Advice from a Medical Student - Part II  [ENDORSED]

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Advice from a Medical Student - Part II  [ENDORSED]

Postby Chem_Mod » Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:55 pm

Hey Chem 14A and 14B Students!

This is a two year update from my last post...although both posts are still active, and you're welcome to post questions/comments in either one. I read through all of them and promise to reply.

Just a quick update. For those of you who didn't read my first post, my name is Ashley and I'm a UCLA graduate. I took Dr. Lavelle's Chemistry 14A and 14B in 2012-2013 and was his UA for 10 quarters until leaving for medical school in NY. I just started my third year this past July. In medical school, the first two years are lectures in the traditional classroom setting, while years three and four are all clinical rotations in the hospital. There's internal medicine, pediatrics, OBGYN, surgery, psychiatry, and family medicine. I just finished my 12 week internal medicine rotation which included a 4 week pathology elective that I chose. I'm loving third year because you're finally able to physically see everything that you spent the last two years reading about in textbooks. 

For internal medicine, I learned so much in such a short period of time. Physicians in this field are smart! They need to know so much about everything because no one gets admitted to the hospital with just one complaint. Every patient has various chronic medical conditions that are influencing which treatments they can and cannot be given. For pathology, it definitely takes a special personality to like it; however, the dissections that I did and the experiences I had during those 4 weeks were once in a lifetime experiences. It's a specialty that is glossed over but is so crucial. Anytime a patient has a questionable diagnosis or is diagnosed with cancer, a tissue biopsy is sent, and it's the pathologists who identify the types of cell to determine which targeted treatment therapies should be used. I'm currently in my pediatrics rotation, and I love it! The environment is so happy and bright and fun. I had the opportunity to do a full newborn exam on a 4-day old patient, and I'm having the best time working with these little ones!

At this point in time, I don't have a definitive answer for which specialty I want to do. I've loved what I've done so far, but I don't have enough experience in all the fields yet to make a final decision. My one piece of advice and also the mindset I have right now is to just enjoy each rotation and make the most of it (and for you guys, enjoy each class you take). And just remember, even if you're not interested in a class, this is probably going to be the only opportunity you ever have to learn anything about it. For example, if I choose not to do OBGYN, then that rotation will be the only chance for me to ever deliver a baby. So whatever class you take and may feel is just a graduation requirement, think about it as your one opportunity to become exposed to this new topic of information that you probably will not get the chance to further explore in the future. 

As always, feel free to reach out to me for questions or comments. I'm happy to give you guys further updates as the year progresses. Tell me what you want to know about Chem 14A/14B or medical school. I'm not a UA anymore, but I'm still aware of what's going on in Dr. Lavelle's courses and am happy to assist in any way that I can. 

Ashley Sarquiz
UCLA Class of 2015

Justin Sarquiz 1K
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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Justin Sarquiz 1K » Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:11 pm

Wow I feel so inspired after hearing your story! Thank you for sharing. I will definitely take advantage of the time I have here and hopefully be as successful as you in the future.

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Kellylin_4D » Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:47 pm

This is so inspiring and gives me hope. Can I ask what extracurriculars you took part in?

Luyan Zhang - 1L
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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Luyan Zhang - 1L » Sat Sep 28, 2019 3:52 pm

Thanks for sharing your story with us! What made you decide to go to medical school?

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby CMaduno_3D » Sat Sep 28, 2019 4:12 pm

Thank you for that advice! I will definitely try to adopt that approach, as it seems to be working very well for you. Have you encountered any fields you may want to specialize in?

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Chem_Mod » Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:19 pm

Kellylin_4D wrote:This is so inspiring and gives me hope. Can I ask what extracurriculars you took part in?


I did a lot of tutoring and volunteered in an autism clinic. I personally wasn't too involved with the extracurriculars at UCLA, not by choice but because I commuted and just wasn't always around on campus during the times of meetings and events. But I highly recommend getting involved in any clubs that interest you. Don't do that you think medical schools are looking for. I am part of my medical school's admissions committee and everyone's application has shadowing. You need to find something unique that will set you apart from the other thousands of applicants applying. Find something you're passionate about and just do it. Those are the applicants that have a great story to tell in their personal statement.

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Chem_Mod » Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:33 pm

905312474 - 1L wrote:Thanks for sharing your story with us! What made you decide to go to medical school?


Some people have these incredible stories about some defining "ah-ha" moment where they realized they wanted to do medical school. For me, I just always had an interest in science. I love how rapidly the field is advancing and as a result we keep learning. Every day I'm learning something new, and each patient I see teaches me something whether it's a life lesson or the patients themselves teaching me about their disease because they know so much about it after living with it for years. Since starting my third year, I am realizing that it's not just about what can I teach the patient (which is what our role is), but also what is it that the patients can teach me.

