Amazing – overcoming obstacles!

Home Forums Introductions & Connections Amazing – overcoming obstacles!

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 24 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #91432
    MomMDMomMD
    Participant

    Reading some of your backgrounds I am amazed to meet some of you. WOW is all I can say. This leads me to a thread that I’d like to introduce, what obstacles have you overcome to get to this stage, either a premed, med student or physician. I don’t mean stuff like GPA, I mean the TRUTH about your past. This may be difficult to write or read, I want it to serve as inspiration to us all….

    I read Nanon’s personal statement page and what a story! I remember some of the women I have ‘met’ over the years, welfare moms now doctors, people overcoming disease and terrible situations, a women with nine (yes nine) children and applying to med school!!

    Tell us, how you’ve made it it this stage in your life. You can post anonymously if you wish!

    Welcome all, tell me your story of how you got to be here!

    Sethina
    MomMD Founder

    P.S. You can also tell us about someone you know…

    #91434
    NanonNanon
    Participant

    Well, thank you, Sethina! :blush: Actually, (and I hope you don’t mind me posting this here 😮 ), I built an entire website devoted to this very kind of thing.

    Since deciding to go back to school, I’ve spent an awful lot of my time trying to fit into a nice, neat little category, “pre-med student.” Which has meant, much of the time, excising large portions of who I am and what I’ve done. Recently, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s kind of a waste of my energy, and pretending to be someone I’m not so that I’ll be more acceptable to others is making me neurotic.

    But, in reality, that’s what we have to do, right? I mean, I’d be an idiot to write in my personal statement to medical school that my interest in medicine started when I was a drug addicted stripper. Or that the best thing about my voluteer experiences have been that they keep my depression manageable.

    Instead, I’ll probably change stripper to waitress, leave out the drug addiction and use self-absorbtion as a euphamism for depression. The truth I’ll write on my website, and hope and pray that noone from an adcom learns my actual name…

    http://www.scrupulousps.com

    Nanon

    Ps, please sign my guestbook or email me, if you come to visit. I don’t know why, but it just makes my day! I’m such a dork…

    #91436
    DONOTDELETE ****DONOTDELETE**
    Participant

    Hi,

    Oh, how interesting, I can’t wait to read the answers. I’m not sure if my story is of interest.

    At 14 I was seriously sexually assualted, this had a profound effect on my life, I veered in and out of extreme ‘disobedience’ and then conformity. I was unable to find a steady path without extremes. For example, two days before my interview to become a cop I had taken so many illegal drugs I was unable to go. What a dunce, applying to become a cop and having a serious illegal drug-habit myself! At 18 I left home to live on the streets with an abusive boyfriend. I slept in parks, where I got kicked and poked by passers-by who treated me like trash. I never begged for money though, but I stole food to eat. I remember finding money ($10) and can still taste the delicious taste of the hot food I ate (I hadn’t eaten in 4 days). With this same boyfriend I jumped out of moving cars, had to be stopped by some stranger to prevent me from committing suicide (thank you), and got taken to ER for overdoses. I remember one ER resident basically giving me a real drilling and lecture, he thought I wasn’t listening, but I still remember his words, he was harsh but truthful. Then, yes, there’s more, I was arrested, spent a short time in jail. Then I was diagnosed with cervical pre-cancer at only 19. This was the turning point in my life, I realized that I had my whole life before me and I was choosing to live this way. I had no excuse, a privileged upbring, a loving family, I sought adventure and excitement to my detriment.

    I enrolled in college courses, I did OK, then went on to a university (Social Work) and did VERY well 😀 I even became ‘normal’ 😉 and people have no idea of my past. I find it hard to believe it is actually me. I’m minimizing the tremendous personal growth I made to get to that point, I did have relapses. As a result I am probably over-controling of my life as I know that I can steer off in many directions, but I haven’t ‘done’ anything ‘undesirable’ in over 7 years. I am not religious and didn’t do this with god, just tremendous personal motivation and commitment to making my life good, making the lives of others around me GREAT.

