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Newbie! Anyone with premed wisdom?

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9 years 8 months ago #73577 by katie1234
Hello,
I am new to this site but am so glad I found it. I am a freshman at the University of Utah and in the last couple of years have also re-realized my dream of becoming a doctor. I am in school full time and have two kids and in my spare time I do volunteer work, focus on my premedical course work, and otherwise don't have much of a life outside of these things which is fine with me, because I also took the alternative route after some college, not to mention most of my 20s. I am 29 years old and really thought this was a silly dream that passed me by years ago. I really love hearing about moms just like me who are dong the same thing. If anyone has any advice for me on what it takes, what can help me during the premed process, how to knock out my competition and anything else that would be useful to me as an undergraduate my ears are open! I have been especially worried about not being able to handle the human body in a very literal sense. I'm a bit squeamish, with the hope that this will eventually be something I can overcome with exposure. Does anyone know if this is common among new medical students? Has anyone had anything similar they had to overcome? I also had many more questions about what to talk about and or things to emphasize in my personal statement, extra courses to consider taking to gain an edge, and other questions like, is being a mom considered during review of my extra curricular activities? Do medical schools lean in favor of the students who have the most volunteer work, patient experience, and extra curricular activities or those who score higher on the MCAT? I have so many questions because I want to make sure I'm doing everything I can to tip the scales in my favor right from the beginning, partly because I feel I have no time to waste. I don't think I have ever wanted anything more in my life, and the idea that it has become something attainable is intoxicating and so exciting to me! In addition to this, I have decided that the only way I can go to medical school if I get in is if I go to the school in my home town of Salt Lake City (University of Utah School of Medicine.) My children's father is here and I have a house, and at that point will need all the help I can get being a single mom. This, sadly will be the only school where I will apply because I fear I cannot make it work without my family's help and my kids need their dad as well. Moving away is simply an unrealistic option for me. Is there anyone else out there who only had one option when choosing where they apply? Please share! Anyone, everyone! Share anything with me!

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9 years 8 months ago #73585 by southernbelle
Hey Katie, don't worry about being squeamish, you'll overcome it. I am too, especially with blood! As far as gross anatomy, after a while it doesn't even seem like a human body. You don't even think about it, and I am very funny about dead people. I had a 3.7 cumulative GPA and a 19 on the MCAT. I am in osteopathic med school. I am a traditional student, am married with no kids yet. I did volunteer but I did not kill myself by any stretch. I did a little here and there when I had time. I also did research. If you want to go to an allopathic school, make sure your MCAT is 30 or higher and a 3.5 GPA or higher.
My husband was still in law school and we were not in the same state my first year of med school and it was so hard. I realized that my family is so much more important than this dream of mine. I was so afraid I would not get into med school, but it happened. I thought my life would be over if I didn't get in. Work hard in college, on your volunteer work, think about taking a Kaplan class if your test taking skills are weak. Mine definitely was! When I started taking practice tests for MCAT, I could not get one freakin question correct!) Also, check out the research at your school. Find a faculty member you admire and ask them about working in their lab. Hope this helps.

P.S. I have more of life in med school than I did in college. I was working so hard in college to make A's to get in med school. Don't think your life is over when you get to med school like I did at first! After my first semester in med school, I taught myself to study efficiently and my life was so much better.

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9 years 8 months ago - 9 years 8 months ago #73590 by katie1234
Southernbelle,
Thank you for the advice. What year are you in school? I have read some of the others journal entries, and some have stated that they thought that the money would help pay off their student loans, but that they practically live at the hospital, miss their kids and husbands and that the money is not there and they are struggling to pay back their loans. Reading those stories was very disheartening to me and afterword found myself a little discouraged and depressed wondering if it is all going to be worth it.
I get nervous questioning where I will end up. Does a person need to become a surgeon or another specialty that requires being married to your career instead of your husband? There have to be women that find a desirable balance right? I need to be able to be there for my kids, and realize that for awhile I will be spreading myself pretty thin, but some bloggers on this site seem almost unhappy with the choice they have made. Does it ever get easier? Rewarding? How do you feel about your experience so far in med school?
Last Edit: 9 years 8 months ago by .

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8 years 8 months ago #79061 by southernbelle
I am a third year med student. Don't worry about the loans, you will make enough to pay them back. With the exception of 1st year, med school is not that bad and you will have time for your family. There are times when it will be rough, like during surgery rotations or before boards when things will be crazy. I am off for 2 days because my attending is doing computer training for EMR for example. (I'm doing peds this month.)On rotations during 3rd and 4th year, you will have unexpected time off. I am going into family practice, which is pretty family friendly. Other family friendly specialties are dermatology and pathology. I plan to try to get pregnant the first part of my 2nd year of residency. Residency is rough intern year and depending on where you go. Research the programs well! For example take call (being in the hospital from 5PM to 7AM the next morning doing admissions for the hospitalist in my hospital every 5th night or so.) Call gets less as you progress through residency.

I used to regret med school constantly because I want to have a baby and I was tired of school. But any job where you are really successful, in business or where ever, you are going to put in more hours at first. The same is true for medicine. It is a long process but now I am happy with my decision but I have no kids yet. If you are like me, you will be miserable at first but eventually it gets better and you are happy with your decision.

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8 years 7 months ago #79600 by nancie
I am new on this site. I am an RN and very unhappy with my job. Iam 34 years old, married and recently had a baby. Now that i am home with the baby i have been seriously thinking about going back to school to do a postbacc for med school. Also have a low GPA. I really don't know what to do. I got accepted into a Family nurse practioner program which will be starting in Sept. At times i feel like i should settle for being an FNP but part of me is saying that's not what u really want. Please help, i seriously need some advice here. Thanks

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