How This Nontrad Got the Motivation to Return to be a Premed

Hear Christina’s Motivational Premed Story

How This Nontrad Got the Motivation to Return to be a Premed

Today we have an episode full of motivation for premed students on their journey to medical school. I talk with 32-year-old, soon-to-be medical student Christina.

You could probably say all cards were practically stacked against Christina. She was a first-generation college student with a poor undergrad GPA. She went to a community college and defaulted on her student loans. She got her bachelor’s degree pretty late and struggled with a not-so-good MCAT score.

She was a perfect example of a nontraditional premed. But her story can provide motivation for all premed and medical students. This is a very inspiring episode, as you will learn all about Christina’s crazy path to medical school.

Listen to this podcast episode with the player above, or keep reading for the highlights and takeaway points.

Highlights from Christina’s Motivational Path to Medical School:

What Christina is currently doing:

  • Works as a clinical research coordinator at Biopharma Services, where she heads the clinical trials for human pharmaceutical research.
  • She also gets their principal investigators who are physicians
  • She is starting medical school soon

Christina’s crazy and inspiring path to medical school:

  • Cristina being a first-generation college student
  • Feeling she was “too dumb” all her life that she didn’t tell anybody about her decision to apply to medical school
  • Not finishing her Bachelor’s until 2011 after graduating from high school in 2002
  • Going to a community college taking general requirements
  • Christina’s story could give a lot of premed and med students the motivation they need to know they can do this.

The challenges:

  • Doing great in the first semester at the 2-year college and going downhill from there
  • Working full time and driving two hours to get to school
  • Defaulting on her student private loans
  • Deciding to enter the workforce due to money issues

Getting the motivation to be premed and apply to medical school:

  • Having a son has put them on a whole new category where she was able to get government loans
  • Having the support of her husband and kid

What she did differently to do better in a 4-year university:

  • Learning how to study and figuring out what works for her
  • Focusing on just her studies since she’s already had a vast clinical experience since high school working at a nursing home, rehabilitation center, group home, and laboratory research
  • Shadowing in the last two semesters

Her shadowing experience:

  • Shadowing with physicians of different specialties and seeing the different aspects of it
  • Using people she knew (personal physician and her family’s physician) and calling the hospital’s HR department to apply for shadowing
  • Reaching out to doctors and not hearing from them
  • Persistence is key.

Choosing which medicals schools to apply to:

  • Location (anywhere 2 hours within range)
  • Near family
  • Medical school grade requirements
  • Leaving her with four schools to apply to (3 MD and 1 DO)

A mention on Mizzou MedPrep program:

Factors she believes has helped her on her path to medical school:

  • Experiences
  • Personal statement
  • Age

The interview process:

Before the interview, the school reached out to her telling her to get more shadowing experience with a DO

Is it important to shadow a DO?

Shadow a DO that does DO things such as manipulation. As with Cristina’s case, she was able to shadow a DO but not seeing any aspects of manipulation. So she proved to the admissions committee that she did her homework, doing research, and watching videos to show that she understood what it was without witnessing it.

DO vs. MD: Debunking the DO Philosophy

Deferring a year before medical school:

  • Being waitlisted for 2016 but guaranteed for 2017
  • Deciding to defer a year mostly as a family decision
  • Working in her position to save up and go on a vacation

Some Motivation for Premed and Medical Students

Don’t let yourself be your biggest barrier. If this is what you want to do, then do it. Show that you are passionate about it. Fight and do everything you can to get to it. Don’t give up.

Gap Medics: Show Sponsor

If you’re looking for shadowing experience, then you know how hard it can be to find. Did you know that you can get your shadowing done, and travel the world and explore new places and cultures too? Check out Gap Medics’ Pre-medice Internship Program to get a unique insight into the rewards and demands of a medical career.

With amazing locations in East Africa, Poland, the Dominican Republic and more, you’ll be sure to have a great time all while strengthening your application to medical school

Head to Gap Medics to learn more!

Links and Other Resources:

Missouri University MedPrep program

Listen to Session 113 to learn more about Gap Medics

Session 005 – Interview with OldPreMeds Publisher Richard Levy

Are you a nontraditional student? Go check out

For more great content, check out for more of the shows produced by the Medical School Headquarters including the OldPremeds Podcast and watch out for more shows in the future!

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