Medical School Admissions: Overcome the Objections of Others
Securing admission into medical school is a daunting task for anyone. But it is made many times more difficult if you’re trying to achieve this goal without the support of your family and friends. Unfortunately, that is the situation that many prospective med students find themselves in. There are a variety of reasons that family members aren’t supportive—including economic concerns, the desire to see the student pursue a specific other career, or simply not wanting the student to relocated. While your parents, friends and family members all probably have your best interests in mind, it’s important to remember that you’re the one that’s going to live your life. Altering your life to suit others will only leave you unhappy with the choices you’ve made. That’s not to say you shouldn’t listen to outside perspectives—you should. But if you’re certain that medical school is your dream, don’t let naysayers keep you from reaching it. Here are some suggestions for pressing on despite negativity:
1) Be diplomatic. When the opportunity arises to talk to your friends or family members that aren’t supportive, remain calm and try to see things from their perspective. Explain that you understand their concerns and that you are grateful for their input. Explain that you’ve considered everything they have to say, but that you are determined to pursue your passion. Oftentimes a calm, pleasant conversation will alleviate their concerns and convince them that you know what you’re doing—and you might even convince them to take your side.
2) Surround yourself with positive influences. A challenge as difficult as the med school application process will be discouraging at times. When you’re discouraged, it’s absolutely vital that you have encouraging influences to rely on. If your family and friends won’t provide that encouragement, make sure you find it elsewhere. It could be in the form of fellow applicants, high school teachers, college professors, or other mentors.
3) Keep your eyes on the prize. You know that setbacks will occur. And when they do, it provides more ammunition for those that think you can’t succeed. Simply do your best to ignore the negativity—this is easier said than done, of course, but if you take your focus off your goals it will be easy to succumb to the negativity. When you’re tempted to give up, remember that this is your life. If you don’t fight for the future you want, nobody else will!
If you’re facing the challenge of medical school without the support of your loved ones, don’t despair. You can succeed. Explain your feelings, seek out positive influences and keep your eyes on the prize. You can do it!
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“Dr. Toote, I really appreciated your presence here at UTA today. You have encouraged me. Thank you very much.” Jennifer A.