Now, what do I mean by a "Cookie-Cutter" med student?
I mean the type of feedback you hear from others about what/who a med student is and what it takes to be a physician.
Some of the general characteristics you will most likely hear adults telling young children or adolescents are:
Their parents are Doctors
Never had a C in their life
Only focused on Academics
Top 10% of their Class
Do those points sound familiar? Because I know these points all too well.
For as long as I can remember, I was always told that I NEEDED to always makes sure that I was a straight A student. Anything less would automatically take me out of the running to be a candidate for medical school. I stressed this very much to my high school self. I did everything I could to try and get the best grades, the awards, and all that fun stuff in high school. I graduated as salutatorian, got a 32 on my ACT, and a scholarship to college. At the time I was naive and thought "since I got all A's in high school, college will be a piece of cake"
BOY WAS I WRONG!
College was more of a reality check for me.
My high school graduating class consisted of 15 students. Yes, you read that right, 15! I attended a college where the freshman class alone consisted of 4,000 students if not more. I went from sitting in a classroom with 14 other students to sitting in a classroom of 300 students straining to see what the professor was writing on the board.
College was when I definitely realized that I was not going to be that "cookie-cutter" student. I struggled...A LOT in college. Throughout my 4 years at my university, it almost became a rare site for me to get an A in any of my classes. When I got my first Bs, it already worried me. So when I got my first set of Cs, can you imagine the panic that coursed inside me?
In those moments, my exact thoughts were "Okay, what is my backup plan?"
I truly thought I ruined all my chances of getting into medical school, that I had failed, that no medical school will want a student with Cs on their transcripts. If I could tell my undergrad self one thing, it would be not to panic and worry so much, because you are going to carve your own unique route.
Follow along my journey and see how a student with Cs on their transcript, immigrant parents, and a female in STEM learned to make her own pathway to medicine, no matter the obstacles.