Saturday, September 28, 2013

Over Joy

As I sat in the Library reviewing my Physics notes, I heard that distinctive note from my phone informing me that a new email had arrived to my inbox.  I quickly flipped over to take a look and felt my blood run cold when I saw who it was from.


The dreaded moment had finally arrived.  I was about to find out if my dream would finally come true, or if I would be forced to spend yet another year of my life trying to prove that I am worthy of the medical vocation.

I called my wife over to share the moment with me.  Initially she looked at me with a confused look.  Why was I interrupting her study?  Finally she acceded to my wishes and walked over.  I pointed to the screen, and then clicked to open the email.

On behalf of the Executive Dean, I am very pleased to offer you an acceptance...

I literally felt my body start to shake.  I was in disbelief, so I started to read the email again to make sure.

On behalf of the Executive Dean, I am very pleased to offer you an acceptance...

The words had not changed, yet my mind still could not comprehend.  My body continued to shake uncontrollably, and my wife embraced me from behind.  She was already crying, which caused me to cry too.  These were tears of joy, tears of disbelief, tears of pent up emotion that craved release!  I can't imagine what the other people, who beheld such an odd spectacle, were thinking at that moment.

My wife rushed off to call everyone and relate the good news.  I sat there in a daze, still trembling as emotion and adrenaline coursed through my body.  I realized at that moment that over the past seven years I had convinced myself that it would probably never happen, yet I was stubborn enough to keep trying in the face of the impossible.  Now I was confronted with reality, that it was possible, and the door to my dream had finally opened.

In retrospect, as I think about this now, I have never been so excited, happy, and relieved to have been given permission to start something.  Something that will take more effort, time, and dedication than anything I have ever tried in my life.  It is ironic, because many people would think it is over, but no...that was just the beginning, the first step on a road of training that will last at least 8 years.

This moment will forever be engraved in my mind.  I payed a high price to reach this starting point, but looking back on my credentials they are only average at best.  I can't help but believe that a miracle was enacted on my behalf.  I would love to take credit for this, but the truth is I must defer to the athlete who has just scored a touchdown and raises his hands to point heavenward.  I personally know several applicants with way better stats than me that were rejected.  Somehow God saw fit to turn the hearts of the Admissions Committee in my favor.  In turn I would also like to raise my hands heavenward and point to Him, because I can really see no reason why I am better than anyone else.

The blessing of God, have given me reason to be overjoyed and grateful at the same time.  At least once a day a surreal moment overwhelms me, sending me back to that email once again just to make sure;

On behalf of the Executive Dean, I am very pleased to offer you an acceptance...

Friday, September 6, 2013

Step by Step

All Rights to Mcraw-Hill and junk

The first two years of Medical School exist to prepare you for one seminal moment in your medical career.  That moment is when you take your first Board exam called "USMLE Step 1".  The last four years I have been so focused on sitting for the MCAT and getting into Medical School that nothing else has occupied my mind.  Although I have not been accepted into Medical School, I  recently started focusing on it and making plans for how I will approach it.

Although there may be some debate about this, I believe that the one key component which will allow you to apply to any residency unimpeded will be your Step 1 score.  I always thought that as long as you score a 99 on the Step 1 you could write your ticket, but this is not the whole story.  There are actually two scores and even if you are in the "99" range the second score can vary anywhere from 240-270+.  From my research I have been able to determine that scoring a 250 is very good, the top people are in the 260 range, and the godly freaks are in the 270 range.

Getting into Medical School will make me supremely happy, however that isn't my ultimate goal.  I will probably be accused of "gunnerism" for my approach to medical school, but I prefer to think that I am going into my future studies fully informed about the process.  As a non-traditional student, I am lucky to have already lived and done many of the things I wanted.  I have traveled the world extensively, lived abroad, married a wonderful woman, and enjoyed many reunions with friends.  As an undergrad I only wanted "to get my degree".

This time around, I want to see what I am really capable of, to fully embrace the process, and actually push myself to excel.  Most importantly, when it comes time to choose my residency I don't want my academic performance to have closed any doors.  I want the freedom to choose from any residency.  Even if I ultimately choose Family Medicine, which does not require a super high Step 1 score, I still want to have had the option to choose Neurosurgery or Dermatology.

Traditionally most Medical Students will use their 6 week break after the second year of Medical School to study for and take the Step 1 exam.  I plan on starting much much earlier.  From my first day I am going in with one thing in mind, to crush that test.  I will use every resource available to me to ensure that I am more than prepared on test day.

I have been formulating a plan to achieve just that, but it is still not complete.  What I have learned from the MCAT, is that I am not a super-freak that will be able to collate 2 years of study in just 6 weeks.  Taking the long term approach and making sure I continually maintain and refine my medical knowledge as I learn it, is really the only way I can expect to come out with a top score on that test.

Of course all this planning is still dependent on getting accepted into Medical School, so here is to hoping my interviews go well.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Why Can't I Get Off the Couch?

I always wondered why, when I wanted to get something done, I couldn't find the strength to get off the couch to do it.  Today I discovered the culprit and you will be surprised as to who is responsible.  The answer is gravity my friends.  The equation for gravity is as follows

It is important to understand that gravity can be exerted between any two objects, and using that equation we can find what the force is between two distinct object.  So bear with me as I quickly describe what each variable stands for, so that we will all be on the same page. 

F is the total Force of Gravity, m1 is the mass of one object, and m2 is the mass of a second object.  For our discussion I am m1, and the couch is m2;  r corresponds to the radius between both objects, which we can basically say that it is the distance they are away from each other.  Finally G is the universal constant of Gravity.

What I want you to pay attention to are two things.  First the radius variable.  As the radius decreases the Force of gravity becomes much greater.  As radius approaches zero the Force approaches a value close to infinity which means, my ass is going to be glued to that couch and there is nothing I can do to escape.  It is just too strong!  

Oh, but gravity hasn't finished with me yet, because that brings me to our second observation.  Pay attention to the m1 and m2 variables.  Well, if I increase the mass of one or both of the objects in this system, yes you guessed it, the Force of gravity once again INCREASES!  This is where I really have a problem with gravity because the amount by which my own mass increases is directly proportional to the amount of time my ass is glued to the couch, which by now we have determined to be nearly all the time since the radius is close to zero and the Force is near infinity.

It is a vicious cycle my friends, and Gravity has me in her cold hard grip.  She is a fickle lover, jealous of all distractions.  Will I escape?  My mathematical calculations lead me to believe that there may be little hope, but that is not why I am writing this.  I want this message to reach you, dear reader, so that when you see a couch you will know that you should run and run far.  Save yourself, it is already too late for me!