My Doctor Reading List

Monday, October 1, 2012


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.


  1. Hi there, I came across your blog via the pre-med forum. I read a little bit of your blog and my biggest question to you is: why don't you take science classes full time (5 classes per semester) for a year or two. Not only will it help with the MCATs, but a number of Med Schools require 2 years of full time to assess a candidate's ability to handle rigorous science. That'll also open up the number of potential schools to apply to.

    Another non-traditional on the route.

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  2. That's a good question - its something I've sort of answered in other parts of my blog, but here it is again. There are two main reasons why I can't and won't do what you are proposing (and believe me, I've thought about it):

    1) I have a husband, a child, a mortgage and a life. Basically I would have to put everything on hold for those two years (well, really 3, since I'd have to wait a year during applications) and I can't afford to do that. I need to continue with my life because I may not get in and I don't want to do that to my family. If I was single this might be something I'd consider, as I'd be tempted to do it for the sake of the MCAT, but I'm not.

    2) I am a very non-traditional non-trad. I have a business background - a degree, than a CA - not a science background. I think my uniqueness is my strength in my application. If I go back and do 2 years of sciences, suddenly I become traditional - and now my competition is all the other science grads - those young kids who have no obligations in life except to study and amass a bunch of extra-curriculars. And I'd fall short - because there is no way I'd be able to pull off near 4.0s AND volunteer AND do research AND play sports...and that is exactly what these kids are doing. I'm fighting for one of those 10-15 spots thats ARE reserved for those unique people - the engineer, the 40 year old, the lawyer...the ones who are accepted for their different perspective and their life experiences, not their knowledge of science, to make that classroom learning a little richer for everyone. Because thats how it is. Of the 200 spots or so that the average med school has, most are for those traditional applicants. Those who knew they wanted to be Drs when graduating from high school (or earlier). And if you think I can compete with probably 6+ years of working towards this goal, you are mistaken! But there are these spots I mentioned, those that are there for those unique candidates, the non-trads (and I don't mean non-trads like those who did a MSc because they didn't get in on their first round, or those who are doing a 2nd degree because their GPA was too low initially). Thats what I am aiming for. And that is it.

    Now you may say to yourself, ok, it doesn't sound like she wants it that much. And I'll be honest. I don't. Rather, I do want it, but I haven't built medicine and a career as a Dr to be something so all encompassing that I'm willing for it and the pursuit of it to take over my life. Medicine is something I think I'm suited for, I'm smart enough for and something I truly believe I would really enjoy. But its not everything to me. And that's why I'm trying the method I am trying to see if it will work. If it does, great, maybe I can be an inspiration to others like me. If not, thats ok too - because I have other goals and ambitions out there to pursue.

  3. Hi, I am the original poster.

    Thanks for putting thought into your reply (I hadn't really even expected one). My note was so terse in comparison. I do want to wish you luck on MCATs and the process.

    I do agree with you on your point #1. Taking 5 classes (even if it's just 3 sciences and 2 arts) is a heckuva time commitment... plus throw in a lab or two. I remember back in my undergrad, 5 courses consumed all my (and other students') time. This was even when you had Mom to do your laundry, buy groceries and make sure you had reasonable meals. Plus as a mature student you'd have to worry about spouse, kid and mortgage as you write, not to mention other adult concerns such as managing your finances, paying the utilities, checking up on your own parents, etc. Can be done, I suppose, but it would be a massive challenge. I would think the admissions people would therefore not hold it against you if you had fewer extracurriculars (your "real life" experience would counterbalance the fewer extracurrics, in my opinion).

    But I disagree that taking 2 years of classes FT would put you in the traditional pool. You would still have your CA and business experiences, such that you'd be compared to other non-traditional types.

    No matter what you end up doing, do know that there is not just one path for a vocation to:
    1) find personal satisfaction & enjoyment
    2) make a high income
    3) better society

    Another professional services person who would know what you mean by time sheets, proposals, project management teams and excel! Happy Thanksgiving!