Applying to Medical SchoolHigh School Students & BS/MDPre-Med Academics

Emily’s Path Part 3: A Supportive Partner

Applying to medical school takes a tremendous amount of effort. It is expensive and time-consuming, and can also be draining, frustrating, and even devastating for those of us that fail to matriculate the first (and second) time. As with other successes and failures, we share this experience with our significant others. Mine chose to support me by taking an active role in the process.

||Read Emily’s Path Part 2||

If this application process has taught me anything, it is that a partner who will stand by my side and push me to try, try again, and try, yet again without ever allowing me to wallow in self-pity, watch TV if I have an essay to write, or even agree to sex when I am blatantly procrastinating, is a partner that will be by my side when facing challenges or pursuing growth opportunities throughout my life and career.

I was very lucky to have a boyfriend that provided constructive criticism – not shying away from harsh edits – on personal statement after personal statement, activities descriptions, and secondary essays. He helped me organize the timing of my application submissions and pare down non-work-related commitments to keep me focused and on schedule. At one point when I was struggling to keep track of all of my secondaries, (of which I had approximately 35), he created an organizational template for me in Excel.

I got into medical school after three application cycles on my own merits, but getting in was just as much a shared success. I took my boyfriend’s unfailing support during the last three application cycles and his tremendous pride in my admission this April as signs of his dedication to my growth and career.

He is on track for an incredibly successful career of his own, after completing his MBA at a top-ten business school next year. He was accepted to multiple schools while I was waitlisted at one, and even as he was preparing for school and planning his move he was editing my essays, checking in on my submissions progress, and encouraging me to keep going. I am very grateful that, even as he was starting his own graduate career, his metric for success always included mine.

Perhaps this all seems obvious, but in the thick of the admission process, waitlisted for the second year in a row and starting a new round of applications all while vacationing with my family in Hawaii, I’m glad that my partner was there to tell me to finish my damn personal statement before we hit up the beach. His was a special type of support for which I am forever grateful.

||Read Emily’s Path Part 4||

Emily Singer

Emily is a writer for She graduated from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and is currently a general surgery resident at Ohio State University. She is a graduate of Stanford University, holding Bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Russian Languages and Literature. After graduating in 2009, Emily worked as a research analyst at a health policy consulting firm and a research scientist studying green products chemistry at a San Francisco-based startup. Emily’s interests include health policy, medical education, and global health.

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