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Chem_Mod » Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:41 pm

CMaduno_3D wrote:Thank you for that advice! I will definitely try to adopt that approach, as it seems to be working very well for you. Have you encountered any fields you may want to specialize in?


I have enjoyed all three rotations I have been on so far, and I can see myself doing any of those three. Pathology is such an important specialty in medicine. To be able to make a diagnosis just from looking at a few cells under the microscope is so fascinating to me. I absolutely loved that elective when I was on it. Internal medicine is great too because you have to know so much about everything, so the population of patients you see is so diverse. With pediatrics, I just love working with little kids; it seems more like playing than working when I'm in the office. So right now, I'm thinking about any of these three fields. Other fields like surgery are also very fascinating to me, but I'm not sure if I want the hours. Everyone is different, but for me picking a career is about finding something I love while balancing it with my personal priorities like family.

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Robin Cadd 3G » Sat Sep 28, 2019 11:19 pm

As someone aspiring to follow a career pathway similar to your own, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post. Good luck in your future endeavors!

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Grecia Velasco 4D » Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:37 am

Thank you for sharing your experience and journey! I really appreciate your advice. I'm not really sure what I want to do with my major (microbio/mimg), but the medical route seems like a viable (and interesting) option. I actually found myself relieved that even someone as accomplished as yourself still takes time settling on one specialization. Decisions overall just overwhelm me, from choosing the right major to figuring out if med school is for me. However, knowing that you make decision making an opportunity to learn more about different specializations motivates me to adopt the same approach. Like you, I really like science but medical school seems intimidating.
How was the transition from pre-med in UCLA to full on med school in NY?

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby 805097738 » Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:14 am

Really enjoyed reading about your academic experience and journey so far. Sounds like this path is very rewarding and opportunistic. Do you think you could have started a challenging and rewarding career without medical school or did you always feel medical school was necessary for any job you might be interested in?

Brian J Cheng 1A
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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Brian J Cheng 1A » Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:24 am

Thank you for sharing your experiences--it was amazing to hear about what to expect from med school and beyond! Highly looking forward to Dr. Lavelle's classes! Did you have your mind set on a medical occupation from the start, or would there be an alternate universe where you would pursue something entirely different?

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Christineg » Sun Sep 29, 2019 2:24 pm

Thank you for sharing your insight on your journey in medical school! It's always inspiring to read about students who are taking a similar career pathway as me and see their view on this career and the different steps they take. I am also not sure what field I would want to specialize in, but am looking forward to the various experiences that will help me make that decision. Wish you the best of luck!

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby VPatankar_3L » Sun Sep 29, 2019 5:54 pm

Thank you for you advice! As someone who is interested in the medical field, I enjoyed reading about your story. I wish you the best of luck in the coming years.

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Chem_Mod » Sun Sep 29, 2019 6:58 pm

Grecia Velasco 4D wrote:Thank you for sharing your experience and journey! I really appreciate your advice. I'm not really sure what I want to do with my major (microbio/mimg), but the medical route seems like a viable (and interesting) option. I actually found myself relieved that even someone as accomplished as yourself still takes time settling on one specialization. Decisions overall just overwhelm me, from choosing the right major to figuring out if med school is for me. However, knowing that you make decision making an opportunity to learn more about different specializations motivates me to adopt the same approach. Like you, I really like science but medical school seems intimidating.
How was the transition from pre-med in UCLA to full on med school in NY?


First of all, just know that medical school is still so far away right now, so just breathe because you have time. You don't need to decide anytime soon. Many students, including myself, take gap years to do various things whether it's to travel, to gain clinical experience, or to do a post-bac so there's absolutely no rush. Medical school is tough. You hit the ground running and you feel as though you're thrown in and you have to figure out how to survive. But you do it. You figure it out. You find your core group of friends, and you help each other through the tough times. The biggest change besides the really cold weather, which a Southern California girl is not a huge fan of, is the different pacing. The way medical school is you take one class at a time but have 4 hours of lecture everyday, 5 days a week of just that one class. So you finish an entire course in 3-4 weeks. It's fast and there's not a lot of time to catch up if you fall behind because you keep building on the previous day's material. But I like it because I can focus all my attention on one class, and for me this style of learning is what I prefer. Whether or not you choose medicine, just focus right now on the next four years. Don't let it pass you by. My graduation from UCLA is one of my favorite memories, so enjoy your time here. It goes by fast.

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Chem_Mod » Sun Sep 29, 2019 7:12 pm

805097738 wrote:Really enjoyed reading about your academic experience and journey so far. Sounds like this path is very rewarding and opportunistic. Do you think you could have started a challenging and rewarding career without medical school or did you always feel medical school was necessary for any job you might be interested in?


