A Valentines Letter to Premeds Everywhere
by Jason Spears
Dear Premed Student,
I'm thinking about you today and it's not the first time either.
I know it's not easy.
You're in school and there's so much studying to get done. You hardly sleep during exam week as all you can focus on is your upcoming test and the grade you need to pass the class or improve your GPA. Life is tough.
So many extracurriculars and no one seems to understand the pressure you're under.
You're putting yourself through "hell" because if you make it out to the other side you'll be admitted to medical school and on your way to becoming a doctor. Let me tell you that the sacrifices you are making now will be totally worth it.
Mom and Dad will be so proud of your accomplishment and you will feel that you've become somebody in this world as a doctor.
The journey is not easy.
We don't like to talk about our failures but I've lost and won too.
One of the hardest days of my life was applying to medical school and getting rejection letter after rejection letter. Or as social media says I was getting handed R's all around. Although I was getting rejected I held out hope because I knew, "All it takes is one yes!"
And then it happened...
The last medical school I was holding out hope for said, No!
There would be no medical school for Jason.
I was lost, I was in a fog as there was no plan B. Medicine was what I wanted and only being a doctor would make me happy.
However, when you want something bad enough you do not give up or walk away (unless a relationship and you get dumped, then walk and don't look back). Nope. You did in and find a way no matter what.
It was only after applying to graduate school that I would learn what happened with my applications that led to all R's.
AMCAS made an error in my application.
AMCAS sent me an email confirming, "AMCAS made an error in your application and gave you zero credit for your coursework completed at Harvard."
You do not know the magnitude of that error.
You see I was a Political Science major at Northwestern University but took a majority of my premed courses at Harvard. Meaning to all the medical schools I was applying to it looked like I had not satisfied their basic entrance requirements.
That really hurt. Friends and former classmates said I should sue but in my mind that wouldn't change anything or give me back the time I had lost.
Plus my mantra in life has always been, "You can't change the Past, you only have NOW and the FUTURE."
I want you to keep that in mind during your premed journey too because all types of things can happen both the expected and unexpected. Just keep a level head throughout the process.
Obviously, not planning to lead a life without medicine I got to work and reapplied to medical school and this time went on many interviews and received multiple offers of acceptance.
Remember you have to believe in yourself, have resilience and be willing to defy the odds to achieve what you want in life.
You're going to have to work extremely hard in medical school but if medicine is what you want this will not matter.
People have even told me, "Spears you are the happiest doing medicine," something I never really considered but I know it's the absolute truth.
I want you to find your happiness too.
I want you to push through whatever obstacles are in your way and come out a winner.
If the MCAT is holding you back then study smart and keep at it. No one is born with outright intelligence to automatically score in the top percentile. You have to study and learn what strategies that work the best for you.
There's so much that goes into being a competitive applicant for medical school that I could spend days upon days sharing how to beat the competition, however, I want you to know that I have your back.
My journey towards becoming a doctor wasn't as I had planned and I want to help you avoid any pitfalls that can totally derail your chances of becoming a doctor. I will help you eliminate any unforced errors that may hinder you during your premed years.
Ultimately, you have to remember there have been thousands upon thousands of doctors who were once in your shoes and despite whatever odds they were facing they were able to overcome everyone.
If I can do it myself, then I know you definitely can.
I can't wait to see you in your white coat and stethoscope, future Doctor!
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