My Doctor Reading List

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Just in case

I keep going back and forth on whether or not to keep pursuing this. Don't get me wrong, I really WANT to but its just so difficult for me because its purely selfish. I don't need to do this - its just something that I want.

But just in case, when I think about things to do in my life, a part of me always thinks "how will this look on a med school application?". And if I think it looks good, I'm much more likely to pursue it.

For example, today I ran my first ever half-marathon and did it in a pretty good time (2:14). I'm incredibly proud of myself - it is something that I've wanted to do forever but never managed to stick to the training the way I needed to. I always thought that it was just impossible to do having a young child at home, work etc. But now I have 2 children and one is just a baby - was only 3 months old when I started my training - and I still managed to do it. The fact that it would look good on a med school application, even if it weren't highly weighted, really is one of the things that kept me motivated to train. Same thing with running for (and being elected!) the Chair of my son's school's parent/teacher committee. Its a lot of responsibility but it will be a great example of "leadership". I thought about joining last year but never got around to it. This year I was determined to at least get elected to the executive, though I didn't expect to get elected to lead the whole thing! And even if I never make it to med school it is something that I'm very excited to be apart of.

But I do need to make a few choices soon, namely regarding taking some life science pre-reqs that would allow me to apply to U of T. This would be the best place for me to attend school - its where I live, and it would cause the least disruption in my family's life. However, I do need to stop looking too far ahead and focus on the present. I feel like this process really needs to be taken one step at a time. So that is what I am doing now.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Snob

So...its been over 6 months since my last blog post. This is mostly related the fact that I gave birth to an absolutely adorable baby boy. He is perfect and we all love him to pieces.

But his birth has reinforced my angst over my not too distant return to work of some sort. I'm still at a total loss as to what I what I want to do - but as I research and discuss possibilities of things I could do with family and friends, I feel like all I do is add to my list of things that I don't want to do. My husband says its a good thing - that eliminating things that I don't want to do will make it easier to narrow down what I do want to do eventually.

My problem is that I think I'm a major snob when it comes to picking something that I should do. I absolutely love being with my new little son and being there to pick up my older son from school and spend time with him as well, that I feel like anything that I choose has to compensate for being away from them. The thought of slaving away in front of a computer creating amortization tables or forecasting cash flows for some random business makes me feel sick. I also don't love the idea of being a cog in some sort of large corporate machine. But I also don't want to be a stay-at-home mom forever. As much as I love my children, and as great of a mom I think I am, being a wife and mother is not enough for me. I need something in my life that is separate from my family. This may be selfish but I feel a void in my life at the moment. I see my husband happy with his work - yes, he is frustrated often, tired from the amount he has to get done, but I see the satisfaction he gets from it. I want, no, I need to have something like this for me too.

And my desire to pursue medicine has returned. Its the only thing that I can I see myself pursuing that I feel would be worth it to me to be away from my family. I know that I should move on, that I should try and develop another passion but that nagging feeling won't go away. I didn't give it my all, there is still PLENTY for me to do to try and get into med school. I'll admit that with my first attempt, I just hoped that what I had done in the past was enough - even knowing deep down that it wasn't. When I read on the pre-med forums about people taking 6 attempts, writing the MCAT 5 times and making all kinds of sacrifices before getting in...I know that to give up now would be accepting failure and defeat much too easily.

So I think that I'll try again. I'm off for maternity leave now (my husband thinks I should wait till September 2014 because he thinks getting a job before the summer might be tricky anyway). This gives me a year (again) to try and amp up my application (boosting ECs, studying for and re-writing the MCAT) and figure out a game plan. I'll have to get a job of some sort but I think it will be easier to settle for something I like that isn't a passion if I still have THIS to pursue. I mean, its going to be harder with a baby to care for but maybe it will make me more efficient with my time.

Well, we will see!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

So what's next?

I've had a lot of time to think about what's next for me, career-wise. Its so hard though, because anything I choose will in some way be associated with failure to get into med school - at least, in my mind. I'm sure that the many family or friends who are aware of what I tried to do will forget over time. But I won't.

If I didn't have a family, I'd just try and take on a job or even pursue a career in something that is at least related to medicine with the hope that I'll eventually get in.

But I do have one and I also do have a lot to fall back on - namely, my business degree and CA. I don't want to go back to the accounting/auditing work that made me so miserable but I have to admit, I loved doing my business degree. My logical self thinks it would be stupid to start over completely as say, a nutritionist or something, just because its health care related when I can do something I might really enjoy in a field where I have training from a top business school. Especially when I hear stories of friend's boyfriends or cousins being rejected for the 3rd time with no back up or vague plans to start a masters in something.

In fact, on a whim I applied to a local college to do a post-graduate diploma in retail marketing and promotions and got in - even though the deadline had long passed - and it reminded me that just because I didn't get into med school on my first attempt that it means I am a total idiot. My grades, school pedigree and work experience, in the real world mean a lot and a valued.

