the time they sleep, it’s time for me to sleep so I can get up and take care of them.

I have two semesters left before I graduate, so the classes I’ll be taking are difficult and aren’t offered online. I also need to find a job during the weekends to help support my family. I’m worried that I won’t be able to keep up with everything… Then those thoughts turn to medical school and residency. I know I wouldn’t want to do anything else, so I’ll keep pursuing my dream to be a doctor, but maybe surgery isn’t the way to go. Maybe a specialty that isn’t as demanding would work better for my family. But what if I fall in love with surgery? Would I be able to balance it? I know it’s far enough away and that I shouldn’t worry, especially since I haven’t even gotten into med school, but I guess this is the kinda thing you worry about when you’re a parent or maybe just when you’re me.

To all working parents out there, how do you do it? How do you find balance? If you are a doctor, did you consider what field to go into if you had/have children? I could use some advice.

Thanks in advance and sorry for the rant.

Andrea.

Pre-med

The Beginning of Summer

Hi everyone,

So final grades are in… straight A’s! My very first 4.0 in college! I was very excited when I found out. It was definitely a hard semester and I’m SO glad it’s over. As excited as I am about this 4.0, I’m also very nervous that I won’t be able to pull off another one I’m taking hard classes during the upcoming school-year, and I really don’t want med school admission committees to think I’m a bad student…

Now that I have literally nothing to do all summer, I’m looking for ways to keep myself entertained and still making progress in my pre-med journey. I was able to get a hold of my volunteer coordinator for hospice so I’ll be getting a new patient to go visit soon! I’m very excited because it’s been a year since I’ve had a patient. I also need to find another animal shelter to volunteer at; I miss being around furry little critters! I have two cats but I still miss being around kitties that need my help to find a home.

I’m also set to shadow the doctor that delivered my twins and became my friend along the way; I just have to get some blood work done that proves I had varicella so I can start. She’s finishing her residency soon, so I will only be able to shadow her for a short amount of time. Anything I can learn from her is appreciated though, so I’m excited.

That actually reminds me… I was able to attend a surgical conference in a city close to where I live this month. I went last year for the first time and I fell in love with it, probably because it had a neurology/neurosurgery theme. This year it was all about family practice and it was equally interesting. I learned a lot, but my favorite lecture covered Malaria. I honestly did not know anything beyond being transmitted by mosquitoes; I wish I could tell you about it with more detail, but it was a lunch lecture so I was not able to take notes and I don’t want to misquote anything. The one thing I know is that I came out of the lecture wishing I could do something to help get rid of it… but I think that happened with every disease they talked about ha ha.

Back to what I’ll be doing this summer… I wasn’t able to get a hold of my match specialist for Big Brothers Big Sisters before the program for the school I volunteered at ended for the year, so I’ll have to wait till September before I can rejoin the program. That’s okay though, because it’ll give me time to settle into the huge amount at least that’s what it feels like of extracurricular activities I take a part of!

As far as studying for the MCAT goes, I bought this book to start studying. I wanted a book that will go over the concepts as a review but also give me some practice tests and lots of examples. This one was the only one that had all of that at my local B&N, so I’m hoping it will be a good review. I eventually plan on buying this book once I’m done with the first one. I really need want a really high score, so I’m hoping the second review will help. I’ll let you guys know what I think of them as I work through them and if they were helpful/worth it. On top of all that, I really want to take a practice course in about six months. They’re really expensive though, so I’m not sure if I will be able to do it. I’m really nervous about this test… I had no idea that the highest score was a 528! 528?! Does anyone know what a “competitive” score is?! I know that you wanted to aim for at least a 30 in the last version, but I have no idea what it could be for this one. I think the fact that it’s a higher number makes me more nervous; I dunno if there’s a psychological reason behind it, but a 40 seemed easier to accomplished than a 528. Does anyone else feel this way, or am I crazy?

But anyway, the last thing on my to-do list for the summer… if you read a few of my entries from last year I talked about becoming a CNA. I finished the course and everything, but I wasn’t able to get certified due to my pregnancy. I have until October to become certified if I want to work in a hospital setting, so I’m going to start studying and take my certification exam as soon as possible. It’s been a while since class and clinicals,so I hope that most of it will be review and not re-learning everything… Ideally I would like to work at the hospital where I delivered because I loved their level of care and want to be in the type of environment where the patients are treated with utmost respect. I think I would enjoy working in postpartum, but I wouldn’t mind the NICU. I’d be happy anywhere though, so I really hope I’m good enough to work there!

