And so we begin. Over the past few years since I’ve managed this website, I’ve worked towards the moment that I would finally graduate, finally apply to medical school, finally get my future started…but now, here I am, and I’m left with as many questions as I’ve started with, if not more. It’s not as discouraging as I originally anticipated it would be, however.
In the days leading up to my graduation, I was haunted by daydreams detailing my lack of preparedness. What if I’m not ready? What if I don’t get in? What do I do now that I no longer have school?
I’ve found it easiest to just continue with my current plan–adding where necessary–rather than start over from the beginning. So here’s what I’ve come up with:
–I’m now a volunteer with Grace Hospice and will be able to apply what I’ve learned about the importance of hospice programs throughout the creation of my course on empathy over this past semester. I look forward to being paired with a patient and to be given the opportunity to keep them company at their home during their last few moments with their families.
–Second, I’ve decided to volunteer with the city of Virginia Beach as a volunteer EMT–B. I’ve toyed with the idea of joining with Beach for a while, and now I finally have the time to do it. I’ve worked as an EMT for two years doing medical transport and while that was an incredibly rewarding experience by giving me further insight into primary care medicine, I think that exposure to the 9-1-1 system would be equally as beneficial.
–Third, I’ve decided to continue working as a medical scribe. The experience is excellent and the work itself is simple and rewarding (plus the income isn’t bad either–casual shoutout to my student loan payments due in 6 months #thegameofloans #adultingisfun)
–And fourth, I’ve made the decision to retake my MCAT. Yes, that’s right. The joys of the MCAT we’re too much for me to pass up and I look forward to taking it again. My score was competitive (I got a 503) but I know that my MCAT score is the weakest part of my application and I don’t want to give the reviewers any reason to reject me before I make it to the interview (or after, honestly, but I’ll take what I can get).
So now this begs the question as to what the hell I’m going to do with this website now that I have time to manage it. Well…I’m still debating whether or not to start a LitPhys YouTube channel (pro: it would be more natural and more personal and you wouldn’t have to read as much, con: I would have to record myself and put it on YouTube…) but I also know that I want to continue documenting my experiences throughout the application process as well as document my experiences throughout my gap year. My goal is to post at least once weekly (more if I’m feeling especially cheeky). I can’t guarantee that this will be fun to read or insightful or even relevant; but I’m hoping that it will be. I’m hoping that I can inspire at least one person to follow in my footsteps and pursue medicine like I am because we need you. We need doctors who care, who are compassionate, and who are willing to go that extra mile–those who are willing to advocate for their patient and to always act in their patient’s best interests.
I recently attended an information session at Georgetown and one of the strongest points that they made during the lecture was the importance of physician–healers and physician–advocates. “What do you do with the patients you can’t cure?” I’ve gained a tremendous amount of respect for Georgetown Medical School, and it’s quickly moved to the top of my list as of right now, but I know that I’m still early in my decision–making process. Going forward though, I’m starting to learn what to look for. “85% of medical schools teach the same thing”, we were told, “your job is to figure out what the 15% is that they do different. Your job is to figure out what medical school is good enough for you.” So here I go.