As an aspiring physician, I have one major obstacle in the way – the MCAT. For those who don’t know what that is, the MCAT is the Medical College Admission Test. With each attempt I have gone through the 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, [a mild] depression, and acceptance.
Now that I have accepted my reality, what next? Here are four things that I am doing to help me get over this hump:
1| Speaking to my mentors and my support group.
This may be one of the most beneficial parts. Not only are my mentors encouraging me, they are also being realistic and helping me develop a plan.
Mentors are there for a reason. They actually want to help you. All of my mentors have gone through the process and that’s important. They know the stress and struggle associated with the MCAT and medical school.
My support group is important for the days that seem harder than others. They’re in my corner pushing me.
2| Contacting my undergrad pre-med advisor.
Though brutally honest, they give you insight on what admission officers will look at. However, I still trust that despite my requirements or, lack there of, I will get in to medical school. My path just might not be a straight shot. Don’t be too discouraged if their advise is harsh, getting into medical school is competitive. Beneath all the pessimism, at least in my case, lies important information :).
3| Researching and developing multiple plans to reach the same goal.
I have already applied to medical school. I have faith that if it is my time I will get in. However, I have to plan accordingly. I am researching post-baccalaureate and special masters programs that will help me with my MCAT, link me to medical school or guarantee a conditional interview, and/or provide me with a Masters degree.
This is important because in the worst situation a Masters degree will allow me to have a salary paying job with benefits that can sustain my cost of living as well as help me towards my goal of medicine. Now, if the program provides conditional linkage or an interview to a medical school I am set to have a stronger foundation and develop time and stress management skills for medical school. Issa win win opportunity!
So figure out what your weakness is and find a program that will help you in that area. The AAMC is a great source to find schools based on location and certain needs.
Remember if you are passionate about becoming a doctor you will invest in your future.
4|Enjoying my life.
The MCAT is not the end all be all, and life goes on. After you grieve, move forward don’t sulk and waste time in failure. Have fun, live life, and pursue your dream!