The PreMed process is awful. You question yourself a thousand times, it builds a foundation of self doubt and these habits of comparison we all know all too well. If you fail you think you’re not good enough.
We all have done it.
Two years ago I had been rejected from 24 medical schools. 24- one for every hour of the day. 24 you’re not good enoughs. The part that no one wants to talk about. Why? Because it’s ugly. It’s raw. It’s wondering what you could have done better, if you’re crazy for dreaming this, if everyone who told you no was right, and panicking because you went all in. You didn’t have a backup plan.
I cried on the bathroom floor while I was on a family vacation when I got rejected from the school I currently attend (if you’ve been here long enough: spoiler alert, I’m a first year DO med student.) I remember crying to my mom 2 days before an MCAT retake scared I wasn’t going to get the score I needed and it would be another cycle of rejections.
Most of these have been documented on my Instagram account in one way or another. All those moments. I think about them whenever I start to get a bit frustrated or tired with school. The crazy pace, the stress, missing my family on a Sunday when they’re all together and I’m eight hours away, missing birthdays, and just missing, well everything.
You quickly learn that the journey through medicine has the potential to breed some not-so-great habits. It’s normal. You’re stressed and have no idea what is going on- you have a goal and are navigating how to achieve it- all throughout training.
You learn all around from this path. How to take care of yourself, how to take care of others, what you stand for, what you want, how to prioritize your personal life, how to advocate for what you think is right, the ability to connect with others, how to share your best and worst moments, how to hold the moments you get with your family close. The PreMed path builds you up this first mountain. It sets you up for the rest- so you take the good with the bad.
I think about it all. The bathroom floor moments, the test anxiety, when I got my first 4.0, the friends I made in my gap years, the traveling I did, the specialties I would have never gotten exposed to. I learned to fight for what I want and documenting it on this account has been one of the best choices I’ve ever made.
I came from a non-medical family. I’m the first girl in my family to finish college. The first to go to grad school, to go to med school. Being the first is scary, but it is so damn empowering. I could honestly say I thought my med school adjustment would go better than it did- personally. Professionally it was a bit easier because I put things I liked for myself a bit on the back burner- for example, if you look the last article I wrote was in July. Two weeks into Medical school. My point exactly.
This long rant is to say: the premed process has it ups and downs. So does med school. I’m not a trainee but I’m 99% sure that does also. The PreMed process set me up to be so freaking grateful to be where I am today. It gave me a crash course in silver linings and that’s a useful skill.
Like I said, I think about it all. All the time.
Right before I put on my face shield and KN95 everyday before anatomy lab I pause and think: how amazing this is that I have the privilege to learn this. The rejections taught me to take it all in- it made it special.
So, here I am, wishing a very Happy 2nd Birthday to this blog, this account, to the journey being documented. It’s all here- for you who are working through rejection, reapplying, researching the journey: it’s amazing. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Feel free to reach out, anytime because I’ll be here documenting what this is truly like. (….& I just made a promise to write more!). To the community that I became a part of two years ago: I’m forever grateful.