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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Medical School Community's LiveJournal:

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Sunday, April 22nd, 2012
6:48 pm
Decision Time
Hi all.

Last June I was still contemplating medical school and possibly specializing in psychiatry. Well, I have finally decided to go for it. After my first year of teaching (which ends this June), I've realized that teaching isn't the career I thought it would be. It's not what I want. I thought this last in the fall of 2010 but by then I was a semester away from graduating so I finished the degree.

I want to go to medical school. I'm going to make this happen. Planning on starting prereqs in fall 2012!
Tuesday, November 29th, 2011
8:10 pm
Which macbook to purchase for med school?
I'm aiming for medical school.

The only problem is I'm not in medical school, so I'm not sure exactly what kind of laptop (macbook I've decided) I'll need.

I'm looking for efficiency above everything else. Which of these options is most efficient? 

There's different versions of the macbook pro: http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/shop_mac/family/macbook_pro?aid=AIC-WWW-NAUS-K2-BUYNOW-MACBOOKPRO-INDEX&cp=BUYNOW-MACBOOKPRO

There's also different versions of the macbook air: http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/shop_mac/family/macbook_air/select

What serves you most efficiently, if you have a macbook? And since I have a couple more years as an undergrad student to go, should I wait for newer models? 

I appreciate your help,
Thursday, November 10th, 2011
10:47 pm
Does anyone want to maintain this community?
Hello, I am the creator of this community.
In 2000, I was one of the original users of LJ. I made my first post while cramming, the day before I took my MCAT.

I started this community 9 years ago when I was a first-year medical student. Since then, I met my wife through LJ, graduated, finished a family medicine residency, and have been in practice for 3 years. I'm no longer the carefree student I once was, I have a mortgage, a baby (and of course, student loans). After a colleague started getting harassed by a drug-addict patient on facebook, I deleted my FB and made my LJ friends-only. In the years since then, I have mostly moved to an anonymous twitter account. LJ was once a huge part of my life, but I don't have much time for it anymore.

I know the community has gone through waves of activity. Things look slow, but not completely dead. Would anyone like to take over maintaining it?

Here's my selection process: Post a reply asking for the job. Preferably the new admin would be someone in med-school, or who has already graduated, and has been active in the community. To increase your chances, please include your MCAT score, organic chemistry grade, and a personal statement outlining why you want to maintain the community. "To help people" is not an acceptable answer.
Or  I may just choose the first post. It depends on how many applications are Russian spam.
Wednesday, October 12th, 2011
7:42 pm
A perfect gift for med students and residents
I just put together a book of cartoons about the medical training process that's available through Lulu:

A Cartoon Guide to Becoming a Doctor

(You can preview the first few pages on Lulu)

It's a perfect gift for a medical friend/relative or of course, for yourself!
Tuesday, August 9th, 2011
10:13 pm
post bac programs
 I'm going to apply to a handful of post bac pre-med programs. Does anyone have personal experience with or knowledge about Goucher, Scripps, Bryn Mawr, Mills, Temple, Tufts, or Drexel's post bac programs?
It is hard for me to believe that these schools have 100% or close to 100% med school acceptance rates like the say they do.
Any information appreciated.
Thursday, June 23rd, 2011
10:30 pm
I'm still considering medical school after recently graduating and getting my teaching license. I am strongly considering specializing in psychiatry. Does anyone have any experience in this field who could point me in the right directions as far as programs go? I'm really trying to decide if I can do the same this with a PhD in pysch but going to med school is becoming the idea I just keep going back to. Pros and cons of both would be appreciated.
Saturday, April 30th, 2011
10:41 pm
Another good one this week.

This time from my SECOND choice school.
Saturday, April 16th, 2011
9:11 pm
I want to share an underdog story with you all. Interview season is coming to an end and I know I'm feeling completely defeated by all this rejection. It would be easy to give up.

One of my best friends applied to University of Washington for fall 2010 and was rejected without even receiving an interview. She had scored a 29 on her MCAT and has no GPA because the college we graduated from uses narrative evaluations instead of grades on transcripts. She was absolutely heart broken but worked her ass off studying to retake the MCAT and began volunteering at a free clinic and the crisis center. She also took a two week trip to Guatemala to staff a clinic. She retook the MCAT and her score actually went down one point to 28. Although she knew her chances were slim, she reapplied. Last month she was admitted to University of Washington School of Medicine for fall 2011. She says she is lucky she wasn't accepted the first time because she had some amazing experiences this year. I know that this might not be typical, but it goes to show you that you never know what an adcom is looking for, and sometime scores count less than you think they do. Keep trying and don't give up! The things you do with your time in between application seasons are more important than you think!

Saw this on post secret and remembered that every single person who has ever applied to med school felt the way I do right now at one point or another.

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011
11:56 pm

Hi everyone!