Absolutely! It didn't have to be medicine. I am really happy with the path that I chose, and I'm loving the experiences and opportunities I am getting right now being in NY. But I'm sure I could have been happy with another non-medical career. I love teaching and got to further explore that by being a TA for first year medical students. At the same time, I'm also really interested in business. The more involved I get in the hospital, the more my curiosity peaks regarding how the hospital is run, and it makes makes me want to consider getting a Master's degree in business. Whether I do a joint degree program or get a master's after I graduate, it's something I'm looking to possibly do. But as long as you are willing to always keep learning, no matter what field you end up in, there's always going to be a "next step" for you to take that will challenge you but also help you further your career.

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Chem_Mod » Sun Sep 29, 2019 7:24 pm

Brian J Cheng 1A wrote:Thank you for sharing your experiences--it was amazing to hear about what to expect from med school and beyond! Highly looking forward to Dr. Lavelle's classes! Did you have your mind set on a medical occupation from the start, or would there be an alternate universe where you would pursue something entirely different?


In this alternate universe if I didn't choose medicine, I would become a university professor. I love teaching so much! After becoming a UA for so many years, I found myself really enjoying being able to help students get a better grasp on difficult concepts. Dr. Lavelle has always been my biggest supporter of me going to medical school, but one day we were having a conversation, and he asked me why I wasn't a chem major and why I didn't want to go into teaching. And honestly, I couldn't give him a good answer. I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to teach a lecture hall full of students, and I absolutely loved it. It's one of those moments I will never forget. To be able to watch an individual finally have that "ah ha" moment where everything begins to click and just fall into place is extremely rewarding. I'm really passionate about teaching and am hoping to end up practicing in a teaching hospital where I can lecture medical students. That way I'd get the best of both worlds.

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Louise Lin 1B » Sun Sep 29, 2019 7:31 pm

Your journey sounds like it has been amazing! As someone that also wants to go into the medical field, this is very inspiring. And you certainly made me more excited for Dr. Lavelle's class. Do you currently have other interests outside the medical field, and do you still have time to engage in them? Personally, I like creative writing, so I was wondering if you still have time to juggle hobbies and interests with the amount of work to do in med school. Thank you again for sharing your experience!

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Chem_Mod » Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:07 pm

Louise Lin 1B wrote:Your journey sounds like it has been amazing! As someone that also wants to go into the medical field, this is very inspiring. And you certainly made me more excited for Dr. Lavelle's class. Do you currently have other interests outside the medical field, and do you still have time to engage in them? Personally, I like creative writing, so I was wondering if you still have time to juggle hobbies and interests with the amount of work to do in med school. Thank you again for sharing your experience!


You definitely have time in medical school for other hobbies. The first year is a little tough because you are adjusting to everything, but it gets a lot better your second and third year. And I've heard fourth year is great...so lots to look forward to. Medical school keeps you busy, but if you are passionate about something, you will find the time to do it. One of my hobbies is cooking. I love trying new recipes so that's definitely one thing I like to do as a way to decompress or when I need a break from studying. There's always events going on, so I like to participate in those. A week ago I went to a "Light the Night Walk" for the leukemia and lymphoma society and hiked a bit of the surrounding area. But where I like to spend the majority of my "free time" is actually just videochatting my friends and family back home. I make sure to set aside at least 30 mins a night for videochatting. You have time; it's there. You just need to make sure you are efficient with your time. Be productive while studying, and then you can have a good chunk of each day to relax or do things you love, like creative writing!

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby JOtomo1F » Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:15 pm

This was such a cool story to read about and helped ease some worries of mine. I was wondering what do you think the hardest part of medical school is?

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby madijohnson_4A » Mon Sep 30, 2019 10:04 am

Thank you so much for your inspiring insight and story about your journey. It is really amazing to see someone who was in our shoes just a little while ago doing such amazing things. Do you have any advice for undergraduates potentially interested in medical school on when and how to study for the MCAT?

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Fatemah Yacoub 1J » Mon Sep 30, 2019 2:30 pm

As someone who takes a lot of interest in the medical field, it is so refreshing to see someone who has worked their way through medicine. I really appreciate the time and resources you are dedicating to us. Thank you!!

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Gabriella Bates 1C » Mon Sep 30, 2019 2:36 pm

Thank you for sharing, it's great to hear your story! I was wondering if you participated in any extracurriculars during your time at UCLA that helped you gain medical experience? Also do you have any advice for chem 14A? Thank you!

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Amy Pham 1B » Mon Sep 30, 2019 4:14 pm

Thank you for sharing! As I'm currently navigating my way around my first few days of classes here at UCLA as a first year, this was refreshing to read and reminded me of the bigger picture. Thanks and best wishes!

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby ariaterango_1A » Mon Sep 30, 2019 4:47 pm

What an incredible story! Thank you for sharing. Was your path to achieving your pre-med degree at UCLA difficult? Do you have any advice for a second year like me following a similar path? Thank you!!

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Chem_Mod » Mon Sep 30, 2019 5:40 pm

JOtomo1F wrote:This was such a cool story to read about and helped ease some worries of mine. I was wondering what do you think the hardest part of medical school is?