My only problem with going back into the rat race is the fear of slipping back into that torn life style I had before. What if I can't find a job that I love - something that gives me a purpose? What if I can't be there for my kids and husband the way I want to? I'm realizing that it doesn't necessarily get easier when your children get older. Yes, I no longer have to change diapers (well, at least with my oldest) but now I need to help with homework and in general be involved. I know that going back to work of any sort will require some of that sacrifice but I want it to be worth it - and not just financially.  I think the main challenge will be finding something that will make me happy - so I can be a good wife and mother.

Also I'm just not ready to completely let go of my dream of med school. I don't talk about it much to anyone anymore - its just tucked away into a tiny piece of my heart and will have to bide its time. On bad days it there like a little thorn reminding me that I'm going to be 29 years old this year and this is just not realistic. On good days it remains a goal that can be achieved. Fortunately, my husband is aware of this and told me to just wait and try again when I'm ready. In that respect, I'm so, so lucky. So I need to find something that WILL give me the time to keep pursuing med school as a goal and not just a dream.

I'll keep updating this blog...where ever I end up will be largely because of this initial desire. It might be med school. Or it might be something completely different.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Rejected

I apologize for not writing for a while.

Many of you probably guessed that this big upheaval in my life was that I became pregnant and it caused me to question my life choices and the plans I've been making.

I found out I was pregnant about a week before my second MCAT attempt and it distracted me to no end. In fact I really shouldn't have written it at all and after writing it I should have voided it.

Its amazing how just a little distraction can really affect you. Because I did WORSE on my second attempt and THAT was the score I had to apply with.

Not surprisingly I've been rejected from the 2 universities that I applied to. Even though I KNEW I would be, I won't lie and say that a tiny part of me didn't hold out hope that I'd get an interview at least, because it did.

The first rejection I received last week wasn't so bad - but the one I got today stung more than I expected. Probably because it was my last chance for this cycle. And because it made it real that this is just NOT going to happen for me this year - and perhaps ever.

With a baby on the way, I'm not going to apply again this summer. I haven't really done much to improve my application since the last application cycle so there is no point anyway. And to be perfectly honest I'm not sure I have the same drive that I had when I initially started this process.

Don't get me wrong, I'd still love to go to med school but my priorities have shifted a bit and it seems to me selfish to pursue something this major at this point.

So friends...I'm putting my dream on hold for a bit, maybe indefinitely. And in the meantime I'm working on my Plan B.

Wish me luck!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Application...submitted!

Well, today I submitted my med school applications finally. With just over 3 hours to spare! Woo hoo!

Yes, I know today was the deadline but I'm a procrastinator by nature and it wouldn't feel right to NOT finish at the last minute. Its not a good idea to do this, as I thought I was done early this morning and then realized I had to input EVERY. SINGLE. COURSE. I've EVER taken, including the course number, grade received and number of credits earned! Ugh! It took over 2 hours - but luckily I had the time and LUCKILY I actually had most of them in a Google doc, so it wasn't as brutal as it could have been. But I absolutely hate the OMSAS website. Its so primitive, its embarrassing. And it just looks like there would be so many errors in it.

I'm hoping for the best but expecting the worst. At this point unless I absolutely KILL the CASPer I doubt I'll make it for Mac to get an interview. Which sucks because my biggest asset is my speaking (interviewing) ability and everyone I talk to (med students, consultants, other doctors) ALL say that if I get an interview I have an excellent chance. But it really looks like I won't get that chance, not this year at least.

I've also applied to NOSM (Northern Ontario School of Medicine). Now, I KNOW its a major stretch because I'm not from Northern Ontario or a rural area. However, I did spend over 8 years in a small village in Poland and I really think that it gave me a good idea of what remote/rural life is like. Especially during the early post-Communist times when infrastructure was so bad, a 20KM journey may as well have been 200KM. I know its a long shot, but my husband is really rooting for moving to Thunder Bay because he's dying to get out of the city. One of my best friends is from T-Bay and her whole family is up there, which would be great to have some friends in a strange place. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Like I said, its a major, major long shot.

So what are my plans till January (when I find out if I get an interview)? Lots. I'm going to continue volunteering at the nursing home, because I really enjoy it. I'll brace myself for another MCAT attempt (but not yet...I just need a break). I'll pursue some business ideas I have (hey, I need a solid back up in case med school doesn't work out this year....or ever). And I have some other stuff going on in my life which I'll share at a later date.



Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Failure

I got my second MCAT test results back. And I did worse. Worse than I expected and WORSE THAN BEFORE. I knew I would do worse in the sciences (except I remained the same in Physical Sciences) but my verbal reasoning score went down.

I'm sitting in tears now as I write this because my score is now so low I'm sure I don't stand a single chance, not at McMaster, not anywhere.

I don't know what I'm going to do. I wish I never re-wrote.

I feel like such a failure.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

No, I'm not dead

But I have taken a break from being "med-obsessed". So much going on in my life right now, med school daydreams have sort of taken a backseat. I'm still in the process of finishing up my applications and I promise to update you all on whats been going on soon.

I have to admit, staying away from the forums has been especially nice and relaxing!