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?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org