In this episode, Ryan talks with Danny, a non-traditional student who got his acceptance in University of California, Santa Barbara at 27 years old.
Not having taken any science as an undergrad, Danny transitioned from having a flourishing career in China to taking a postbac program realize his dream of being a physician. It ultimately boils down to doing the things that really make you happy.
Today, Danny talks about having a father who’s a physician, how he learned about the postbac program, studying for the MCAT, narrowing down the schools to apply to, and finally receiving his acceptance after the second interview.
Here are the highlights of the conversation with Danny:
Danny's journey to medical school:
- His dad as a physician and his mom working in public health
- Had initial interest in working abroad than in practicing medicine
- Graduated from college at 21 and worked in China at an American furniture manufacturing company
- Volunteering at a camp for people with disabilities (during vacation in the U.S.) that he got exposed to other premeds and other people in med school and doctors
- Learning about a postbac from his sister and figuring out how to do it
Choosing his postbac program at UCSB:
- Taking it in Santa Barbara so he can live with his 88-year old grandmother so he can take care of her
- Working as a medical assistant while he was in school
- Took general chemistry during his first year
- Working as a medical assistant
- Doing different volunteering opportunities
The hardest thing about his transition from his career to being a student:
- He was a 27-year old student in a class of all 18-year old's in gen. chem. and didn't expect he'd be making any friends
- Age really doesn't matter
- Getting a sense of collaboration
Danny's tip: You need your professors to know you especially if you're a continuing student.
You only have those classes so pick and choose early on where you might get your letters and work towards that.
Studying for the MCAT:
- A formal postbac will prepare you better for the MCAT
- Danny did 4 or 5 weeks of study 12 hours a day (Danny does not recommend this)
- You have to do the practice tests
- Studying the Examkrackers books
Narrowing down the schools to apply to:
- Knowing he has to stay in California
- Went to his Organic Chemistry teacher and helped him pick about 20 schools
- Applying to 35 MD schools
Preparing for the interview process:
- Doing mock interviews with Ryan
During the interview:
- Only general questions
- They only wanted to know what made him different from other candidates
The best resources Danny got help from:
- The Premed Years Podcast
- Undergrad friends
Formal vs. informal postbac:
A formal postbac is better because you also get access to premed advisors but you can also definitely get in by doing it yourself.
Advice for premed students:
Do deep search about what would make you happy over the course of your life.
Links and Other Resources:
Ryan offers one-on-one mock interviews so go to medicalschoolhq.net/mockinterview and find out how Ryan can help you.
If you need any help with the medical school interview, go to medschoolinterviewbook.com. Sign up and you will receive parts of the book so you can help shape the future of the book. This book will include over 500 questions that may be asked during interview day as well as real-life questions, answers, and feedback from all of the mock interviews Ryan has been doing with students.
For more great content, check out www.mededmedia.com for more of the shows that produced by the Medical School Headquarters including the OldPremeds Podcast and watch out for more shows in the future!
Free MCAT Gift: Free 30+ page guide with tips to help you maximize your MCAT score and which includes discount codes for MCAT prep as well.
Hang out with us over at medicalschoolhq.net/group. Click join and we'll add you up to our private Facebook group. Share your successes and miseries with the rest of us.
Check out our partner magazine, www.premedlife.com to learn more about awesome premed information.
Next Step Test Prep: Get one-on-one tutoring for the MCAT and maximize your score. Get $50 off their tutoring program when you mention that you heard about this on the podcast or through the MSHQ website.
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Email Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with him on Twitter @medicalschoolhq
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