For me, the hardest part was my first semester. I want to pinpoint it on one thing, but it seems to just be everything as a whole. Your first semester is an adjustment period. You are literally thrown in on the first day without little direction or introduction and you need to figure it out. It's a lot to take in at once. Also, we had anatomy during our first semester and it was a lot of work for me especially since I had never taken an anatomy class before. We had open lab which was additional outside of class time when we could go into the gross anatomy lab to study, and I spent every Saturday there with my lab partner for the entire first semester. Taking anatomy as your first course and then learning the pathophysiology in the courses you take within the next two years is difficult. You're more of memorizing rather than understanding. Not until I took those organ-system modules later (cardiology, neurology, pulmonology...) did everything start making sense to me. So for me, finishing that first semester was, at least for me, a huge personal accomplishment.

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby rachel liu 3k » Mon Sep 30, 2019 5:45 pm

This was such a great share.. emphasizing the importance of enjoying the present, whatever that may be. I know it's very early, but for the past few weeks, I have been struggling to decide whether I should go to med school, or even stay within a STEM-related major. I feel if I don't decide soon, it will be too late! Is anyone else having the same dilemma?

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Chem_Mod » Mon Sep 30, 2019 5:47 pm

madijohnson_4A wrote:Thank you so much for your inspiring insight and story about your journey. It is really amazing to see someone who was in our shoes just a little while ago doing such amazing things. Do you have any advice for undergraduates potentially interested in medical school on when and how to study for the MCAT?


If you read my other thread "Advice from a Medical Student" that I posted when I first got accepted two years ago, I discussed a lot of what I found most useful in studying and what helped me most during the application process. But the most high yield point that I want to emphasize is specifically that Dr. Lavelle's chemistry class and his notes for Chem 14A and 14B were all that I studied for the chemistry portion of the MCAT and I scored very very well in the chemistry section. You are extremely lucky to be in his class, especially if you are planning to one day take the MCAT. Make sure you save his notes and come back to them because they are extremely helpful. He even covers a lot of topics that I noticed showed up again my first semester of medical school. So pay attention in his class! With regards to studying for the MCAT, you need to focus right now on your undergrad studies. The more you learn in these four years, the less studying you need for your MCAT. Everyone will do their couple months of review before taking it, but honestly if you go to class everyday and are prepared to learn, you will have a good foundation for when you decide to start studying for the MCAT years from now.

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Chem_Mod » Mon Sep 30, 2019 5:54 pm

Gabriella Bates 1C wrote:Thank you for sharing, it's great to hear your story! I was wondering if you participated in any extracurriculars during your time at UCLA that helped you gain medical experience? Also do you have any advice for chem 14A? Thank you!


I spent a lot of my time volunteering in an autism clinic, which I really enjoyed. Everyone who applies for medical school is going to need some sort of shadowing experience because the admissions committee wants to know that you have somewhat of a grasp of what the life of a physician entails. However, what's more important is that you find some hobby that interests you and that can help you stand out as an applicant. When you get that interview for medical school, they want to know about you, not the shadowing experiences, but what you loved to do in your free time and how that has shaped who you have become today.

For Chem 14A, my advice would be to study the notes that Dr. Lavelle goes over in class. Do the homework problems for practice. And take advantage of Chemistry Community. You will soon realize that Dr. Lavelle is one of the only professors who basically has this forum as a 24/7 office hours where you can ask any question and it will be answered. Other professors will have 1-2 office hours a week and if you have class during those times, then you never have the chance to ask your questions. So use Chemistry Community. Even if you don't have questions, still scroll through it. You might just come across a question that you didn't realize you even had until you came across that thread.

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Hannah Lee 1I » Mon Sep 30, 2019 5:54 pm

Thank you so much for sharing your experience! We appreciate the time you're taking to answer our questions. When did you first decide you wanted to go to medical school? Was being pre-med something you've always known, or something you decided as the quarters went on in UCLA?

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Chem_Mod » Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:05 pm

ariaterango_1A wrote:What an incredible story! Thank you for sharing. Was your path to achieving your pre-med degree at UCLA difficult? Do you have any advice for a second year like me following a similar path? Thank you!!


I was an MCDB major and I really enjoyed the upper division courses I took. It's nice because there is a huge list of upper division elective courses that you can pick and choose from to find classes that interest you. So for me, getting my UCLA degree wasn't too difficult. The only thing I would caution you about is when you look at applying for medical schools, each school has specific requirements so just because you fulfilled graduation requirements and earned a Bachelor's Degree, it doesn't mean that you have fulfilled all the pre-requisites for medical school. So just be cautious about that. What was difficult for me was the application process for medical school. It was really stressful, and the entire process takes a full year. There were plenty of ups and downs for me and it's stressful when you're living in it, but looking back there's a lot that I stressed over and they were things I couldn't change. A huge reason I started this thread and my previous post was to be able to guide you guys and provide advice that I wish I had when going through this process. Hope this helps!

