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.
As one of the senior members, I’ll second what Dave says. Yeah, sometimes I’m a lot quieter than others, but do note that I’m managing to check in even during my surgery rotation!
It is really gratifying to share your insights and experiences for folks who are coming along after you. In my case, I felt that I did a lot of things “right” in the process and I guess I did, since it worked and I got in. But I also did NOT do things by the book in some ways, and I’m glad to share that part of it too so that folks know that applying to med school is not a cookie-cutter process.
I’ve also enjoyed maintaining my contact with OPM because, let’s face it, there aren’t many folks in my class that I have a lot in common with. We get along well and I enjoy working with them, but for moral support I come here. At my orientation on my first day of medical school, our admissions dean told us that the room contained the people who would become our closest friends in the next four years. I thought to myself, “I seriously doubt it,” not because I wasn’t interested in getting to know my classmates but because I knew that as a then-44 year old mother of three older kids, the chances were remote that I’d become best friends with people who were the age of my oldest kid. My closest friends remain the ones I had before med school (yay!) but my new close friends are the folks I’ve gotten to know well here on OPM.
So there’s a huge payoff to hanging around. Thanks to Dave and everyone for keeping this thing going … I am proud to be an OPM charter member!
As Dave and Mary have said, it is good to post things that may be of help to others who come behind you. The concept of reaching back and offering a hand to those who are attempting to walk in your path is something that my alma mater, Howard University College of Medicine, instilled in us during the first day of orientation. When I handed off my old exams and books, I found that I had books from advisors who had graduated and were almost finished with residency.
As I look at some of my third and fourth year medical students at UVa, I realize that there are plenty of non-traditional students out there who just plowed into the process and came up successful sort of the same way that Dave, Mary and I did. There are so many helpful folks on this website and the number keeps growing every day.
We hope that you take something away from Dave's vision but we hope that you post something too. You never know who is out there that you might help along the way.