My introduction

Hello everyone. Well, it looks like I have been called out! In fact, gonnif all but did so at the conference this past weekend in DC, when he brought up this topic (not to mention one or two others which I will get into in subsequent posts) while basically looking right at me. He’s right though, it’s about time I actually said something and shed the quote ‘lurker’ status. Some of you actually know me to some degree as I’ve been a member since 2005 and have attended 3 conferences and would like to think I have befriended a few of you out there including the OP. Basically, the individual he describes fits me to a tee, until now I guess. I have read tons of posts and have ‘gleaned’ as much info as humanly possible in this journey that I embarked on in the spring of 2005. My thoughts were exactly as he described, I did not think I had anything valuable to add, so I did not post. I sure learned a lot, but did not feel I knew a damn thing, so I thought better to keep my mouth shut. Apparently, I have learned I was wrong.

A little bit of background; my name is Matthew Shaw, and I am 34 years old. I graduated from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec in 1996 with a B.Sc. (they add the ‘c’ to the degree in Canada, I have no idea why) in Anatomy and Cell Biology with a minor in Business. I was 18 and let loose with parental funding in Montreal, needless to say I was somewhat ‘distracted’ and did a pretty good job of sliding by to keep the party going. I graduated with a pretty crappy 2.7. This is something, looking back, that I am not too proud of to say the least. Following that I applied myself a little more, and completed a M.Sc. (there is that Canadian ‘c’ again) also at McGill in Experimental Surgery in 2000 with about a 3.2. I then moved to the Boston area to work in the Biotech industry where I currently work. I have wanted to be a physician for as long as I can remember, but with marks like that, I figured there was no chance and ‘tried’ to move on. That went ok for a while, but I could never really shake it. So, in 2005 I started a Pre Med Post Bacc program at UMass Boston, not only to improve my grades, but because it had been so long since I had the pre-reqs, many Med Schools that I contacted indicated they would need to be repeated. So while working full time, I completed the post bacc last summer with a 3.88. I got an ‘A’ in every class except Orgo 2, which I received a ‘B’ (and I was really frustrated about that B). Anyway, I learned that with some hard work and focus, I was capable of doing well, and there was a chance to realize my dream. Currently, I continue to work, and volunteer in various places, and am preparing for the MCAT (that’s another post for another day). I am torn on applying this cycle or the next, though as the days roll by and I still have to complete the MCAT, I think I’d be a stronger applicant next cycle.

Ok, enough about me. I also would like to say that I have found this group to be absolutely amazing, and have received more advice, encouragement, and know how than I can even begin to describe. The posts have been incredibly informative, and I do not even know where to begin with describing what I personally have gained from attending the conferences. If you have the opportunity to attend in the future, I have to say, you would be doing yourself a disservice by missing it. I have met some amazing people, who have been able to listen to my story and offer advice and even assistance on this road. That is something that I never knew I would find when I stumbled onto this site 3 years ago. For that I would like to thank Old Pre Meds, and say that it is possible to reach your goals. I might take a heck of a lot more work and time than anticipated, but it is possible to get there. Thank you, and good luck to everyone out there on this journey!

Hey Matt,

Good to see you get out of the shadows and post!