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Chem_Mod » Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:12 pm

rachel liu 3k wrote:This was such a great share.. emphasizing the importance of enjoying the present, whatever that may be. I know it's very early, but for the past few weeks, I have been struggling to decide whether I should go to med school, or even stay within a STEM-related major. I feel if I don't decide soon, it will be too late! Is anyone else having the same dilemma?


You have plenty of time to decide. Basically everyone takes roughly the same first two years of core classes. So no matter what field you want to go into, everyone is going to take the Chemistry, Physics, and Life Science series. So you have a lot of time. Many students now are taking gap years before applying to medical school and actually some medical schools now prefer that because you have a little more life experience and aren't as young going into it. A good chunk of students in my class were at least 26-27 when they first got accepted and honestly they are excelling really well. After the first two years, everyone has the same basic science knowledge but when you see these older medical students interact with patients during the third, they are amazing! So I do believe that by waiting a couple years before applying to medical school, they are going to become better physicians in forming that doctor-patient relationship which is something that is really emphasized today in the medical field. So whether you choose something in the STEM field or anything in general, there's so much time before you need to decide and I wouldn't rush any career decision. You'll take a class and find a mentor, and you'll realize that this is the career path you want to be on. It takes time, you can't force it but it'll happen.

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Chem_Mod » Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:17 pm

Hannah Lee 1I wrote:Thank you so much for sharing your experience! We appreciate the time you're taking to answer our questions. When did you first decide you wanted to go to medical school? Was being pre-med something you've always known, or something you decided as the quarters went on in UCLA?


I always was interested in science; I once took a course on stem cells and found it super fascinating. I definitely didn't have tunnel vision thinking medical school was the only option for me, but as I took more courses I realized that medicine is such a broad field. It provides you with so many different opportunities once you get on that path because of the numerous amounts of specialties. That being said, I also love teaching and would also have loved to be a university professor. Being a UA for Dr. Lavelle was by far, the best experience I had at UCLA. I'm hoping to eventually work in a teaching hospital where I have the opportunity to practice medicine and also teach medical students and residents. This way I'll be able to do both things that I am passionate about.

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby TimVintsDis3C » Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:23 pm

I was wondering what it takes to get into med school. I know the expectations were high to get into UCLA in the 1st place and was wondering how much harder does it get?

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby VioletKo3F » Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:30 pm

First of all, thank you for sharing your advice! As I was reading through the replies, you specifically said to be involved in clubs or extracurriculars that set you apart from the other pre-med students. Can you give us some examples that you found insightful and unique?

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Mitchell Koss 4G » Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:36 pm

To anyone interested in medical school...

If you want it bad enough and try your best, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Chem_Mod » Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:42 pm

TimVintsDis3C wrote:I was wondering what it takes to get into med school. I know the expectations were high to get into UCLA in the 1st place and was wondering how much harder does it get?


The one thing you have to think about is the more advanced you get with any graduate program, the tougher it gets. Think of it like a pyramid. As you get closer to the top, you're dealing with smarter and smarter people. Everyone in medical school is smart. They had to be in order to get accepted. Schools aren't going to accept people if they have doubts on whether or not they can succeed. So it's really tough to get in. But that feeling never truly goes away because once you get accepted to medical school, your next worry is am I going to match into the residency I want, and you're again competing with every other medical student across the country who is applying for the same specialty as you. Medical school itself is tough, so the best advice is make sure it's something you're really sure about. If not it may not be the career for you because you are constantly being pushed and compared to the cream of the crop. Even though I got through the part of getting accepted, I still feel like there are so many more hurdles I need to face before actually becoming a physician.

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Chem_Mod » Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:46 pm

VioletKo3F wrote:First of all, thank you for sharing your advice! As I was reading through the replies, you specifically said to be involved in clubs or extracurriculars that set you apart from the other pre-med students. Can you give us some examples that you found insightful and unique?


Unfortunately I can't give specific examples because what I've read in various applications cover a huge range. Also, UCLA is so big and diverse, I'm not even aware of everything it has to offer. Like I said in a previous post, I commuted to UCLA so I wasn't involved in a lot of it's extracurriculars due to the hours. Just get involved in things that interest you. It's not necessarily what you pick, but how you become so engrossed in it that it influences you and gives you a story to tell. As long as you find something that you are so passionate about that it becomes a part of who you are and helps to shape you as an individual, then that is what they are looking for when applying.

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby AArmellini_1I » Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:52 pm

Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us! As a pre-med student it's always very encouraging to hear about UCLA graduates pursuing medical school and beyond. That being said, I was wondering if you had any tips regarding the application process? Also, I noticed in one of your replies you mentioned that every applicant has shadowing experience. Should I try to pursue something more unique?

