To the Pre-Med Students Who Feel Discouraged

I remember the phone call from my college advisor the summer before school started, asking me if I was sure I wanted to be Pre-Med. “You know, less than 10% of students stay pre-med, especially girls. It’s just too hard. You’ll waste a lot of time, and have to start over when you drop out. And don’t you want to be a mom?”

I remember sitting with my PreHealth advisor after my first year of college, and trying to hold back my tears as she told me I was not competitive enough for medical school. “You just aren’t competitive enough. Have you thought about any other careers? You’re not going to get into medical school.”

I remember leaving an Organic Chemistry lecture to call my mom and cry after I found out I failed a test, and found myself sitting next to the same PreHealth office that told me I wasn’t good enough for medical school. I just kept thinking “they were right, I’m not good enough or smart enough or capable enough for this.”

With the help of incredible professors, friends, and family, I managed to finish the pre-med curriculum, but not with the same enthusiasm and confidence I had when I started. And then, my first acceptance came. And then my second. Now, I’ve been accepted to 7 medical schools, and here’s what I wish I could go back and tell myself:

You are smart enough.

You are good enough. 

You are capable of finishing the pre-med program, and you are capable of getting accepted to medical school. 

You are more than a GPA. You are worthy of love and grace, especially with yourself. One bad test, one bad grade, one bad class isn’t the end.

You have a passion for this incredible field, so make it happen. 

Your prehealth advisors and professors are not the final say on medical school admissions. Only an admissions committee can do that.

I know it’s hard and it feels impossible, but it will be worth it. I promise.

Prehealth programs are there to make you successful, but don’t forget that they also have statistics they want to maintain. If there’s a chance you can hurt their statistics, they will try to weed you out. The odds, and unfortunately most people, are against you. Find strength and confidence in yourself that you can lean on when you feel like quitting. Remember why you started. Remember why you wanted to be a doctor in the first place.

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