Posts Tagged ‘rejection’


If there were ice outside, I would blame that. But it’s just me. Falling back into my habits.

I’ve lost a couple pounds this week. I have no appetite (I think maybe the change to prozac has made that worse). There were even a couple days that I tried to eat and got food and sat down with it and just couldn’t get more than a couple bites down.

I walked into the kitchen several times today…once I took a bite from a banana and threw the rest away, another time I ate 2 raspberries, another I had a blackberry. I finally ate some sun chips and half of a 6″ sub tonight, but it’s not sitting well with me.

That’s not the scary part though. The scary part is the thoughts that are coming back. The sadness, loneliness, lack of motivation. The increased fear of gaining weight, feeling fat, thinking that everyone else’s life is so much better than mine.

And maybe at this precise moment, my life isn’t incredibly desirable. It’s been tough not getting a graduate assistantship (emotionally and financially). I can only take so many rejections. I’m fearing more med school rejections. I’m scared that I won’t be able to handle next semester.

And all of this is adding to the situation.

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One of my “to-dos” for my new medical school application is to receive feedback from the schools that rejected me and find out what they saw to be weaknesses in my application. I have emailed some, I plan to call others. My new job is actually at a hospital affiliated with one of the medical schools I applied to (one of my top choices, too) and so I was conveniently able to meet in person with their admissions director. It was an interesting meeting.

She had pulled up my application and made notes on it. I’ll run down it…

Grades: Excellent GPA. Last fall I had a couple difficult classes that I didn’t do so well in because I was pretty sick with the eating disorder and couldn’t focus long enough to read an entire textbook page. In the comments I wrote “extended illness” because I didn’t feel that they really needed to know more than that. She said I didn’t need to take any post-bacc work to raise my GPA. I told her I was starting the MPH program and she thought it was great.

MCAT: Fine. Within their average accepted ranges. She said I could choose to retake it, but it wasn’t really necessary. (I had already registered to retake it, so I continued with it)

Experience: Wonderful. She appreciated that I had worked in so many medical situations (hospital, nursing home, psych and medical units). I had shadowed doctors and really seen what they did and determined that it was what I really wanted. I volunteered in both healthcare and other areas that I had interests in.

Interview: Outstanding. She said they thought I did wonderful on the “structured” portion and I really “blew them away” on the unstructured portion. Apparently, most people who graduate early struggle with the unstructured portion.

Then the written application is reviewed by a committee and given a numerical score. She estimated that I had probably missed the waitlist by 5-6 names. Great.

What I got out of the conversation was that my application was more than sufficient. However, I still didn’t get in. Frustrating, no?

It relieved me from the fear that I hadn’t done enough this year to improve my application because apparently my application is quite good. But at the same time I find myself thinking if this application was good enough this year and I didn’t get in, why the hell would I expect to get in with essentially the same application next year? I suppose I should trust myself…and the admissions professional…

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When one is little, everything makes sense one knows who they are and one knows who they want to be. At twenty, one does not know, and one does not know how to know. Worse, sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference between who one wants to be, and who others want us to be. And, when one thinks they do know, something is always standing in the way!
—-Spela Grasic

This has taken me a long time to write. The hardest thing for me to do is to say that I have failed, and this time it isn’t a subjective failure. It’s there, no one can argue the fact. I didn’t get into medical school. I didn’t get into any medical school.

When I’m talking to others I can put a positive spin on it all–I’m a [very] young applicant (and medical schools are trending toward older applicants), it will be good to have a year of full-time work/part-time school, I’m looking at buying a house. But when darkness comes and I am alone, I can’t hide from myself.

The first thought that comes to mind is how permanent this all is. I will never be a person who got into medical school on my first try. I will always be marred by at least one full-out rejection. I’mĀ embarrassed, I just want to hide and not have anyone ask me about medical school.

Then it turns to why I didn’t get in. Were my grades bad? (only if a 3.96 gpa is ‘bad’) Was my MCAT score low? (that one varies a bit depending upon the school) Did I not have enough ‘experience’ (dunno, what is working in a psych unit, working in a nursing home, volunteering at a hospital, a research assistant with patient contact?) Was my essay terrible? (who knows, either way, I’m rewriting it) Did I represent myself poorly in my interview? Am I just lacking as a person?

And what to do next? Have I improved my application at all this year? Should I retake the MCAT? I gave the application my all this year, why should I think it would be any different next year? I know I need to believe in myself to even have a chance of getting in again, but it is so very hard right now.

My plan? Starting my essay in the next month and having as many people as possible look over it. Getting my application in on the earliest day possible. Calling the medical schools I applied to this year and asking why I was rejected/how to improve. Consider retaking the MCAT.


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