It is so great to have found such a supportive and encouraging community of people trying to navigate the premed path! I am returning to school almost 10 years after dropping out of high school at 16 years old with a 1.1 GPA. After spending time working as a licensed hair dresser, a horse trainer, a veterinary assistant, and finally a certified optometric technician (assistant to an optometrist), I absolutely fell in love with eye care and the medical field. I realized that I had finally found my calling and made the nerve racking but exciting decision to go back to school.
The last 15 months has been a whirlwind of life lessons as I have been a full time student, a full time employee, and had 4 surgeries, one of which landed me a week long hospital stay from an infected incision that caused a massive abdominal abscess which took 4 months to close. Despite all of this, I am proud to have ended my first year of undergrad with a 3.75 GPA. While the surgeries and abscess were not particularly fun, that experience gave me such an incredible ability to connect with my patients at the eye clinic in a way that I could not before, in turn, it has motivated and pushed me even more to continue down this path. As excited as I am to be on the path towards becoming a physician, I am concerned about some of the challenges I have faced and their impact on my ability to go to medical school.
One of my biggest concerns is that I have a vision disorder that makes reading quite challenging in that it takes twice as long to read the same amount of material as a normal person. My reading comprehension is very good, it just takes me a long time to get through material. This really showed on my first big exam in my intro to chemistry class when I received a score of 60% after having to turn in the exam with 2 out of the 4 pages blank because I just didnt have enough time to get through it. The questions I did answer were all correct. Fortunately I was able to receive testing accommodations and now receive double time on exams and quizzes. The next chem exam I took with the extra time I received a score of 95%. I am now wondering if testing accommodations exist for the MCAT and in medical school? Will testing accommodations put me at a disadvantage for getting into medical school or can admission committees see that I received accommodations?