Tuesday, 3 July 2012

...or Rejected :(

Applying to medicine is like sleeping around: an acceptance letter feels like you just had the lay of your life; rejection is more like contracting herpes – type 1 and type 2 – and not just any minor outbreak, I’m talking about the type of oral and genital pustulating lesions that just won’t quit.

What I’m saying is that you’re not alone, rejection is the pits, period.  The bottom line is that no one enjoys receiving bad news: the cup isn’t half empty and it isn’t half full; the cup is shattered on the floor.  For any serious applicant the only positive experience is the sense of relief and closure gained from having a few friends to help clean up the broken pieces.  This means it is perfectly acceptable to feel angry, annoyed, defeated, deprived, discouraged, empty, frustrated, heartbroken, helpless, irritated, resentment, sad, trapped, upset, worn out, and/or anything else in between!

Face reality as it comes, and plan for tomorrow the best you can.  If you’re smart you will already have a contingency plan, and over the past year you would have already been beefing up that resume for this fall’s application cycle. (A good physician is proactive, not reactive.)

Is your backup plan to pursue grad studies? Better dust off that sweater-vest grandma knitted you. Unless you find research simply titillating, you could make more money as a Wal-Mart greeter, and still have various med admissions committees equally rate both positions.  …But I digress.

In the meantime, do anything you can to ease the pain from your recent heartbreak (or herpes outbreak).  Here is a list of suggested things to subdue the initial blow:
  • Beer with your closest friends is a must.
  • Buy something awesome, and don’t be frugal!!!  …Fiscal limits are for Greeks. (Seriously, my stocks are swirling the drain.)
  • Put in extra hours at work and/or extracurriculars – keep doing what you enjoy.
  • Go on a trip – but you can’t with your closest friends or girl/boyfriend, because they’ve likely dumped you for med school. …Or they’re just avoiding you because you’re highly infectious.
  • Maybe look into filling that prescription for acyclovir?

By the time you are back from your trip, some schools will have released personal application scores and reference statistics. This is the easy bit: single out the area(s) where you have the potential to most improve (i.e. make the biggest impact on your application) and get crackin’!  Even if you won’t be able to complete these goals before the approaching application cycle, you’ll be ready for future applications.  Remember, medicine is a dynamic, life-long practice; thus, anyone who is unmotivated to follow through with medium- to long-term goals, even if perceived to be external towards a desired career path, is likely not a good fit for medicine.

If medicine is what you truly want, you’ll get there eventually; it just won’t be this year.  Hang in there.