    I am now a second year med student, married and in my late thirties! I have one amazing boy (aged 4). If I can do it, anyone can! I’ve actually found the challenges of med school LESS than many of my personal challenges, but I’ve still along way to go so perhaps I shouldn’t say that 😉

    #91437
    MomMDMomMD
    Participant

    Nanon,

    thanks for sharing, have you ever heard of someone writing a personal statement like that? How did it go down??

    Sethina

    #91439
    NanonNanon
    Participant

    Originally posted by sethina:
    [b]Nanon,

    thanks for sharing, have you ever heard of someone writing a personal statement like that? How did it go down??

    Sethina[/b]

    Only once, and it was a friend of mine who transferred from a cc to an undergrad woman’s studies program. When I transferred, I didn’t have the courage to do it.

    Nanon

    #91440
    CaLiGirL :)CaLiGirL:)
    Participant

    A wacky past is one that I can identify with only b/c I’ve lived one. I am so happy to have come as far as I have (my parents still do not believe that this is really me)…and I plan on never looking back and only moving forward with my head held high, moving directly towards success.

    I won’t go into detail about my past, but I can say that it involved drugs, alcohol, gangs, and anything you can imagine that is associated with those listed above.

    I’m thrilled to have made it so far…I’m thrilled to read success stories of others. We are strong individuals and I’m confident that we’ll make fine doctors in the end… 😉

    Annie

    #91442
    womansurgeonwomansurgeon
    Participant

    My topic of the entirety of my personal statement was my triumph over a dysfunctional past.

    Alcoholic parents, separated when I was 3 – then Mom abandoned us shortly after. Dad moved in and took over raising 4 kids (ages 7, 6, 4, and 3) while working fulltime, going to graduate school fulltime, and drinking heavily on a daily basis.

    I remember scrounging for something to eat while my dad lay passed out on the floor in the kitchen, finding a package of raw bacon in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator, and sitting next to him on the kitchen floor, stuffing it hungrily into my mouth. We grew up as though someone had taken 4 small children and placed them in a suburban house with no adults present. Anything and everything was free game. Pity the poor neighbors.

    Attacked and beaten by a rapist while playing in a public park at age 11. Unrecognized (wasn’t really defined back then) post traumatic stress disorder after that.

    Dropped out after ninth grade, lots of drugs, including intravenous use. Experienced the usual abuses of a 14 year old girl running the streets: rape, exploitation, physical abuse…

    I really didn’t like being mistreated – that paradigm didn’t exist in my household as I grew up. We were messed up, but no one was abusive. That was probably a saving grace for me – that and the fact that early PID had prevented me from becoming a teenage mother over and over again. I began to gravitate toward men and friendships which were supportive rather than harmful.

    Long road back to self respect and personal growth.

    And you guys know the rest: GED, junior college, university, med school, surgeon. Happily married to a saintly man for 6 years now.

    There’s a thread about my story – and the reaction of admissions committees – on OPM website:
    http://www.oldpremeds.net/cgi-local/ikonboard.cgi?s=214d8549ef7ed8c11b4cf051c155 4c01;act=ST;f=11;t=29;st=10;&#entry14

    The sky’s the limit! Never give up on yourself or your dreams…

    #91444
    Tangee FoxTangee Fox
    Participant

    You know, it’s interesting to me how many women i know were molested or raped when younger. So far, I have yet to meet anyone who wasn’t 🙁 .

    #91445
    SpiritDoc2BSpiritDoc2B
    Participant

    Hi,

    I’m thinking that maybe this story should be a seperate topic.

    I’m curious as to how many members out there were kicked out to collge (due to grades) and still maintained their desire to become a physician?

    Here’ my story.

    In 1984, I entered a university in Florida with 3 academic scholarships, having graduated from high school with a 3.8/4.0 GPA. Two years later and after the tragic death of two close high school friends, I was expelled due to academics and
    I’ll never forget Dr.Z of the Chemistry department telling me that I would never be a scientist or doctor 🙁 .

