First let’s go through some announcement talk. On behalf of everyone at premedhell I would like to apologize for our lack of posting to put it lightly, we know you’re not going to read us every second, but come on, it’s been the better part of year! I mean, jeeze, we survived the end of the world and you can’t even get a post out!? Anyway, more on that later. Secondly, applications are going through, interviews are being had and our fellow peers have to be getting into medical schools by now, so I believe a congratulat-ions is in order! Congratulations, my friends, you did it!!! Thirdly, we hope everyone had a happy holidays this year.
Alright, let’s get down to business...
Losing Sight of What’s Important
You know… we study so many hours a day in science… genetic crossovers, reflection and refraction of light, the importance of a carbonyl group in a substitution reaction. We wake up, we study, we eat occasionally, we go to class, we study again, we go to sleep, and then we do it all over again… day after day after day after day after day… and one day or even a whole slew of days might be fine, we might be able to keep track of things but when it’s one or two years in and you’re on the tenth week of a semester and you can’t see straight, we start to forget why we’re paying rent to sleep in the lobby of a library. In all the books and the extra curriculars and the five points on an exam we forget why we’re actually doing this… we lose sight of what’s important or what’s the most important. We vaguely remember what but we forget why.
Why are we doing this? Or the more important question is why am I doing this? I’ve asked myself that over a thousand times in the last four years… and as corny as it might sound we are all here for the same reason. We all want to be doctors. We all have this burning desire… this intrinsic need to help people… but not just to help people because we live in a service society now so you can help people any which way you like… but we want to help people with their medical and pathological ailments; and there are probably among a hundred other well thought out adjectives for why we want to help people… more or less…
This is going to get tricky with morality and righteousness real quick so I’ll speak as safely as I possibly can about this… for those at issue, realize these examples are for the sake of argument.
Let’s say it was almost Armageddon, scarce food and water, certain groups of people live on the world but none of them can be trusted to the point that we trust them in our society right now, everyone you meet is a potential threat to everything you have worked to keep, to your livelihood, to your very existence. But, not just that… that would make it too easy. You have 6 other people that depend on you, you are their protector, and without any of these people your likelihood of survival is severely diminished. Their utility is not the only important consideration; you also care deeply about them. Now, if someone came into your group of people guns blazing and threatened the livelihood of your group…. What would you do?
Take a second to really think about it. You’re not sitting around reading a post about medical school or studying science books… you aren’t sitting around in a world where everyone is assumed to be good, law-abiding citizens, where people have barbeques on weekends… you’re not sitting safely at your computer with a police station down the street… what would you do? Well, I can’t guess what you would do, but you better believe if someone threatened my family like that, if someone threatened something I cared about that much, they better hope they kill me walking in…
Now, let’s say it’s a more realistic situation… yet still impractical, let’s say you’re sitting in your room watching a movie or television or whatever it is that you’re doing in your room. Someone comes into your room with a gun and says, do you have any last words? You have one chance to save yourself… what happens?
Yes, call those examples what you want, corny, too violent, immoral… but what would you do if someone was threatening everything you cared about? It’s hard to say I would just sit idly and watch him do it.
Threatening Your Goals…?
Let’s bring it back to the premed world… In an adrenaline-rushed event to save our lives sometimes it’s easier to make the decision to take back what is ours. Those decisions are a little more defined despite their morality; if I don’t have my life, I don’t exist; I will not let them kill my family; I will not let them take my family’s livelihood from them.
Let’s say someone is threatening your dream of going to medical school. Your dream of going to medical school may not be as important as saving your family’s life but its damn close; and for the people that want it bad enough it might be neck and neck. What if they’re threatening your chances of getting into medical school? What would you do? Would you let them take it right from under you? Or would you just sit back and watch them do it? Would you sit by idly and watch someone take your family members life or your life if you had the chance to stop them? No, you would do everything in your power to stop them. And if your dream of going to medical school means just as much as or close to your family members then you wouldn’t watch idly while they’re taking it from you.
I mean no disrespect to teachers or our premed peers when I say this, I like collaboration more than competition, but for the sake of argument… they are your gatekeepers. They are the enemy keeping you from your dream. But they’re not armed with guns or threats… they’re armed with exam questions and lab reports and quiz questions… and they’re not going to make them easy… they’re not going to sit there and hand you all the answers because you’re clearly god’s gift to the world… no… you’re going to have to take it from them with your bear hands. No one is going to make it easy for you... no one… but that’s okay’ because you’re a tough son of a b#$%^.
To all your colleagues that put you down and made you feel stupid. To everyone you let lower your self-esteem. To all those exams that you let get to you. To that one question that shot your whole world to hell…. You’re gonna have a terrible day, you’re gonna go to bed, and then you’re gonna wake up and show them how great you are. You’re gonna study as much as you can and you’re gonna arm yourself with the tools you need to protect what you care about most in this world. You’re gonna arm yourself to prove those teachers wrong, that you can do it, that you can pass these courses, that you can pass them with higher expectations than they thought and with higher expectations than even you thought. You’re going to prove all your peers wrong. And you’re going to walk out of their knowing you did everything you possibly could to protect what you quite possibly care about most in this world, going to medical school.
Protecting what’s Important
In its purest form we want to get into medical school and get on with the rest of our lives. But in that comes a thousand different requirements and recommendations and sometimes we get caught up in all the bs, we have to study this many hours for five extra points on midterm 3 of 4, and we need to spend this many hours in the clinic or this many hours doing club activities and we forget what’s really important. When it really comes down to it, it doesn’t matter what medical school you get into because the worst med student at the worst medical school is equal to the best med student at the best medical school, they’re both doctors; and how well you do in med school is no indicator of how good of a doctor you’re going to be… so when it really comes down to it, all that matters is getting into medical school in any way that you can.
All you need is a GPA and an MCAT score. You don’t need a good GPA nor do you need a good MCAT score, even though it surely helps. You don’t need a degree. You don’t need clinical experience; you don’t need research experience, you don’t need to serve on committees of clubs, you don’t need to win the Nobel Prize, and you don’t need to be knighted by the queen. So, if it comes down to it, quit the bs and go for what really matters, doing well in your coursework… what does doing well in your coursework mean? It means doing well on midterms, finals, quizzes, and assignments, and lab reports in your lab courses. That’s it. And how do you do well in those? You study your ass off day in and day out.
When it really comes down to it, going to medical school is one of the most important things in your life and you protect it every day by studying. You don’t protect it with physical force or military grade weaponry like the previous examples; you do it with their mental equivalents. You do it with your dedication and perseverance to train your mind. You do it with your unrelenting drive to reach the end of your goal, because the last man standing walked through the valley of the shadow of death and said… I will fear no evil.
So, get off premedhell, get off facebook and twitter, stop watching television and going out with your friends and get to the grind… get mad as hell and take back what is yours. No one and I mean no one is going to make it easy for you… you have to grab that exam by the collar, shove it to the wall and say if you ever try and mess with my grade again you better hope I’m dead!