I have said this in reply to a couple of folks who have recently, proudly announced that they were admitted to medical school. But, I wanted to place my thoughts more into an open forum, as they apply to everyone who has been recently admitted, including this cycle & those immediately past.
Many folks here have gained a great deal through the sharing of information, experiences & ideas about getting into medical school. The willingness to share those things amongst ourselves is the heart of OPM. Those of us who are further along passing on our cumulative wisdom to those who still aspire to walk where we tread. That is the way you will taught in your clinical years of medical school and in your residencies. That is the paradigm OPM has adopted as well.
So, for those of you who are now in medical school or will be starting in the fall…you words have now become a huge asset to the members still in the pre-med stage. As the founder & owner of OPM, I ask you to repay the knowledge you gained from OPM by paying it forward.
Please consider sticking around to field questions from other members. No doubt about it, you will be busier than a one-armed paperhanger during your first year. But, there is a nucleus of us who have done that, for the benefit of the members of OPM, since day one. True, there were many times that we were very scarce on here, but the most senior members of OPM always tried to allocate some of our precious free time to evolving OPM and helping the members. Now, we asking you to do the same…even if it is only a few minutes a day or a week…please stick around and help the members behind you.
To make this effort more worth your while, the leadership of OPM will be trying to develop features & services that benefit you as well. Already available is the advise & counsel of our growing alumni base, affiliated physicians and senior medical students. But, we will be organizing sections of our site to provide things that you want & need to have access to. For example, the discounts on Kaplan products, the Member Resources section (contains a substantial collection of pre-med & med student level study materials) & OPM Books (used textbooks and study stuff). This will only grow over time.
In essence, gaining entry into medical school is not the time for you to allow your involvement in OPM to end. View it as a transition from being a consumer of what OPM provides to becoming a provider to those who still seek that information.
The long-term vision of OPM is for it to evolve into its own referral network of members ranging from pre-meds in their first courses to established physicians in a variety of specialties. Just think how immensely valuable that ready access to physicians actually working in the specialties that intrigue you could be? Even more so, there is the potential of shadowing one of us for the DO Letter of Rec, to establish significant exposure to medicine or to network with members of a field to assure that area is truly for you. I know that once my training is completed, it is my plan to do exactly that – intrigued by anesthesia? Consider an elective or shadowing experience with me.
It is unfortunate that many of our recently matriculated OPMers have been unable to continue the mission of OPM. It is our hope that OPM will build this organization such that the value will continue and entice everyone's continued involvement. You, the members of OPM, are its most valuable asset…we need to keep you all around!
Please feel free to leave comments & suggestions in reply to this message. If you have things you'd like to see added to this site, then please leave those suggestions here.
I agree wholeheartedly with what you have just asked members to do. The purpose of our organization is not just to help ourselves get into and through medical school and residency, but to share what we learn with those coming along behind us. I know, personally, that the advice I received from you, Mike, Mary R., and many of the other original members, kept me going when times got rough. You, and many of the members who have joined since I did, supply an endless source of advice, knowledge, support, and invaluable experience.
One thing I would like to add. You said, “the leadership of OPM will be trying to develop features & services that benefit you as well.” I would ask all of those who are in medical school now to keep an eye out for the agenda for the 2003 conference. We are working diligently to include break-out sessions which will appeal to those who are in med school now, planning on applying for residency soon, preparing for USMLE’s or COMLEX, etc.
This does not mean we are forsaking those who will come behind us. Of course we will maintain a great focus on preparing for and gaining entry to med school. The advantages are that as we all progress through those steps, there is still a lot to share with our new experiences. In the end, we hope to be an organization that will be beneficial for nontraditional students in all different stages of preparing to be and becoming a physician.
Best of luck to everyone. And, please, be sure to maintain your participation in OPM!