In this episode, Ryan talks with Jessica, a pioneering Academy member who is a nontraditional student whose path was filled with hard work. She applied to 35 MD and DO schools, got more than 11 interview invites, and to this point, she has been on 11 interviews (with more than 11 interview invites) with 10 acceptances, while awaiting to hear back from the 11th interview.
Today, she shares with us her experiences along her journey to medical school, talking about her stats, taking a DIY postbac program, factors in choosing which school to go to, and the keys to her success.
Here are the highlights of the conversation with Jessica:
Jessica's path towards medical school:
- Worked as an actress and in the restaurant industry
- Got a BFA from NYU in Acting with a double major in Psychology
- Acting as her forefront although she has always loved Science
- Her dad being diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer and getting inspired by her dad's gastroenterologist
- Not feeling fulfilled with the theater and watching her grandfather pass away
- Doing a Yoga teacher training and volunteering at Hollywood Arts
Choosing a DIY postback program:
- Attended UCLA Premed Extension offering nights and weekends
- Took a DIY postbac program (you get to sign up for classes based on your own schedule)
- No access to a premed advisor
- No resources that a typical postbac program has
- Looked at school's website and mapped out all the classes she thought she needed to take
Let's talk about stats:
Jessica got more than 11 interview invites
- MCAT – 31
- Science GPA – 4.0
- Undergrad GPA – 3.74
Choosing the schools based on:
- Family considerations:
Jessica looked at her geographic regions where she's got a family and applying to every school in the area
- MD vs. DO:
Applied to 35 MD and DO schools
Looking at the school itself and the school's philosophy regardless of MD or DO
Taking her secondaries:
- Cranking out one secondary per day in mid-July
- Jessica wished she had pre-written some essays beforehand
Going through the interview:
- Most of the interviews were conversational
- If you have it listed on you application, be prepared to talk about it and do it.
The keys to her success during the interview:
- Having a clear through-line of her passion in acting that ties into medicine
- The importance of having fun
- Be honest about everything.
Choosing which medical school to go to:
- Gut feeling while she was visiting the school
- Being near family (where his husband was comfortable to move into)
Some pieces of advice for premed students:
- If it's really something you want to do, explore it. Volunteer. Shadow. Make sure you love science because you're going to be spending a lot of time with science. And just jump in.
- Stay dedicated and stay passionate about it.
- There are sacrifices that have to be made. Are you willing to sacrifice for this? How much are you willing to sacrifice? What are you willing to sacrifice?
Links and Other Resources:
Ryan offers one-on-one mock interviews so go to medicalschoolhq.net/mockinterview and find out how you can crush the medical school interview.
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!
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