The Secondary Application Roller Coaster

coll_esApplying to medical school is like a roller coaster. You start by doing all the work going up the first big hill filling out your primary applications. Then when you hit send and drain your bank account, there’s a rush and wind in your hair as you throw your hands up letting the admissions teams take charge of your fate.

Once the first thrill is done you’re already committed to the ride and you’re stuck waiting in anticipation for secondaries. Finally, after a few weeks, your inbox starts getting some action. Some are sad regrets saying you didn’t make the cut, but for the most part, if you did your research and applied smart, you start working your way writing countless essays and climbing the next big hill.

Each secondary application has its own requirements and each one has a price tag. From restating each activity to listing out your classes for the umpteenth time, every application is as unique as the school. A few schools had 8 essays of 500 words each while some had 2 essays of only 100 and others preferred essays with a 2000 character max instead. In some cases, you can reuse some paragraphs and phrases, but more often than not you’ll find yourself faced with essay prompts specific to the school programs or just different from what other schools focus on.

Quite a few schools asked about any interests in rural medicine of which I was able to gush about my small hometown and (hopefully) convey my passion to serving those in my community.

If you didn’t think of it already, I highly recommend maintaining a medical school profile for each school. I created a Word Document on my computer where I stored each school’s mission statement, a list of URL’s to reference, pros and cons of the surrounding area, and a few bullet points of what I liked about the school and its programs.

I also kept track of when I received each secondary and tried my best to return each of them within 2-3 weeks. However, life throws each of us curve balls and right in the second week of my roller coaster ride, my family had a pretty severe medical emergency! Between balancing work, many visits to the hospital a good 40 min drive away and redirecting worried family and friends phone calls, my spare time to work on essay writing was restricted the hours during an emergency surgery and my lunch breaks at work. A few schools slipped and I submitted them nearly a month later to which my pre-med adviser said “it should be ok”.

With only two secondaries left in my inbox and back on track to send them out in my 2-3 week time line, I begin to enter the most stressful waiting period of my life….WAITING FOR INTERVIEWS.

Some schools give you a general timeline of when to expect an interview offer. Most say sometime in September. In the mean time, I’m catching up writing articles for all my lovely readers. For those who might be concerned, I’m relieved to say my family emergency turned out ok thanks to some pretty amazing doctors and a little medical miracle. The body is amazing how it can find ways to save its self sometimes. I’m also proud to say I’ve become quite popular internationally lately! Hopefully, you all find my articles entertaining and helpful. 🙂

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– Megan 

#lifeinthegap #lifeasapremed

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