This is Crazy!

I hate to be negative, or anything, but as the title of this post says: this is crazy!

I’ve been scouring this website in recent days, just reading everyone’s posts and absorbing everything I can. But, I’ve hit this spot in my thought process where the logical part of my brain just throws up its hands and walks away.

I’ve read posts where some of the posters have 10-15+ years, a 4-year, master’s, and sometimes a PhD over me and THEY’RE concerned about their chances! I have to question my sanity. I don’t even have A degree yet…

There are people who teach for a living, have a master’s, and still only did so-so on the MCAT. How am I supposed to compete with that??

Am I just having a momentary panic attack and comparing myself to others where I shouldn’t? Or, are these questions and doubts founded?

I just don’t know if I’m as smart as some of you people. Sure, I’ve got tons of conviction, and will, but I don’t know if I have the intelligence. Many of you are so accomplished, and so way beyond me. I stand in awe of many of you, such as Mary Renard and Old Man Dave…

I can only hope that my doubts are unfounded, otherwise this ain’t an uphill battle. It’s a slaughter…(cue the dramatic music)

I think a lot of people fall into the trap of comparing themselves with the 4.0, 42 MCAT, fascinating story and commendable volunteerism and all that jazz.

Even if that person’s not heading to WashU, you and I aren’t really competing with em. We’re competing with the normal people. And you know what? That’s the vast majority of people applying to med school - otherwise, it wouldn’t be “normal” .

It is highly unlikely that either you or I will be an absolute superlative in anything we approach. It’s quite likely that we’re more… interesting… than many of our “competitors” for these spots in med school.

You’re right in that it’s a momentary panic attack, and it’s a pretty common thing to do. I don’t know that it pays to worry about, though. Just use your fears as motivation to excel, and you’ll be fine.

We all have those moments, Merlin. Everybody has strengths and weaknesses. The 4.0 student with the 40+ MCAT may have the social skills of a rock, for example.

Here’s something I found interesting at interviews - I felt completely inadequate academically compared to some of these students with their 4.0 neuroscience degrees, research, etc. However, I found that just as I was often in awe of their academics, they were in awe of my life and work experiences. Do the best you can and emphasize your strengths. You’ll be fine.

Speaking as one who has significant academic creditials (Ph.D., tenured professor at a nationally-known university, consultant, researcher, etc.), I can tell you that while smarts are an advantage (I don’t got 'em), most professors/teachers/lumin aries are just normal people. Very focused normal people who made some good decisions – but normal people just the same.

If you really want to go to med school, smarts are not the issue; the issue is focus and tenacity. Again, I know some really smart people and I wish I were more like them. If you’ve got the big brain, that’s an advantage. But, few people are smart enough to rely on intellect. My advice: don’t be intimidated and work very, very hard. Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.

I appreciate everyone’s input regarding this. It’s easy to feel humbled, and an under-achiever in comparison to some others in this community. Given my history, I would doubt my ability to do this. However, if nothing else I have conviction, and as crazyman said, tenacity. If I want it, I won’t give up.

  • pi1304 Said:
...Even if that person's not heading to WashU,...

Just out of curiousity, why mention Washington University? Is it a top notch med school that I haven't researched?
  • Dazed Said:
  • pi1304 Said:
...Even if that person's not heading to WashU,...

Just out of curiousity, why mention Washington University? Is it a top notch med school that I haven't researched?

University of Washington is considered to arguably be the #1 medical school in the U.S. for clinical care, specifically primary care. Based on what I've read, for non-research stuff, it's considered to be the most prestigious medical school out there.

I believe Adam is just giving a name of a med school that has very low trend in their acceptance rates, as compared to other med schools…making their numbers look very nice and HIGH. There is Washington University in St Louis and there is University of Washington in Seattle (my BA alma mater). And if you want to through another one in the mix, George Washington University, in the DC area. All three are great schools, and as Tim mentioned, some consider University of Washington to be a #1 player. Like many, I will probably not get into UW, even as an undergrad alum because it is a reach school for me. And there is no pity of their own undergrads, if anything, they are more critical due to the VAST amount of research and volunteer opportunities in the area.

Merlin, it is what you make of it. If you want to be a doctor, you’ll make it happen, no matter the obstacles. I tend to stay away from posts that are on SDN just because it is…I got a B+ in GenChem, should I quit now? I too was once skeptical of my chances with my mediocre undergrad GPA, but, whatever. Like everyone here, the dream is the same. Become a doctor.

From what I recall from the MSAR, the median GPA for WashU (in St. Louis) was 3.9, the median science GPA was 3.9, and the median MCAT was 37. So, ah… yeah .

To be honest, though, I look at every med school as a reach school. Not just because of my poor academic history; it’s just the nature of the game.

My philosophy was this: The AdCom at (insert school here: WashU, OSU, the University of Wallamaloo) determines whether I get into that school. Only I determine whether I get into med school. 'cause you know what? They ain’t gonna stop me.

I’ve been rejected at the majority of the schools I applied to, and I’m very happy with the results.

Well put Adam.