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby A Raab 1K » Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:54 pm

I've heard that if you can imagine yourself being anything else besides a doctor, than the medical route may not be the right path for you. Do you think there's any truth to that statement; does medicine really need to be a calling in order to succeed? I'm on the fence about different career options and majors, so I'd love to hear your input. Thanks!

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Anvi Brahmbhatt 4A » Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:50 pm

Thank you so much for sharing your journey from undergraduate to medical school! Your passion for medicine is very inspiring, and exactly what I need to give me motivation to pursue my own career goals!

Justin Vayakone 4H
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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Justin Vayakone 4H » Mon Sep 30, 2019 11:07 pm

Thank you for sharing your path to becoming a doctor. I feel overwhelmed with how long and difficult the journey through medicine is, but these types of stories help give me hope and inspiration.

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Qiu Ya Wu 4F » Mon Sep 30, 2019 11:17 pm

Thank you so much for taking the time to offer us undergraduates guidance despite of your busy schedule as a medical school student! How do you think UCLA has helped you in your med school pursuits? Specifically, what resources should we be taking advantage of?

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby CHo_3I » Mon Sep 30, 2019 11:32 pm

Thank you so much for your advice! As an aspiring medical student, this gives me more inspiration to pursue my future as a doctor and look forward to my future education.

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Chem_Mod » Tue Oct 01, 2019 9:27 am

AArmellini_1I wrote:Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us! As a pre-med student it's always very encouraging to hear about UCLA graduates pursuing medical school and beyond. That being said, I was wondering if you had any tips regarding the application process? Also, I noticed in one of your replies you mentioned that every applicant has shadowing experience. Should I try to pursue something more unique?


The most important advice I can give now is to focus on your undergraduate studies because if you can't maintain good solid grades, then it doesn't matter what extracurriculars you have because you won't get far in the application process and you have a lower chance of getting an interview. It is really important to have good grades and after that, then they consider extracurriculars. Remember, they want to make sure that anyone who they accept is going to succeed in their school. Everyone needs shadowing experience. So that is a must. If you want to supplement your application with other things that interest you, then that is something you should pursue. But only pursue something you love. Don't force yourself into doing something you don't love. It is easy to detect when someone is doing something just to look good on paper.

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Chem_Mod » Tue Oct 01, 2019 9:30 am

A Raab 1K wrote:I've heard that if you can imagine yourself being anything else besides a doctor, than the medical route may not be the right path for you. Do you think there's any truth to that statement; does medicine really need to be a calling in order to succeed? I'm on the fence about different career options and majors, so I'd love to hear your input. Thanks!


You have so much time to decide what you want to be. There's no reason why you should know now. And there's absolutely no rush. Also, I think it's good now to not know what you want to do. That way you can approach every class and every opportunity with an open mind. Sometimes tunnel vision can limit your experiences if you already come in with a mindset of "I'm only going to do this and not explore any other career." So just keep an open mind and enjoy taking it all in. If you worry so much about your future, you won't enjoy everything that UCLA has to offer.

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Chem_Mod » Tue Oct 01, 2019 9:33 am

Qiu Ya Wu 4F wrote:Thank you so much for taking the time to offer us undergraduates guidance despite of your busy schedule as a medical school student! How do you think UCLA has helped you in your med school pursuits? Specifically, what resources should we be taking advantage of?


UCLA core classes (Chemistry, Physics, and Life Science) does a great job in providing you a good foundation for subjects tested on the MCAT. Right now, please take advantage of Chemistry Community. Dr. Lavelle has created this excellent resource that provides 24/7 virtual office hours that allows you to ask questions at any time. You can be studying at 1am and have a question, and you can post it and your question will get answered. You will soon realize how much effort and time Dr. Lavelle puts into his class to make sure all of his students succeed. He has these resources. Make sure to use them. They are so helpful!

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Cynthia Rodas 4H » Tue Oct 01, 2019 6:11 pm

Thank you so much for sharing your experience as a medical student! It is truly inspiring to hear about all the things you have accomplished over the past three years. I am also pursuing a career in medicine. However, I am a first-generation student and I have no family members or friends who are in the medical field. Since I don’t really have anyone to go to regarding advice, I am not very knowledgeable of the steps I need to take in order to get into medical school. Would you be so kind as to share how you got into medical school and possibly explain what the application process was like for you? Thank you so much for your time and consideration and I wish you the best in your final years of medical school!

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Emily_4B » Tue Oct 01, 2019 6:58 pm

Thank you for taking time out of your probably busy schedule to help all of us! I was wondering if you had any specific advice on time management and studying tips that you’ve learned over the years.

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Chem_Mod » Tue Oct 01, 2019 7:22 pm

Cynthia Rodas 4H wrote:Thank you so much for sharing your experience as a medical student! It is truly inspiring to hear about all the things you have accomplished over the past three years. I am also pursuing a career in medicine. However, I am a first-generation student and I have no family members or friends who are in the medical field. Since I don’t really have anyone to go to regarding advice, I am not very knowledgeable of the steps I need to take in order to get into medical school. Would you be so kind as to share how you got into medical school and possibly explain what the application process was like for you? Thank you so much for your time and consideration and I wish you the best in your final years of medical school!


