As many of you know, I have recently been looking for a coblogger for medaholic. Over the last year, I found most of my reaers were premed or medical students and that a lot of the new content on my blog wasn’t catering to them. In an effort to help medaholic continue to grow I’ve decided to bring on a fellow co-blogger Lizz to help me grow this blog! Here’s a brief interview so people can get to know her a bit better!
Hello. My name is Lizz, and I’m a medaholic.
Or, at least, I’m the new co-blogger at medaholic.
Who are you?
A: I’m 25. I majored in a computer science-y subject, and I work in the IT field. I hail from the alternatingly humid and frigid New England area. I love movies, Anki flashcards, Lifehacker, Reddit, Metafilter… Okay, let’s just say I love the internet. I used to have pink hair and three facial piercings, which oddly didn’t stop me from being successful in my corporate job. I think credit unions are excellent and I hate exercise.
Oh, and I want to be a doctor.
What stage are you at in your education?
A: Two and a half years ago, I was wrapping up a degree in a non-medical, non-science subject. Because I was working full-time, I was about a semester’s worth of credit short of graduating. Specifically, I still had to fulfill the free elective requirement – Three classes from a discipline outside of my major. Three more classes would mean another four thousand dollars in tuition, plus another semester’s worth of work, all spent on material that had nothing to do with my field. Naturally, I was less than thrilled.
The whole reason schools require you to branch out and take these classes is to ensure that you’re a well-rounded individual. Nobody really expects you to buckle down and take hardcore science or math classes, but they hope that you’ll at least hit up their foreign language or sociology departments. So while I haven’t actually checked this out or anything, I like to think that I’m the only graduate from my university to have volunteered to take Calculus I as a free elective.
The thing is, I had given some thought to pursuing a career in medicine, but I had almost no science background. I was one of those kids in high school who picked Earth Science over Chemistry, opting to cover the water cycle rather than water’s intermolecular interactions. My choice of Biology classes came down to picking the ones with the fewest dissections. With this in mind, I had no expectation that I was capable of doing the work and pulling off the grades necessary for a successful medical school application, so I needed a nice litmus test class. With Calculus, I figured I’d crash and burn and that would be the end of my premed aspirations.
Except, that spectacular flame-out never came. I got an A.
That A set me up with the confidence to run full-tilt at the science classes I had avoided, starting with General Chemistry I and II. They were a cakewalk compared to Calculus – In fact, to this day, Calculus I and II remain head-and-shoulders above the rest of the courses I took in terms of difficulty. Turns out my inner premed was more than capable of pummeling the hard sciences. More than that, Chemistry is almost certainly my favorite subject, and dissections are a blast. Without those three free electives, I might have gone my whole life without discovering this about myself.
Fast-forward through a few years’ worth of courses, extracurriculars, and MCAT prep. As of two weeks ago, my AMCAS application has been submitted and verified. The bulk of what medical schools are going to evaluate me on is set in stone. All I can do now is write a novel’s worth of absolutely killer secondary application essays and hope the interview invites start rolling in.
What will you be focusing on as a co-blogger?
A: Since I’m waist-deep in the medical school application process, I’m going to be talking about the advice I wish I’d been given on the way to this point. I devoured blogs like medaholic when I was making the transition from computer science graduate to pre-med post-baccalaureate student. Hopefully my advice helps guide and motivate y’all, but this blog will also give me the chance to chronicle my progress through this application cycle and beyond.
I’m also going to talk about my progress on a variety of goals. I decided to pursue medicine because I’m motivated and dedicated, and gosh darn it, I like being busy, which predisposes me to being the type of person with a hearty list of goals. Not only do they motivate me to improve myself as a person, but they also keep me from zoning out in front of Netflix for hours a day. Hopefully they’ll also help me stave off premed neurosis during this potentially 13-month application cycle.
What goals are we talking about here?
Get into medical school. Operation Get Accepted is in full-swing. Secondary applications come out next week, and interview invitations will hopefully be quick to follow. On the other hand, the earliest acceptances won’t come out until mid-October. It’s going to be a long year.
Learn more Spanish. Hablo un poco de español, as in I can say no sabemos quien es humano and other phrases of dubious utility. After I get my secondaries out the door, improving my spoken Spanish is going to be my next big project.
Lose more weight. Food is my favorite thing ever, and exercise is practically a four-letter word, so this one has been hard. But as of this writing, I’m down 34 pounds from where I was this time last year, so it can be done.
Save more money. It should surprise no one that a medical education is painfully expensive. In addition to building myself up as an applicant, I’ve been building my savings up to help defray some of this exorbitant cost. I’d like to keep a running tally of how much this cycle has cost me, as part of a financial reality check for you folks. If you’re planning on applying in a year or two and you’re not fortunate enough to have family who can foot the bill, I have one piece of advice: Start saving for your applications yesterday.
Anything else you want your readers to know?
A: I am so not perfect. In fact, I’m sort of a self-saboteur. I undermine my diet on the regular, binging on popcorn at the movies while thinking “This isn’t even that good!” When I procrastinate on Netflix, I’m mostly watching marathons of shows that I don’t even really like. I haven’t so much as uttered an “hola, como estas?” in weeks. Worst of all, I have about a hundred secondary essays I should be pre-writing! Oh lard. I’m going to go do that now.
I’m super excited to welcome Lizz aboard and know that she’ll be a great coblogger who will write about issues that you care about. I’m excited to see her posts about MCAT study strategies and applying for medical school in the United States. You can identify blog posts from her by looking for the author Lizz. I look forward to a new chapter at medaholic.com!