That’s pretty much all I’m planning to do this summer, besides taking a vacation to my favorite state, Washington! I absolutely love the beach and the trees are beautiful. The rain is also very calming, so it’s just the perfect place for me. Oh, and they have stratovolcanoes! I’m kind of obsessed with volcanoes since I learned about them in geology last semester, so living next to them would be a dream as long as they don’t erupt. I tried getting a hold of their med school last year when I went to visit but I wasn’t able to, so I’m hoping to do that this year and see if it’s possible to take a tour or at least talk to someone in the administration to see what I need to do to be a strong candidate for their school. I’m extremely excited for this trip and I can’t wait to see all my friends! Washington feels more like home than the state I currently live in, so I always feel like I’m coming home when I travel there.

It’s going to be a great summer!

Wish me luck!

Andrea.

Pre-med

Spring Semester

Hi everyone!

Sorry I’ve been MIA for such a long time. I had to deal with the end of the semester, planning the classes for this semester, and dealing with the high probability of something happening to my sons before they’re born.

I guess I should start with how last semester went. Besides being extremely exhausted and not been able to volunteer (I quit the shelter due to my pregnancy, I haven’t had another hospice patient, and I’m still waiting for another little to mentor), classes went great. I ended up with an B+ on my Stats class and an A in the rest of my classes. I was so thankful to be able to finish the semester; I was worried I was going to have to take Incompletes if my sons had to be delivered at 24 weeks (two weeks before the end of the semester). It might not seem like a big deal, but to me it was a huge accomplishment to finish and to do well.

Spring semester started today. I’m taking all online classes since I’m not allowed to leave the hospital. Although I understand why I’m not allowed to leave, it’s really annoying. I’m stuck taking lower level classes and re-taking a class I didn’t do well on during my first year in college. I can’t move forward with my pre-med classes since the ones I need aren’t being offered online. Even if they were, I’m not sure I would want to take them; I do better when I’m learning from a professor than from a book. I am, however, taking an individualized instruction class with my Neuroscience professor from last semester. I’ve picked a topic and I’ll be researching it and writing a paper on it. If I can gather enough info on the topic I’m hoping to be able to conduct a research project on it. I’m really excited about it, so I hope I do well.

I’ve been currently staying at the hospital since December 26th. Everything has gone well so far, but it is not easy being stuck in a hospital when you feel perfectly fine. The staff is fantastic; all the nurses and CNAs are very nice and attentive and the doctors (I’ve lost count of how many different ones I’ve seen) are very reassuring when it comes to the results of the NSTs (fetal non-stress test) I get twice a day. It’s really interesting to see how the whole healthcare team comes together. You can tell the difference between first year residents from the fourth year residents, and you can definitely tell the difference between the residents and the experienced physicians. The perinatologists and the laborists are very matter-of-fact and more relaxed; they go through their routine questions and throw in some jokes while they talk to you. The fourth year residents are very nice, knowledgeable, and I feel more comfortable with them. I think it’s because they are exactly where I wish to be in the future. The first year residents are also very nice, but they always seem nervous, especially when they ask me if I have questions. I haven’t asked them any so far, but I’m worried that they might pass out if I do.

I think the funniest thing about it is that I’m not their typical patient. Besides having mono/mono twins, I’ve asked them if I can volunteer, shadow, and exercise while I’m here. Everyone seems so surprised when I ask… and they all laugh about it. Usually, patients that stay in the hospital for long periods of time are unable to do much but stay in bed, so the fact that a pregnant woman wants to exercise and do something productive like shadowing is hilarious to them. They’ve all been great though; they’ve found a way to get me gym benefits and they’re all excited to have me shadow them. I have to go talk to the person in charge of students shadowing, but I’m hoping to be able to do that this week. I know that it doesn’t count if we shadow residents, but I think I could use that experience for my personal statement. It will be interesting to see how residents act with their patients vs. how experienced physicians act.

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been up to lately. I’m not particularly excited to be taking classes that aren’t pre-med related, but it’s better than taking a semester off. I know that it’s going to be a hard few months after the boys are born, but I think I would go crazy if I stopped studying. Being in the hospital as a patient is not fun either, but it gives me insight on how patients feel when they’re here. I think it will help with my bedside manner, and for that I am thankful. You can learn about being in the healthcare industry just by being the patient, which is something I hadn’t considered before.

I know this is exactly where I’m supposed to be. This is not a set back; it’s merely a detour. A crazy, wonderful detour that I know will make me stronger as a person and as an applicant.

Wish me luck!

Andrea.