Dr. Kerry Massman
Public university in the Midwest for 18 years running (U.S. News & World Report)
Pre-Med Studies at Truman State University
Truman grad year and major: 2002 Biology
Med School: University of Missouri-Columbia
Med School grad year: 2008
Hometown: Wright City, MO
How did you prepare for med school?
- Sigma Sigma Sigma Administrative Vice President and eventually President
- Member of Order of Omega
- A fellow student and I designed a subsidiary website to the MOBIO site that centered on healthy aging in the Northeast region of Missouri and served as MOBIO student representatives in Jefferson City
- American Center Society Action Network Member
- Attended mini-med school at Washington University which provided a unique opportunity to attend lectures given by world renowned physicians containing material from any facets of medicine. It was there that I learned operating room protocol, suturing techniques, and guided minimally invasive instruments.
- worked as a patient care technician and performed basic patient treatments (EKG, Phlebotomy, Vital Signs) and assisted in procedures (bone marrow biopsy, lumbar puncture) in a fast paced teaching hospital (Barnes-Jewish Hospital) the year after I graduated from Truman.
- Intern at Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, investigated the potential for transgenic plants to produce functional antibodies. Gave presentation at Washington University Research Day.
- Participated in a genetics research project funded by NSF which focused on sequence diversity in inbred lines of maize and related grasses with Dr. Brent Buckner. Presented poster at Truman State University and National Conference on Undergraduate Research.
- Teaching Assistant for Biol 518 Eukaryotic Molecular Genetics
- Self study only. Used Exam Kracker series and took actual MCAT tests each Saturday for 5 weeks.
Was there any part of your application that you felt was lacking and what would you have done differently to improve it?
I had an advantage because I took a year off due to the fact that I was unsure if I wanted to go the MD or PhD or MD/PhD route. For other applicants that do not have that opportunity I think I would focus on #1) shadowing #2) research #3) MCAT #4) extracurriculars
How well did Truman prepare you for med school as compared to your classmates? In other words, what advantages or disadvantages does Truman offer to a pre-med student?
There were classes at Truman that were MUCH MORE DIFFICULT than my first two years of medical school. I felt very prepared and was able to score very well on exams because of the wonderful preparation. I owe a lot to my undergraduate professors, most notable Dr. Brent Buckner and Dr. Diane Janick-Buckner.
What classes did you find most helpful to you? What material did you apply after leaving Truman?
Although not every medical school requires BIOCHEM you should definitely take it. It is a large part of the first year curriculum and without it I would have had much more of a struggle. I also think that challenging courses like Eukaryotic Molecular Genetics allowed me to develop a set of basic skills to read primary literature which is ESSENTIAL. If I had it to do all over again, I would have taken immunology as well.
How many schools did you apply to? Where?
Applied to 8. University of MO-Columbia, SLU, Loyola in Chicago, Medical College of Wisconsin, Creighton, Rush, University of Colorado, University of Iowa. Did not get an interview at University of CO or University of Iowa. Turned down interviews at Rush and Creighton b/c I was accepted to MU. Declined acceptances at SLU, Loyola, and MCW.
How hectic is life for a medical student? How much time does medical school allow for family/friend recreation time?
MU is quite a special place. I enjoyed EVERY DAY of medical school. The schedule is based on a 10 week block. There are 8 weeks of studying, one week exams, and one week off. This schedule definitely allowed time for family/friends/recreation. In fact, I went skiing in Colorado on 2 of the 4 block breaks during my first two years.
What do you enjoy most/less about being a medical student?
Enjoy most: learning. I am finally learning exactly what I find most interesting. Enjoy least: I would like to travel more and time is limited until my fourth year. During our fourth year we can do our electives anywhere in the country so I have two planned in Washington D.C., one in California, and one in Ghana, Africa, can't wait!
If you could do it all over again "from undergrad to where you are today" what would you do differently? Any regrets?
HAVE NO REGRETS. WOULD NOT CHANGE ANYTHING. In fact, I would choose MU even if I had an acceptance at each of the top 5 ranked schools and here is why: you want to put yourself in a place that you can be successful. I could have reached in to a higher ranked school but I would have had to struggle to be a mediocre student and instead I have enjoyed my learning experience and been successful along the way.
Additional advice for undergrads?
E-mail me with questions at email@example.com