In two hours, I will begin the last exam of my undergraduate career. In five hours, the exam will be out of my hands. In six hours, I will sleep. In light of the end, which of rapidly drawing near, of my undergraduate career, I want to think about what comes next: medical school.
Last year, around this time, I was panicking about my personal statement: what could I write that would communicate how I felt about medicine; what would medical schools thing about what I wrote; how would I compare with others? I wrote an essay that was simple (no bells or whistles) and the process of answering the AMCAS prompt: “Why medicine” (paraphrased) re-affirmed my passion for medicine and my interest for public health. And so, I applied to programs with strong MD/MPH programs or medical schools renown for global health initiatives.
When I had rendezvous with doubt, I would re-read my personal statement and remind myself as to why I wanted to be a physician. I reminded myself of my ‘mission statement’ and I would remind myself of this when it came time to make a decision. Many of you know that May 15th is the date upon which MD candidates must commit to one medical school. I wanted to be a MD candidate in the context of a program whose mission echoed mine. I found my match: Tulane School of Medicine.
I want to share just a few reasons for my interest in Tulane:
(1) Tulane has an unmatched attention to community service in a local sense (the greater New Orleans area) and a global sense. Student-run clinics are a major part of the medical students’ lives and I honestly cannot wait to participate.
(2) Tulane is involved with extremely innovative programs. Tulane launched the first culinary medicine program in which medical students get hands on experience in the realm of nutrition. Another really exciting program is the pharmaceutical rotation program so that medical students have an inside-look at drug development.
(3) Tulane is the site of the first Public Health program.
(4) Tulane has a four-year MD/MPH program.
(5) The SOM administrators are very receptive to the criticisms and needs of the medical students.
(6) Patient-focused curriculum–Hippocrates would be proud–and environment. It became obvious to me how important clinical skills were to the Tulane curriculum when I interviewed. One portion of the Tulane interview day is a patient-physician role-play.
(7) The medical students are happy. When I asked the students what they would change about the medical school, I heard a lot of: “Change? Why? We’re in New Orleans! What else could we want?” I heard this enough times that I believe them.
In a few months, I will be one of these exuberantly happy MD(/MPH) candidates at Tulane. If you are applying to Tulane SOM, let me know in the comment box below.