Tuesday, July 17, 2012

This is the future

This post is not very timely since Marty McFly went to the future on July 11th, 2012, and it's now the 17th, but I thought I should post it anyway.  Where has the time gone?  Great 80's flick except that we were all supposed to be scooting around in flying cars with our kids wreaking havoc on hovercraft skateboards.  Stupid lying movie.

My own future seems just as uncertain as did that of Marty McFly's.  After taking the MCAT on the 14th, I have had mixed feelings.  I'm sure my score will not be what I would like.  I was devastated when I left.  I've since come to terms with it.  Worse case scenario I have to retake it.  It's not the end of the world.  My family loves me.  I'm at peace.

As far as the MCAT went, there was a part of both the physical sciences section and the biological sciences section where I just stared blankly at the screen hoping upon hope that somehow an angel would appear before me and guide me to the correct answer.  Alas, no such angel appeared.  I was on my own.

The verbal section was okay I thought.  Those who took the exam the same day as I did have commented on how "easy" the verbal section was.  I think many of those same people will be dismayed by their score.  Sure it wasn't like reading something in a foreign language, yet the sheer length of the passages, and the complexity of some of the questions will certainly curb the enthusiasm of many, including me.

So what am I to do now?  I don't need to feverishly study random physics equations.  I don't have to balance chemical reactions, nor do I need to worry about stereochemisty.  I decided to read.  Yes read.  And not some convoluted textbook.  I have decided to read a book I have been referred to on more than one occasion: "The House of God."  And what a doozy of a book it is too!  I am thoroughly enjoying every scintillating page.  It is candy for premedical and medical students.  It shows that medicine isn't really what you find on "Grey's Anatomy."  And it's awesome.  I will review it in more depth later as I am currently but halfway through.

For those who have yet to take the MCAT, take heart.  You know the material.  Just show them.  To those who are done with the MCAT, find something you enjoy doing and do that.  Live a little.  You deserve it.  I know I do.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


3 days...

Positivity?  You won't find it in this post.  You have been forewarned.

I'm tired.  Mentally and emotionally spent.  I've obsessed over this exam for months.  I've read hundreds if not thousands of pages of material.  I've gone over both my strengths and my weaknesses.  However, I'm not progressing as much as I would have liked.  I did finally just discover a trend in the answers I'm getting wrong on practice exams.  Apparently I suck at "Flexibility/adaptability in scientific reasoning."  The problem is that it's too late to really DO anything about it.  I mean my test is in 3 days.

I'm scared that this might not work out how I had envisioned it.  I'm scared that I will have done all this work, spent all this time, spent all this money, undergone all this stress, put my family through all this, all for nothing.  That prospect frightens me.  It keeps me up at night.  It messes with my internal organs.  I'm a mess.

I've always been an extremely good exam taker.  However, this is a horse of a different color.  I just hope that come Saturday morning I have some sort of divine intervention that allows me to perform better than I have thus far.  Unlikely?   Sure.  But there's always hope.

I sent a text just a minute ago to a friend of mine complaining about the same thing I am here.  He's taking the MCAT a couple weeks after I am (and will surely way out perform me).  His advice was "That's good.  You've exhausted yourself.  You will be satisfied that you gave it your all in preparing.  Take some rest before the final thing."  This is a lonely process.  It's good to know there are people out there who care about you and know exactly what you are going through.

I really have done the best I can.  I just have to hope that it was good enough...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

I'm Still Fighting

9 days...

I'm feeling a little bit better today, but not tremendously so.  I just completed another practice MCAT exam.  This time I scored a more respectable 28 (9, 10, 9).  Since I now have two AAMC practice exams under my belt, I now have a better understanding of where my deficiencies lie.  Hopefully I have enough time to continue this, albeit short, upward swing.  Hell... if I can improve by three points each exam that would surely be something to write about now wouldn't it!

This exam wants to beat me.  But I'm a fighter.  I will fight to the bitter end.  It will not beat me.

"One of the most difficult things everyone has to learn is that for your entire life you must keep fighting and adjusting if you hope to survive.  No matter who you are or what your position is you must keep fighting for whatever it is you desire to achieve."

                                                                     -George Allen

Monday, July 2, 2012

Am I an Idiot?

I have been humbled.  After all this hard work and studying, I received a much lower score on my practice MCAT than I thought possible.  For those interested, I got a 25.  The breakdown was 8,9,8.  This is so disappointing.  I am completely devastated.  I feel like I have wasted a ton of time and money.  Has this all been in vain?  I contemplated not even writing this update because I am so ashamed of myself.  But I suppose I need to be honest about everything, both good and bad.  So there it is.

I've come to grips now with the fact that I'm not going to score in the mid-thirties as I had hoped.  But c'mon!  I'm a smart guy, or so I'd like to think.  I guess this is something else entirely.  I just expected a better score considering the number of hours I've put into studying.  I am in the process of reviewing what I missed.  Hopefully by extensively reviewing everything, I will see some improvement.  Realistically, from the trends I have seen from others, this is more or less where I will end up.

I've got to figure out a way to increase this score at least a little to have any sort of a chance...  Beer may be in order for this evening...

Friday, June 29, 2012

Interview at Accepted.com


15 days...

I was recently contacted by accepted.com who asked if I would be willing to do an interview for their website.  I was asked me the following questions:

  1. First, can you tell us a little about yourself – where are you from, where did you go to school and when did you graduate; and what prior degrees do you hold?
  2. When do you plan on applying to med school? Do you know which schools will you apply to?
  3. What made you want to pursue a medical degree at this stage in your life? 
  4. I see on your Premed Progress page that you've already checked off a ton of items, but that you still have some biggies coming up. How are your AMCAS essays coming along?
  5. Why did you decide to blog about your med school application experience? 
  6. And last but not least, how do you get anything done with five little boys at home??

I'm not sure why they asked me, though I suppose I could email them and ask, and probably will now that I'm thinking about it.  But regardless, it was interesting to do a little self-reflecting about my medical school progress, my motivation for attempting this, and where I have come from.  I remember how my life used to be.  I don't want that life anymore.  I want something better.  Better for me, and my family.  I want to show my kids that they can do whatever they want to with this life.

Studying for the MCAT has me so focused on this task that it was nice to take a moment to reflect on what was, what is, and what is to come.  If you would like to read the interview in its entirety, it is available  here.  I just hope that I have done enough to get into medical school.  I hope I will be able to convey my passion and tenacity in my essays to them.  I hope that all of this has not been in vain.