Wednesday Wisdom by Dr. James Scott Wright

Thoughts on the journey, personal growth, and making a difference.

I Feel Like I am Always Behind or Forgetting Something

The premed journey is a long and rigorous one.  There is no doubt about it.  I have blogged about the difficulties before and no doubt will again, and again.  Classes, activities, exams, which med schools to consider, what it’s going to cost. There is a myriad of things to track.  

And then there is the actual application process.  When to take the MCAT, what courses have you taken and what did you learn, how many activity hours have you accumulated?  And what about all those secondary applications?  Which schools have them…did you already do that one…or was that the other school that you submitted yesterday?

Daily life in America is complicated already with school, studying, work, meetings, and relationships among other things.  And all that was before the COVID pandemic hit.  

Some premeds are good at keeping track of their lives through calendars, planners, phone apps and other technology.  However, some (maybe even most) of you are not so good at it.  But the medical school admissions and application process really does require keen attention to detail.  Just a few slips can cause havoc.  What to do?

I have for many years suggested that premed students organize themselves early in their journey.  Keep track of everything!  And use the information to better prepare yourself for applying to medical school as well as to better understand your motivations and reflect on your experiences both in and out of the classroom.  

The Mappd software platform that is now in open beta testing is a great way to do just that.  Mappd helps you keep track of all the important aspects of your journey and will eventually even give you feedback as to your progress.  Sure, you can probably create an Excel spreadsheet that will allow you to organize yourself.  But that sort of assumes that you know what kind of information to collect and how to collect it.  Plus, Excel does not give you valuable information about your progress on the journey nor does it give you feedback on how to be a better applicant.

So, whether you use Mappd or create something yourself, just do it!  Organize yourself, track your progress, reflect on your successes (and failures).  Prepare yourself for the long journey ahead.


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