My Doctor Reading List

Monday, August 20, 2012

Catching up

MCAT attempt #2 is done and now I need to spend some time catching up in other areas of my life. Need to catch up on work, finish up my applications for med school and plan, plan, plan for some major changes coming to my life!

Back soon...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Losing steam

The last few days I feel like I've lost a lot of steam, a lot of the drive I had when I decided to pursue medicine.

A few things have changed in my life and with that, my perspective. I'm beginning to question what the right path for me is.

Plus, I'm just SO SICK of studying for the MCAT. Yesterday, I did a practice verbal and I got a 9. Which, at this point in time, is terrible. Terrible for me and just made me really doubt myself. I want to get a least a 10 or higher. My GPA is slightly lower than the mean for Mac for last year and the mean MCAT was 10.58 or something. Unless I kill the Casper test, then my shot, my one and only shot, seems very unlikely.

Also, I'm getting really sick on the online premed forums. Except for a handful of users and some excellent tips, most of the people on it seem like spoiled, sheltered, naive brats or just assholes. Complaining that the system is unfair - like it should be designed so that they would be accepted and not, oh, whoever best meets the NEEDS OF OUR COMMUNITIES. Do I think I could be a great doctor? Absolutely. Do you hear me whining about how unfair the process is? No. Because I can't change it and whining isn't going to get me in. Why don't other people see that? Or people so clearly obsessed with how much money doctors make. Or those who truly and honestly see being a doctor as the most superior profession out there. And one person today who I think has made me decide to just swear off the forums all together, some jackass complaining about natives getting special treatment but then not knowing what a reserve is. Seriously, face-palm.

Ugh. Do I really want to be surrounded by these people for 6+ years? And I thought investment bankers were bad.

I want my positive mood back! That and my confidence that I can do better on the MCAT. I'm going to take a couple practice tests today and then the real thing will be determined tomorrow when I write.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Blessed

Life can sometimes throw a curve ball at you, and its usually when you least expect it. It always makes me think of that saying "If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans."

I've had such a ball thrown at me recently but I'm so lucky because for some reason, its made me more confident about the future and I feel even luckier with my family and marriage, especially the latter, which have really proven their worth in being supportive of me. This curve ball may end up being the biggest blessing in disguise.

Its funny because on one hand I've been exploring other options to med school more actively now than ever before and yet, I feel more confident than ever that I am going to get in. I don't know where this feeling has come from, but it has and its great.

Also, my great husband told me the other day when we were having a date night out, how he thinks I should just keep applying, over and over and over until I don't want to anymore. How awesome is that? Obviously, I'm not going to put my life on hold until it happens, I may have to get a full time job, have more children, take on new challenges, but its such a relief to know that if I don't make it right away, it doesn't mean it will be over.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Scratch that

I've been looking into the details of applying to Poland and it honestly doesn't look like I'll be able to apply.

First of all, all their 4 year medical school programs require pretty much 2 years worth of all the sciences and math, which I don't have.

Second of all, the best school isn't in Warsaw (where my family live), but Krakow which would make any family help impossible. Also they require the MCAT.

Thirdly, I'd need to take an entrance exam in biology and chemistry.

There is also the option of doing a 6 year degree, with the first two years being just the sciences, however that is reserved for students straight out of high school AND they also require IB Biology (which I have) and IB Chemistry (which I don't). Plus I'd be starting the program with a bunch of 17 & 18 year olds and I don't know if I could handle being a full 12 years older than everyone.

Sigh, its just NOT a good alternative for a non-trad like me. And it sucks 'cause I really hoped it would be a good alternative.

It really looks like its Mac or bust for me now...

Another option...

Yesterday I was chatting with my husband and telling him how antsy I've been feeling lately about not working. Yes, I have a small part-time job for my dad (that takes like 15 hours max per month) and a child to rear, but I really want to be out of the house and doing something productive. Like work. I started to talk about back up plans because I can't do this for much longer...In truth I'm getting bored and whats worse, I feel like I'm wasting time. Ok, yes, I'm in the process of applying to med school but then what? I'm going to go back and try to do some volunteering again but I want to do more than that.

He agreed with me and said he too wants to see me out and doing something too. And then he asked me why I wasn't considering applying to med school in Poland. I have to say I was really surprised because I just assumed that he wouldn't want to be there - he's is from New Zealand and knows only enough Polish to get by, but is not even close to being fluent. But he said he's willing to take an aggressive course and of course, would look for the type of job that would mostly require English.

Its given me another option - this one would actually be better than Australia because in Poland I have family who would be able to help us. Also, as an EU citizen I could do both my residency or just work in any country in Europe afterwards, including Ireland or the UK. And since I'm 99.9% sure I want to do family medicine, maybe, just maybe I could apply as an IMG and come back to Canada for residency (which would be ideal).

I'm not sure yet, but I'm glad to see that another option exists...

Thursday, August 2, 2012

To Do List

I have so much to do with applying to medical school this year - and even though I still have like 2 months to do it, I know I need to get on it...I've made a start, but I would rather be "done" and have time for last minute things I forgot about rather than realize when its too late*.

1. Letters of recommendation - draft all 3, as all 3 of my "recommenders" want an outline and points about myself that I want mentioned. I hate this, it seems a bit unfair but I hear its very common. It honestly makes me question the purpose of these letters.

2. Contact all the verifiers for my extra curricular activities and see if they are willing to verify that I participated in said activity.

3. Start drafting my essay responses for the universities I plan to apply to. I think this I will enjoy the most.

4. Refine my list of extra curricular activities - I think I need to cull the list a bit and only focus on relevant stuff.

5. Keep studying for the MCAT. I'm happy to report that my verbal marks keep getting stronger and stronger with each attempt. Hurray!

6. Contact the out of province university I did courses for and order my transcripts and makes sure that they get delivered to OMSAS.

7. Register for my 1.5 worth of credits for U of T - though with the MCAT cut-offs, this is going to be a LONNNNGGG shot.

* I wonder how many people miss the application deadline every year because of stupid mistakes?