Wow it's been a while.  I used to post here a few times, I remember fond posts from litlebanana and other users.  I used to review and post on the premed community too.  Can't believe this journey began about 5 years ago...

...It's been a while, because I've been working really hard..  BUT IM IN!!!

I've been accepted to my top choice medical scool for the fall, and couldn't be more excited.

I just want all the pre-med hopefuls to know this:


The minute you give up,  is the minute you know medicine is not for you (and there is nothing wrong with that, there are plenty of other awesome careers out there).  But if you want to get into medical school bad enough, you must work hard, be persistent, and make sacrifices.

I'm sure once I start in the fall, instead of saying YAYAYAY med school, I'll be saying, AHHHHHH med school.

But I made it :)
And I'm so excited.
And thank you to this community and its members for always sharing their experiences and words of encouragement.  ::hug::

Medicine truly is a remarkable career-path.  It's fucking hard and insane and as litlebanana sometimes says, it sucks, lol.

But I'm still excited as ever to start the rest of my life studying and making a difference, because it's what I love to do.

P.S.  I'm not being sarcastic here, just realistic and grateful.  I know med school and medicine will be like nothing else.  It will be hell.  But it will be a lovely and mind-bendingly awesome one.

And I'm thankful to start that awesome journey.  So thank you everyone for all your posts throughout the years!  And thank you to litlebanana for always being honest. 


Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011
9:38 pm
MCAT Flashcards?
Does any know a site with good (free) flashcards? Preferably gen chem and bio since I've completed those courses. I plan to make them into paper flashcards so that I can study them while I'm on the bus or something. Please and thank you!
Sunday, February 13th, 2011
11:14 am
Thought you might like to know how things turned out for my friend who got rejected and wrote a letter asking for an interview anyway. He had his interview this month and was accepted two days later! So I suppose I have been proven wrong. Asking for an interview CAN get you somewhere.
Saturday, February 5th, 2011
10:42 am
International Graduates - Integrated, Accepted?

Hi !

I have two questions, for people working in the United States of America.

1. Do you work with any international graduates (or are you one yourself), where are they/you from? India/Pakistan/Mexico? How is it in the workplace, do they integrate, are they accepted and are they as competent or more so? Or, if there are any issues are they more about skin colour rather than passport? As in an African American with a US passport vs. a white Danish person with a Danish passport + visa?
Hope I haven't offended anyone, I did say 'if', I'm sure there are places where it doesn't matter two hoots.

2. How long would you advise studying for the USMLE step 1? I have heard 8-10 hours a day for 6 weeks recommended.

Thanks in advance.

Sunday, January 9th, 2011
9:40 am
Existential Crisis-Medical School woes
I am a senior undergraduate majoring in French education and English lit. I happen to be student teaching this semester and have been questioning my desire to teach in public schools for a long time. It doesn't feel right like it used to and I believe I need a change in career. since I was a kid, I've always wanted to be a doctor. Thoracic surgery has interested me greatly or infectious diseases. At any rate, I am considering a career switch. I've read med school requirements and I have 2 years of prerequisites to even think about getting a good score on the MCAT. I suppose the question I have is whether or not this is a reasonable career switch. For the next year, I need to teach to save up some money and get some good job experience. I feel as though being a teacher is a great thing to put on a med school application. I guess I just feel like it is really unattainable; as though I've started too late. I'm 22 and probably wouldn't be going to med school for another 2-3 years. Is this kosher? Practical? not completely insane?

The existential crisis continues...
Saturday, January 1st, 2011
10:50 am
Should Medical School Pre-Requisites be Changed?
Only three countries require their students to have an undergraduate degree before entering medical school (the USA, Canada & Nigeria although Australia is heading this way too)
Everywhere else, as far as I know students enter at 18 years for a 5 or 6 year course.

When I started medical school I was 24 (the age most people start their house officer jobs, their very first 'doctor in training' job) and I definitely felt strange (and old!) among my 18 year old classmates. So.. I'm interested in hearing other opinions, do you think it is better to have a degree first or no degree?
  • As for my view, I think I would raise the entry age of medical school over here to 21.
  • I wouldn't want people to have to do another degree first as I think this would exclude those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and get everyone from all classes into too much unnecessary debt.
  • Also I'm not sure how much a degree does 'mature' ones outlook. I had an undergraduate degree before med school, but it wasn't until my first full time job that I really could consider myself a tiny bit wiser! Perhaps future med students time would be better spent in a working environment than a studying one?
  • If a person could enter at 21 but was free to have worked or studied beforehand, or perhaps travelled, if they had done something useful with their time, then perhaps they would have an air of maturity and less regrets when they start to realise that med school is all consuming.
Or to play devil's advocate, perhaps I am unnecessarily penalising those who know what they wanted to do from childhood and making them wait 3 years, who are mature at 18 years (some of my classmates definitely were!) Would making them wait until 21 to enter med school be unfair?

