Saturday, April 25, 2009
Rejected, Part II
These days, when I think about med school, the picture on the left is what comes to mind. I'm one of those strange people than when something unexpectedly negative happens to me, it takes me days to process. This morning I woke up recalling something else the adcom over the post bacc said to me: "I have two applications here. One with a student who has made few academic mistakes and yours which is filled with academic mistakes from your past. Give me a reason why I should pick your application over their's?"
Now I'll preface this by saying that I was initially told that my academics are fine, GPA and MCAT. Then this came up so obviously I don't buy the this persons first assesment of my academic perfromance, unless we're talking about the past 5 or so years (which when you think about it is an indirect reference to being older).
My response and I'm going on recall here: " I don't know".(WTF????) After thinking for a few seconds I said, "There's more to a potential good medical student and Physician than what's on paper. Over the years, I'm participated in numerous academic and volunteer activities which clearly demonstrates a commitment to a career in medicine".
So after giving this some thought, here's what I think is wrong with what I said. Saying I don't know is just dumb (but keep in mind that I didn't know I was going to meet with this person until I was actually in their office, thus I wasn't pepared!!!) The first part of what I said comes off as snarky. The second part of what I said shows ME emphasizing how old I am. BAD IDEAS!!!
I think what I should have said was something like this:
While I've been aware througout my academic life of the presence of competitors, I've strived to maintain focus on my own objectives and goals to keep myself on track. Since my matriculation at XXX, I've consistently proven that I have the desire, motivation, and preserverence to succeed in medical school."
That's off the cuff, but the best I could come up with in a short amount of time. Trust me I'll be sure to work on that answer in the future because I know it's not the last time I'll hear it. However, there is one VERY good thing to come out of all of this is and that is now I know what I need to work on interview wise because this time, the stakes were reasonably low. The next time, the stakes will be high and now I know what I need to work on to be throughly prepared.
With that said, if there's even the slightest possibility that you'll run into an adcom, keep yourself prepared!!! When I look back on this particular situation, I did NOT put 1000% into the process of getting accepted. Which sounds strange given how much I want to become a Physician. But saying it and having your actions say it for you are two completely different things and with competition so stiff these days, you absolutely have to have BOTH!!