Some of you die-hard old timers may remember me from the six months in 2000 that I hung around here while waiting to hear from my third round of applications to medical school.
Well, here I am, a few years later, half way through my second year of medicine. Yay! I had completely forgotten all the support I had received here at OPM's until I got Dave's reminder e-mail a few weeks back and decided to pop back in and see what was up. What a difference a few years makes! WTG guys!
At 28 years old, I'm maybe not the oldest pre med out there on OPM, but it was enough to make me feel old and out of place when I was upgrading my undergrad with a second fast-tracked degree. And my wonderful significant other who stuck by me through three application attempts and lots of disappointment will soon become my husband-- as soon as we find a week free to fly down to Cuba and get married on the beach. Easier said than done, we've been engaged for over a year already.
I am NOT the oldest person in my medical school class, by far. In a class of 90 our average age in first year was just shy of 25 years old, the youngest being a 20 year old child prodigy and the eldest being 36. Not quite the impressive range that you see south of the border, but enough to find a niche for all. The year below us (class of 2006) has a 47-year old student-- there's a great article written about him in The Medical Post… if you're interested, check out www.medicalpost.com and do a search for keyword 'Ray Black'. The article is entitled 'Is anyone too old for medical school?'.
My story is long, and probably not applicable or helpful to you Americans out there, so I'll abbreviate: I did a B.Sc. in Exercise Science (honours Athletic Therapy) and finished with a 3.43 GPA. My MCAT scores were 28Q (9,9,10). Unfortunately, these scores didn't get me past any of the cutoffs at the Canadian medical schools. I did a M.Sc. in Epidemiology and Community Medicine, did clinical research for a few years. Re-wrote the MCAT (32S-- 9,11,12… damn physical science!!). Found that my undergrad grades were STILL shooting me in the foot after being rejected without interview the second time I applied. I decided to upgrade a bit with some undergrad courses and somehow ended up doing a second bachelors degree in biopsych (not sure what final GPA was… somewhere around 3.8 I think). Applied to 4 schools, got three interviews, got three acceptances.
Now here I am, preparing for my block exams next week covering neuroanatomy, neurology, ophtho, ENT and psychiatry. My top career choices so far are plastic surgery (NOT cosmetic, just reconstructive!), general surgery (probably sub-specialize in trauma), emergency medicine and pediatric hematology/oncology.
I love what I'm doing, and still thank God every morning for giving me the opportunity to be here. The struggle was worth it in every way.
Best of luck to all-- it's good to be back!
Natalie (the OTHER one who is not Dr. Belle!)
Hey Natalie, I was just thinking about you the other day… my oldest son just married a woman from Toronto and one of her friends at the wedding (held here in Virginia) is a 2d year med student somewhere in Toronto but I don't know what school. She also is non-trad - about your age. Small world, eh? I am glad you got back to us!
Yet another respect in which Canada is different from the US-- if she was at medical school in TO, it had to be U of Toronto. There are only 12 medical schools in the entire country, let alone more than one in the same area code!
Wait, I’m wrong. If you include the french schools, there are two in Montreal.
Good to be back! Congrats to your son! I’ll probably meet your daughter-in-law’s friend at Meds Games in January… it’s a small world up here!
Good to have you back!
Make yourself a resource. Some of the young bucks need guidance.
Great to have you back!! Are we starting a trend here or something? If your name is Natalie, you have to end up doing surgery! I, too, am having the time of my life doing surgery. Every mindless thing that I have to do on the wards is offset by getting to operate. This is great stuff. Can’t wait until you join me. Maybe we can share an operating theatre one day.
Natalie (The one at UVA)