Rocky Mountains! Camping! High-ranking in Primary Care!
All the selling points that made this choice a no-brainer.
Well, yes and no. My decision to attend the Colorado University School of Medicine actually came down to something else entirely… Okay, fine, I love the outdoors. So, let’s just say that snowboarding on the weekends will be a perk ☺
I’d also like to preface this post by saying that this is my first blog entry and I am absolutely STOKED about contributing to Prospective Doctor. If anyone has any feedback, questions, or comments, please do not hesitate to share!
Anyhow… Greetings, prospective doctors. I know that the dream medical school for a lot of pre-meds is rooted in rankings, research opportunities, and/or insert resume-booster here.
… Ehrmmm, allow me to re-phrase that: I know that the dream medical school for a lot of pre-meds is… A medical school. These days, it truly feels like in order to stand a chance at admission, applicants need a 4.0 at an ivy league school, a 528 MCAT, and to be an Olympic athlete in one’s spare time. Thankfully, I hyperbolize — trust me, I had nowhere near any of the above, and I still got in!
However, if you’re fortunate enough to be accepted to multiple schools, how do you make your decision?
Ironically, the reason I picked CUSOM is because of Anschutz’s commitment to supporting students’ passions outside of medicine.
Crazy, I know. But, allow me to explain. As an undergrad, I majored in film because I LOVE screenwriting. I love brainstorming absurd story ideas. I love writing wacky dialogue. And I love making myself laugh – admittedly, I’m still trying to figure out how to make other people laugh.
At CUSOM’s Second Look Day, I met several prospective students who were deciding whether to go to school A or school B. I was deciding whether to go to medical school or move to Hollywood to become a screenwriter.
Thankfully, UC Denver instills within its curriculum the “Mentored Scholarly Activity.” The MSA is a capstone project that students work on under the tutelage of an advisor during their four years of medical school. A majority of students choose research projects for their MSA’s.
However, during my interview day, on my group’s campus tour, our guide showed us the legendary 100 square-foot LEGO model of Colorado Children’s Hospital that a student of years’ past created for his MSA. Apparently, students are highly encouraged to pursue their creative interests for their MSA. In fact, one of the other guides on our tour – an MS1 — mentioned her interest in exploring poetry for her MSA.
Fast forward a few months, and I have somehow, and someway, become one of the fortunate few individuals who received multiple offers of admission, despite my not having superstar credentials (i.e. a doctor at the hospital in which I worked, from whom I asked a letter of recommendation, read my resume and told me point blankly, “Spencer, I hope you have a backup plan”), so, no matter where you may think you stack up as an applicant, you never know!
When I was deciding where — and if — I was going to send my deposit, I called one of the senior MSA advisors at UC Denver. I asked if I could incorporate screenwriting into my MSA, though I was unsure exactly about which I would write (my preliminary idea was a TV show about medical school). If I were to attend med school, I did not want to sacrifice my passion to do so.
I received a resounding, “YES!”
Cheers to our passions.
Also, I love to travel – as I am writing this I am on a flight to South America to go backpacking for the next five weeks – and CUSOM offers an awesome Global Health Track.