In my country, a student needs to decide at 16 if they want to go to med school (without a gap year) so they can pick the right subjects at 6th form college. We study only 3 subjects over 2 years in great depth, and for med school two of those choices have to be chemistry and biology.

So, would making people wait give people more time to decide, or would it unfairly penalise those that already know what they want to do?

Or, if you come from a country that required you to have a degree first, do you feel this has benefitted you? Hindered you?

I don't think I'm right or wrong, its just an idea, I wanted to hear people's opinions from far and wide. :)
Monday, December 20th, 2010
6:05 pm
Random question for anyone who's finished their HepB series.

Did you, after receiving any of the injections, but particularly the third, experience some super weird parasthesias in that arm? I got my third HepB shot this morning (we can't do clinic without it), and my hand and wrist flexors have felt somewhat numb ever since. Also, they feel very weak -- I went to the gym afterwards, and I could barely close my hand around a five pound weight.

The skin surrounding the injection site also feels incredibly cold to me (but not to the touch), but I assumed that was a natural reaction to the injection.

Anyone who's had this happen, how long does it last? It's kind of ultra frustrating, I'd like to be able to have both hands available to clean my house before I go home for Christmas.
Tuesday, December 14th, 2010
11:46 pm

Hello! I'm glad I found this community because I've been really trying to crack down on my future plans as of late.

I'm 21 years old and will be getting my AA in psychology in May. After that, I'm going to transfer to a university where I am currently planning on majoring in Biology. I should hopefully graduate in 2-2.5 years with a BS. I've been considering medical school for a good three years now. I've mainly been looking at UTMB in Galveston, TX, but have given others a look too. Preferably I'd like to stay in Texas just because costs are probably going to be lower for in-state.

I really want to do pathology, but I don't know for sure yet. I love reading about and studying diseases, especially things like Ebola, Marburg, and things like that. I'd love to do something like that, like for the CDC or WHO (and live in Switzerland, ugh it's my dream) but I don't know how well they pay. I'd settle for just being a pathologist in a hospital, even. Is anyone here doing pathology? What are the courses like? Tell me everything! :P

Also, is it going to look alright that I have one degree in psychology and another in biology? 
And I've been reading here a bit and am really interested in shadowing some doctors. I know it would look great on a med school application. Should I probably wait until I'm closer to graduating from my university first? Is it too early to be doing that kind of work?

What do I need to be doing at this point in time to ensure my application will look great and hopefully I can get in?

Thank you! :)
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010
12:56 am
I have a friend who was rejected from his top choice med school last week. He wrote a letter detailing a few of his experiences since he sent in his secondaries and basically "begging for an interview." Well, he was actually granted an interview! I'm not sure why, but I am kind of appauled by this situation. Good for him, I guess, but I feel like no should mean no and you should be graceful about accepting rejection. Have any of you had this happen personally or know someone else who did this and got an interview? Would you do this? For those of you who conduct interviews at your school, do you think he will be taken seriously and if he is rejected, what are his chances if he reapplies next year now that they know he wont take no for an answer?

By the way, we have the same top choice school, and I just don't think I'd have the balls to pull something like that if I get rejected.
Monday, October 25th, 2010
7:41 pm
dr. shadowing, research, etc
Hey everbody! I'm currently in my junior year of undergrad, majoring in biology. I've seen a lot of you mention the importance of taking the time to shadow a doctor. I'm kind of wondering about specifics here. Would this involve shadowing a doctor for one day, several times, a month's time, etc? How do you include this in med school applications?

Also, I'm trying to get involved in some type of undergraduate research at my school, or working under a doctor in a hospital, but I'm kind of nervous about it. In general, for those of you that have done research, how exactly does a research job work? Are you given an experiment to conduct with directions, like in a lab? Or do you design your own? Or are you just doing things like punching numbers in a computer?

I'd love to hear about any of yall's experiences with shadowing and research. Thanks! :) :)
Tuesday, October 5th, 2010
4:39 pm
Physical sciences killed me :(

I did better than I thought I would on the other sections but my PS score was a 6 so FML. I'll probably only finish secondaries for the school in my home state. Need to save money for next year. On the bright side, I brought my score up seven points from my initial practice test with only two months of studying.

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010
8:43 pm
Hi, everyone.

Sorry if this post isn't very competent! I just checked my MCAT scores about half an hour ago, and so I'm sort of in this half-stressed, half-giddy place where I'm not sure exactly how to feel, so I'm sitting around being overwhelmed.

I do have a question though, for people who are applying or who have already applied to medical school. The score I received was a 30Q, and I'm kind of torn because I feel like this isn't an especially bad or an especially good score, and I'm not sure if I should try to take it again in January. I was hoping that someone in the community might have some advice for me.

Thank you!

Current Mood: anxious
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