My name is Jason Spears and I am starting medical school this summer.
There are many types of premed students: 1.) those who knew from an early age they wanted to become doctors 2.) others decide later in life, perhaps after working an uninspiring job that medicine is their calling.
I was the first type of premed student and arrived at Northwestern University dead set on becoming a doctor!
This meant I got involved with the premed society from day one, enrolled in all of the premed classes, although I was a Political Science major and worked as a Sports Medicine Aide through the Athletic Department.
I had a terrible time making the transition from a public high school to a top 20 university and my freshmen grades reflect this. I remember meeting with one science professor who told me, "With grades like these you'll never get into medical school."
The one thing I've always believed in was resilience and choosing who you listen to. Knowing medicine was for me I didn't drop premed like so many of my classmates did, instead I stuck to it and was determined to succeed.
One great outlet was the premed society because I had upperclassmen I could turn to for advice and tutoring when needed and it was great to hear about my friends graduating and where they were going for medical school.
I continued to moved up the totem pole so to speak with the premed society and by sophomore year I was the treasurer. I then spent the last two years of college as president of the premed society.
How do I know so many medical school representatives?
Each year the premed society would host an Annual Medical School Day where we'd invited medical school representatives to campus for what is comparable to a college fair so all the premed students can learn about prospective medical schools.
Obviously, through plenty of emails, phone calls and meetings you develop connections with people and this is why I have such a strong rolodex of medical school admissions advisors I can call upon throughout the medical community.
I picked up my grades and saw a positive trend but knowing how competitive medical school admissions were I knew that doing exceptionally well on the MCAT would be my ticket to medical school.
My study routine consisted of taking a Kaplan MCAT Classroom Course and doing all of the readings and problems. Every Saturday was devoted to taking a full-length MCAT, while Sunday was spent reviewing the material.
This allowed me to get a great MCAT score.
I applied to really competitive medical schools and the application process was agonizing as I constantly checked my email, the mail box for any word from the medical schools.
Then February arrived and the last medical school I was waiting to hear back from informed me that I would not be accepted. This was devastating.
I had planned on becoming a doctor and now that would not be happening.
I had to pick myself up, speak to advisors and develop a plan of action.
This meant perhaps my science GPA was weak so I should attend graduate school. I was open to this possibility and immediately began to send out applications to post-bac and Special Masters Programs (SMP).
The schools were saying yes and I had acceptances then things took a turn for the worse.
One program stated they ran my medical school application through their computer program system and it appeared as though I was missing a lot of my required premed coursework.
To make a long story short I contacted the medical school application service where I learned, "Your 2008 application was processed incorrectly. AMCAS made an error by giving you ZERO semester hours for your Harvard courses."
I completed Biology and Organic Chemistry at Harvard so when you look at my transcript the courses are all there but the computer was calculating the credit incorrectly and showing as though they were never taken.
This was a huge setback.
I went on to receive my Master of Arts in Medical Sciences from Boston University School of Medicine and I have to say it was a lot of work but a really enjoyable experience.
Albeit, not too happy about the $70k in student loans for this degree but when I become a doctor it will be totally worth it in the end.
Remember how I stated my science GPA was not the best while an undergraduate student at Northwestern?
Well, I was able to remedy that situation while in graduate school.
I met with a learning specialist figured out my former ways of studying were just inefficient and would make medical school a lot more challenging if I didn't change my ways.
Luckily, after attending an academic boot camp of sorts I have all the tools and newfound study skills and test-taking strategies to hit the ground running from day one of medical school.
My journey to medical school has surely had its hiccups but through it all I have not become discouraged instead I figured out what needed to be done to get myself to the next level.
I feel that the worst thing you can do as a premed is to give up because some say they're only going to take a leave of absence for a little bit but the odds of these students coming back is slim to none.
More importantly, I have been in your shoes and know what you are going through. I have firsthand knowledge of the pain, the struggles and your resolve to get into medical school.
I know what it means to have someone tell you that you won't get into medical school. Heck, I even had all the medical schools tell me so in their rejection letters to me the first time I applied.
Since I've been to the rodeo before and I have many connections throughout the medical community you're in for a special treat.
As I've done for the countless premed students I've advised over the years I can help you avoid common pitfalls that could ruin your chances of admission to medical school or simply make it an expensive uphill battle that may include graduate school.
Clearly, I want you to succeed with the least amount of stress, time or money and that will always be my goal.
I started working on DoctorPremed.com in August 2008 by chance.
What happened was even after I had graduated from Northwestern, many of my peers would come to me asking for tips and advice on how to best improve their chances for admission to medical school or how to be a better student academically.
Over time I realized, I was getting a lot of the same questions and it was becoming impossible for me to personally handle every request.
Therefore, I decided to build a website using SBI knowing that my knowledge would be accessible 24/7, anytime, any day, by anyone. This would allow me to reach the most people and truly make a difference in the lives of those who have a goal of getting into medical school.
Today, my little hobby website has taken on an entirely new life of its own that I would never have expected.
I came to web building with absolutely no experience the only thing I knew was build something that would help others. To this day I even struggle with technical things that I'm sure a lot of you guys would find basic even thinking, "Jason has a website, but he doesn't know how to insert pictures directly into an email."
But all kidding aside if you are thinking about getting started online and want to build an ebusiness that has the potential to generate additional income...helping offset the costs of student loans then I highly encourage you to give SiteSell a try.
If it can work for me, then it can work for you.