It turns out that many of the medical schools request that you have a recommendation letter from your university’s pre-medical advisory committee. If you do not have a recommendation letter from them, you have to explain why you don’t have one. And so, Justin decided to try to get this from the committee at Idaho State University.
Over the Christmas Break, Justin met with one of the professors, who is on this committee, to discuss his plans for med school. She asked him a bunch of fairly basic questions. Why do you want to be a doctor? What kind of exposure to the medical field do you have? What made you change your mind about your career? Why did it take so long to change your mind? Things like that. Justin didn’t know the answer to a lot of them. After all, how do you tell someone that you want to be a doctor because God told you to….without sounding like a crazy person? In all honesty, that truly is the answer. Of course, that’s not what they want to hear though.
Also, Justin hasn’t had ANY exposure with job shadowing or volunteering in the hospitals. He didn’t have time last semester to breathe, let alone start these extra curricula. We know that he needs them, they just haven’t happened yet.
In addition to not knowing the answers to any of these, the professor brought up Justin’s less than stellar 3.12 GPA. Even though he got a 4.0 last semester and is planning on getting a 4.0 this semester, his overall GPA is significantly lower than the averages of most schools. Yes, it is higher than the minimum, but he doesn’t have the extra curricula to back it up. Aye yi yi!
When Justin came home from the meeting he was disheartened and felt as though there was no way he was going to get in to medical school. All of this was a big fat waste of time and money.
WOW! I HATE how easy it is to lose faith in something! Holy cow!!! We JUST saw miracles working toward this less than a week before his meeting! How in the world can one person’s opinion completely shake his faith?
Of course, Justin and I went back over everything that has happened to make this work. All of the miracles, all of the obvious signs. This cheered him up a little, but it was still hard for him to shake what the professor had said.
We had one week to work on his application for the committee which included writing a personal statement that would address many of the questions she asked. This meant we had to figure out why Justin wanted to be a doctor and what would make him a good doctor. And we had to figure it out fast!
Writers block sucks! It seems to happen most often when you are in the biggest hurry too. All weekend, Justin sat and couldn’t get anything down on paper. He took an extra day off just to work on his application. We purchased a couple of books to help him with getting started. Nothing seemed to be working.
Knowing how down he was about the whole ordeal, I asked all of our family members to say an extra prayer for him that he might be able to write what he needed to and to know the answers to the questions. In addition to this, Justin asked his cousin to give him a special priesthood blessing that he would be able to accomplish the things he needed to in the time frame needed.
It was amazing! I could tell when people started praying for Justin – he began to write. And after his blessing, things just flowed. We spent the next 12 hours going over and over and over his application before sending it to a couple of family members for critical review. After they wrote back and gave corrections and suggestions we went back over the entire thing a couple more times until it felt as perfect as it was going to be.
I turned Justin’s entire packet in to the professor who had sat down with him. We are now just waiting to hear back about an interview with them.
I will post Justin’s final personal statement in the next post.