    I worked in research labs to build my confidence and attended the local community college. I was readmitted with the condition that I make a 3.0 GPA until I graduated. Mind you, I hadn’t made a 3.0 GPA the ENTIRE time I was there! I entered as a Microbiology/Pre-med major and left with a BA in Religion, which in retrospect probably saved my life! I also took the MCAT and scored in the 75th percentile which at the time was considered outstanding for a minority student. I received inquires from schools like Michigan and Harvard, but I knew with my GPA (2.2) I’d have to at the very least, go back to school.

    I worked for a while, then enrolled at another university as a Chemistry/Pre-med major. I did better but certainily not good enough for medical school, so I went to graduate school instead.

    By the time I finished a Master’s degree in Chemistry at one of the top programs in the country, I was “ready” to seriously rethink going to medical school again. With a 3.7 GPA and average MCAT scores, I knew at the very least I could attend osteopathic medical. However, I was sidetracked by marriage, a child, my father’s illness, and divorce so once again I put my dream on hold.

    Today, I’m preparing to enter a PhD program (Fall 2002) with the plan of transferring to the MD/PhD program the following year. All these years later (17 to be exact) I still remember Dr.Z telling me that I would never be a Scientist or Doctor and if he were alive, I’d tell him he is right. I’ll never be a scientist or a doctor because my plan is to be a scientist AND a doctor! :p

    #91447
    SpiritDoc2BSpiritDoc2B
    Participant

    Hi,

    I’m thinking that maybe this story should be a seperate topic.

    I’m curious as to how many members out there were kicked out to collge (due to grades) and still maintained their desire to become a physician?

    Here’ my story.

    In 1984, I entered a university in Florida with 3 academic scholarships, having graduated from high school with a 3.8/4.0 GPA. Two years later and after the tragic death of two close high school friends, I was expelled due to academics and
    I’ll never forget Dr.Z of the Chemistry department telling me that I would never be a scientist or doctor 🙁 .

    I worked in research labs to build my confidence and attended the local community college. I was readmitted with the condition that I make a 3.0 GPA until I graduated. Mind you, I hadn’t made a 3.0 GPA the ENTIRE time I was there! I entered as a Microbiology/Pre-med major and left with a BA in Religion, which in retrospect probably saved my life! I also took the MCAT and scored in the 75th percentile which at the time was considered outstanding for a minority student. I received inquires from schools like Michigan and Harvard, but I knew with my GPA (2.2) I’d have to at the very least, go back to school.

    I worked for a while, then enrolled at another university as a Chemistry/Pre-med major. I did better but certainily not good enough for medical school, so I went to graduate school instead.

    By the time I finished a Master’s degree in Chemistry at one of the top programs in the country, I was “ready” to seriously rethink going to medical school again. With a 3.7 GPA and average MCAT scores, I knew at the very least I could attend osteopathic medical. However, I was sidetracked by marriage, a child, my father’s illness, and divorce so once again I put my dream on hold.

    Today, I’m preparing to enter a PhD program (Fall 2002) with the plan of transferring to the MD/PhD program the following year. All these years later (17 to be exact) I still remember Dr.Z telling me that I would never be a Scientist or Doctor and if he were alive, I’d tell him he is right. I’ll never be a scientist or a doctor because my plan is to be a scientist AND a doctor! :p

    #91448
    womansurgeonwomansurgeon
    Participant

    What an amazing group!

    I’m just floored when I read these stories of overcoming overwhelming adversity, and then I recognize the unsername as someone whose posts I follow or who I’ve had discussions with (Caligirl, Tangee, Spirit…)

    Tangee, I’ve noticed that same phenomenon. I can’t say that I’ve never met a woman who wasn’t molested in some fashion during childhood, but they are rare and far-in-between.

    We’ve all got a story to tell, it would seem.

