November 19, 2012

Becoming a Nontraditional Medical Student - Part Three

To continue on from parts one and two, we had decided to go ahead and jump into applying to medical school, and I wanted to apply in the cycle for 2013 fall admissions. (Since I already had a biology degree I didn't have to take any pre-req courses which sped up my application process.) Applying for 2013 admissions meant I had to take the MCAT soon. And by soon I mean that I didn't have time to study for a year or so before the test - I had exactly four months. I had four months to reteach myself material that I had taken somewhere between four and seven years before that. Four months to learn the physics that I didn't learn while Milton was my professor.

Studying for the MCAT became my job, real estate became a part time gig, and fun, well, fun was mostly out of the picture. I'm a self-starter plus we didn't have the money to take a Kaplan class so I bought this book and started reading. Any book you buy will have good reviews and bad reviews, you'll learn from it and you'll find typos. I don't think I've ever come across a perfect study guide, but the Barron's book worked for me. If you have the cash to burn, I would totally recommend taking a class if for nothing else than teacher feedback and people interaction. I just became an MCAT recluse.  :)  I also bought every test the AAMC had available for me to use as practice.

Test day arrived, and I knew that I had done the best I could with the time I had. Could I have used an extra month to study? No doubt, but I didn't have that luxury. The test flew by - some parts I felt ok about, other parts I am still dumbfounded I was asked about. I finished up a bit earlier than expected because I had been seated early so I called Lars to come pick me up and started crying because I just knew I had failed and that I needed to reschedule another test. Needless to say, the next month was torture waiting for my scores, but I didn't fail (at least according to my own standards).

After my scores came back I began submitting my applications, and the real waiting began. Waiting to get interviews and then waiting to hear back after the interviews. Lars says this process is like being at Six Flags - a ton of waiting punctuated by small bursts of activity. So that leads us to where I am today - waiting, and I will remain waiting for the foreseeable future.

Stay tuned for some extra nontrad insights coming up next week after Thanksgiving!

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