From Yoga Instructor to Medical School Acceptance Letter

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Session 138

Session 138

Today’s guest is Melissa, a premed student who now has an acceptance to medical school. She shares with us her non-traditional journey, bumps in the roads, some setbacks, and the successes that she’s had along the way.

Melissa is a Dahn Yoga teacher for 10 years where she taught and managed a region of studios and working directly with the founder over the years and traveling all over the world. Melissa shares her passion for holistic health through yoga, meditation, breathing, and lifestyle change which have been her heart and soul for the last 10 years.

14 years post-undergrad until she decided to begin her medical school journey. Check out how she dealt with the daunting application process and the power of getting support from people who can help you with your application process.

Here are the highlights of the conversation with Melissa:

When she first knew she wanted to be a doctor:

  • Huge fascination with medicine since she was a kid
  • Shadowing when she was in high school

Choosing her premed school:

  • Awarded a scholarship at any in-state college
  • Going to USC

What delayed her path to medicine:

  • Initially taking biology and ending up with a degree in music
  • Wanting to just finish college and start something new

The power of collaboration

Melissa’s life after graduation:

  • Moving from South Carolina to Sta. Fe, New Mexico
  • Started Dahn Yoga classes and deciding to teach it

Her medical school path:

  • Getting in touch with her pre-health advising office years after graduation
  • Being connected to different resources
  • Studying for the MCAT and taking Kaplan course
  • Investing in Blueprint MCAT (formerly Next Step Test Prep) (it helped her a lot!)

Dealing with the daunting application process:

  • Credits to her undergraduate adviser
  • Shaping her personal statement that tells a story and setting a package in front of the admissions
  • Focusing on a central theme
  • Melissa stresses the need for someone who can help you along the process who may serve as your accountability partner

On the interview process:

  • Doing a mock phone interview
  • Felt prepared during the day of the interviewer

Some pieces of advice for premed students:

  • Step back from your life and look at every single thing you have so you would know how to present during application in a way that the admissions could see that and what you’re all about.
  • Take the steps to get there. Follow the things you’re interested in versus things you feel like you have to do in order to get in, which only skews the process of exploration and understanding yourself.

Links and Other Resources:

  • Free MCAT Gift: Download our free 30+ page guide with tips to help you maximize your MCAT score and which includes discount codes for MCAT prep as well.
  • Blueprint MCAT (formerly 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.
  • Listen to our podcast for free at iTunes: and leave us a review there!
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  • Email me at or connect with me on Twitter @medicalschoolhq