    ‘Me’ – you’re right that the stresses of medical school pale in comparison with real life stresses. I remember sitting with a friend/classmate – a single mom – in my second year of med school. I was sharing with her how I had spent the past year caring for my father, who was dying of metastatic cancer, and working as a waitress trying to pay the bills, while trying not to get kicked out of med school. It came up that we had both, at one time or other, gone to the local homeless shelter and eaten dinner on nights when we had no money or food available – she with her two kids. A passing professor overheard something about ‘stresses’, and smiling commented, “yes, medical school can be enormously stressful, can’t it? Are you finding ways to deal with it?”

    We just looked at each other and laughed.

    I’m proud and honored to be in association with such a courageous and indomitable bunch.

    #91450
    glennvallyglennvally
    Participant

    This is such a great topic! I too have wondered whether to speak about my childhood in a personal statement…Should I downplay it? Should I really make it sound bad? Would I be playing a “pity” card? Just how much should I include?

    Alcoholic druggie father, always dirt poor, mom left us when I was 11, older brother killed in a drunken stupor when I was 13, out of the house and on my own by 16, and of course, molested at some point…blah blah blah blah.

    I have always felt that my story is no different than so many others, and my life was much easier than some. I never wanted to make excuses for my life, and I have always been very proud of my ability to overcome ANYTHING. Sometimes I look back and think it’s amazing that I was never a drug-user, an alcoholic, or had a brood of kids by the time I was 18.

    The one thing I said for many, many years was “If my life had been different, I’d be a doctor by now.” At 32 I stopped saying that and got to work! Now I am getting so close that it’s a little scary.

    You (we) are all amazing women. I am inspired and encouraged every single time I come to the site. Thank you everyone for your insight, your wisdom, and your encouragement.

    And Sethina, with so many of us applying soon, I think we need a section where we can post personal statements. I for one, would love advice, editing, and criticisms from the women here.

    Happy August,

    Val

    #91452
    DuckDuck
    Participant

    I just want to say that you are all incredible people! 🙂 I am ashamed for ever pitying myself…even now (especially when things don’t go my way).

    Imagine the Huxtable family as dysfunctional people…that would be my family. Basically, I have a morally deplete father who is loved and respected by his peers, co-workers and friends. He cheated on my mom a lot. From what I understand,( I was very young) he had an affair with an under-aged girl. At the time he was a teacher 🙁 Although he never touched me, as a pre-teen he made me uncomfortable by leering at me, and following me. I have flashbacks of a fast footrace trying to get to my bedroom.

    I have lived my entire life with no self-esteem. I can honestly attribute it to an imbalance in our house. This low self-esteem led to low grades, a don’t care attitude, and very poor choices in men. It’s sad to say that at forty I’m just realizing my potential and the need to fortify my dreams. I want to end this as I began it…You are all incredible people. 🙂

    #91453
    perleperle
    Participant

    I was brutally honest on my personal statement. I had to explain the complete absence of high school transcripts. The story involved drugs, leaving home at 15, more drugs, then finally GED, CC, and university. Just before med school I lost a young member of my family to a violent (homicidal) death. He was on the same train I was, just didn’t get off in time. I did leave enough out and glossed over some things. I also answered the question on secondaries about prior drug use honestly. Many thought that was a mistake, but with a personal statement, and academic history like mine, I thought it would be a pretty transparent lie.
    A personal statement is just that – personal. It should reflect the challenges one has overcome. Believe me, there are enough out there filled with bland years of perfect high school and college grades, research, and tons of volunteer experience (I was too busy working full time with a full classs schedule to squeeze in an excessive amount). I think if you are a woman with a story like the above tales, tell it like it is…be proud you’re writing that statement.

    #91455
    DuckDuck
    Participant

    It takes a lot for an individual to divulge anything personal. Let’s be careful to judge the contents of one’s statments. I am currently in counseling for very, very very, very, low self-esteem. My counselor believes that I may be blocking details about my father…he’s asked me to keep a journal. Revealing any detail about my life is one GIGANTIC MONUMENTAL STEP! Everyone has different challenges to overcome, some big and some small. In my case, something in my past has contributed to my low opinion of myself. Believe me when one feels this way, life is a prison. I cannot judge anyone or the path that brought them to this site…I can only end again by saying you are all incredible people.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 24 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.