Before I start describing the application process, please note that the process may have changed since I applied and likely will change by the time you apply for medical school. But just a very brief explanation of how it works. You will use the AMCAS website, which is your application portal. The entire application process takes an entire year. You can submit your application anytime between June to October, but the earlier the better. You are required to submit one personal statement, fill out this extremely lengthy application where you have to manually input every single course you ever took along with each grade you got for each class, and you have to submit your letters of recommendation. I think there's a couple other minor short "essay" type questions that you need to answer. This is your primary application that is sent to all the schools you want to apply to. If a school likes you, they will send you a secondary application specific to that school (which includes multiple mini essays and another application fee). After you submit your secondary application they will decide on whether or not they want to give you an interview. That entire process takes a year because interviews go until March-ish and then they will send out acceptance up until April. But right now as a first or second year student, you shouldn't be worrying about this too much because by the time you apply in 4 years, the requirements might change so I'd recommend just getting more information from your major's counselor when you start thinking about applying.

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Chem_Mod » Tue Oct 01, 2019 7:28 pm

Emily_4B wrote:Thank you for taking time out of your probably busy schedule to help all of us! I was wondering if you had any specific advice on time management and studying tips that you’ve learned over the years.


The important thing is to find what works for you and be efficient when studying. Breaks are super important and anytime I find myself getting tired, I'll stop studying because I know that anything I'm going to read in the next half hour isn't going to stick. So I'll do something and change things up (such as logging on to Chemistry Community and responding to your guys' questions), and then maybe later go back to studying. Also, I think the best advice I could give is to not compare yourself and how you study with other people. It's important to find what study technique works for you. Some of my friends love flashcards, but that method doesn't work for me. I learn best from textbooks and watching lectures. Don't think that just because everyone around you is using one resource or doing one type of studying technique that you have to do it too. Find what works for you and stick with it. It's okay to be changing your study style at the beginning while you first adjust to everything but once you find a method that works, be true to yourself and stick with it!

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby 805373590 » Tue Oct 01, 2019 7:40 pm

As a confused incoming freshman hoping to pursue the pre health route, this is truly inspiring. Tahnk you for sharing.

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby nicole-4d » Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:42 am

Thank you for sharing your story! Thank you for the advice on what type of mindset to have.

Abhi Vempati 4D
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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Abhi Vempati 4D » Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:21 pm

Thank you for sharing your story and offering to help us premeds out! If I may ask, did you use a counselor to help guide you through UCLA? It's unfortunate that we don't have enough pre-health counselors, and I was wondering if you or anyone you know has sought out a private counselor. If they did, was it helpful or do you recommend sticking to on-campus resources? Thanks again!

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Chem_Mod » Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:38 pm

Abhi Vempati 4D wrote:Thank you for sharing your story and offering to help us premeds out! If I may ask, did you use a counselor to help guide you through UCLA? It's unfortunate that we don't have enough pre-health counselors, and I was wondering if you or anyone you know has sought out a private counselor. If they did, was it helpful or do you recommend sticking to on-campus resources? Thanks again!


I talked to my major counselor at UCLA for a bit of guidance, but I did a lot of outside research. I don't know of anyone who has worked with a private counselor. I'm not sure how helpful it would be. Honestly, I think when you get to your fourth year and get closer to applying, you have talked to enough upperclassmen who are applying to medical school or to your graduate school/program of your choice that you figure things out. It's honestly not that bad. It's a complex process but you slowly acquire the information over time so that you are not super confused. But if you do need help, the counselors at UCLA are really helpful because they are dealing with their students applying to medical school every single year.

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Aliya Roserie 4F » Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:19 pm

You have inspired me immensely! I know this is a bit unrelated to Chemistry and its topics, but how was the transition when it came to applying to medical school? what were some of the big necessities that made applying to medical school make you stand out?

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Naren_Ramesh_4D » Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:19 pm

Wow. Thank you so much for your advice. What major were you as an undergraduate?

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby nehashetty19 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:31 pm

Hey! Thank you so much for sharing your experience! Were you interested in research at all? If so, what are your opinions on clinical research versus lab research? Was one more interesting to you than another? Or do you think one is more valuable than another?

MaggieHan3D
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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby MaggieHan3D » Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:29 pm

Thanks so much for taking the time to help out all of us who are so clueless. You gave such great and meaningful advice.

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Julieta Serobyan4D » Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:04 pm

Hi!!! Thank you so much for your advice. It's still confusing for me, but I hope it will get better.

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Elizabeth Johnson 1I » Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:43 pm

This is so precious! Thank you for sharing your journey with us! We wish you the best :)

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby AKhanna_3H » Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:11 am

It is great to learn about the medical school journey from a someone who was in my position just a few years ago. Thank you for sharing!

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Jasmine 3L » Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:01 am

First off, thanks so much for sharing your story and experience! It's always so nice to hear alumni talk about their past and present experiences. I'm not sure if any of the other students already asked this, but I was wondering what other extracurriculars did you do at UCLA other than being a UA for 10 quarters (which is freaking amazing! Like that's 3 whole years and some!) I'm a second year and I'm trying to find more extracurriculars that I love (which honestly isn't hard) but is definitely hard getting accepted.

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby melinak1 » Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:57 am

Thank you so much for that Ashley! good luck on your journey

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Reina Robles 1H » Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:47 pm

Thank you for the advice! Best wishes in medical school and beyond.

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Chem_Mod » Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:59 pm

Aliya Roserie 4F wrote:You have inspired me immensely! I know this is a bit unrelated to Chemistry and its topics, but how was the transition when it came to applying to medical school? what were some of the big necessities that made applying to medical school make you stand out?


It was a bit difficult. Medical school is tough. They kind of just throw you in on day one and you feel like you started midway through the quarter. But you get used to the pacing and you survive. You and your classmates become really close as you are all going through the struggle together. The friendships I made here are lifelong because they've seen you at your worst, but they've also been the reason why we're all still standing together. The bond we have is absolutely amazing. And like I've said in my previous posts, it's not what you do that makes you stand out but finding something that you are so passionate about that when you get an interview for medical school you can talk to someone about it for 45 minutes to an hour. If you are just volunteering to add something to your CV but you don't love what you're doing, it's easily discoverable. Once you get an interview, they want to know about you not your grades, not your schooling but what makes you, you. So whatever hobbies you currently like, don't give them up while you're at UCLA. Stick with them!

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Chem_Mod » Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:01 pm

Naren_Ramesh_4D wrote:Wow. Thank you so much for your advice. What major were you as an undergraduate?


I was an MCDB major. I loved the upper division bio courses for that major and highly recommend them. However, I will state that after being a UA for so many quarters, I decided to take a few upper division biochemistry courses to count towards my upper division credit that I needed. Looking back, I would've been super happy as a chem or biochem major.

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Chem_Mod » Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:04 pm

nehashetty19 wrote:Hey! Thank you so much for sharing your experience! Were you interested in research at all? If so, what are your opinions on clinical research versus lab research? Was one more interesting to you than another? Or do you think one is more valuable than another?


Either one is fine. Medical schools do not require research. If you decide to do it, it is your choice. I personal loved working with people and found clinical research more interesting. I took enough microbiology courses at UCLA to not want to do further microbiology research but it honestly all depends on your PI and if you like the people in your lab group. Only do research if you love it and want to do it. If you're doing it just so you can put it on your application, you won't enjoy it and they'll know. They ask a lot about research during interviews because they want to grasp your understanding and involvement in the project you were working on.

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Chem_Mod » Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:09 pm

Jasmine 3L wrote:First off, thanks so much for sharing your story and experience! It's always so nice to hear alumni talk about their past and present experiences. I'm not sure if any of the other students already asked this, but I was wondering what other extracurriculars did you do at UCLA other than being a UA for 10 quarters (which is freaking amazing! Like that's 3 whole years and some!) I'm a second year and I'm trying to find more extracurriculars that I love (which honestly isn't hard) but is definitely hard getting accepted.


Like I've mentioned in previous posts, I was involved in autism research and volunteered in an autism clinic. I only did that a couple days a week during my gap year. I wasn't too involved in extracurriculars during my undergrad experience because I didn't live on/near campus. Since I commuted, I wasn't on campus late enough or there everyday and didn't have the opportunity to get as involved as most students. But I know that there are so many different clubs on campus that you can join. Be a part of whatever interests you. Medical schools don't really care what you're involved in as long as they see you taking an active role and participating in various clubs or extracurriculars. They want to see commitment and that you have an active role in the clubs that you do partake in.

RichBollini3C
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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby RichBollini3C » Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:24 pm

Thank you so much for sharing your story! It is super interesting to hear first hand what your experience was like!

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby AGulati_4A » Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:37 pm

That genuinely sounds awesome! I have always heard several stories of how much joy people derive from medicine but to hear it from a perspective of a Bruin really makes me happy and optimistic about the future.

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Lizette Noriega 1H » Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:51 pm

Ashley, thank you for much for sharing your experience and opinions with us! I found it really interesting to hear about what happens within medical school and the events that you have come across in your first two years thus far. I really appreciate all the points you made, especially when talking about undergraduate classes and how you should perceive every class as an opportunity and not a graduation requirement- this motivates me to cherish every learning opportunity I have. Wishing you the best of luck!

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby MTanikella_1C » Thu Oct 03, 2019 5:37 pm

This is so inspiring especially considering the fact that I aspire to attend medical school and figure out what I want to specialize in! I think that the advice you gave on how to set your mindset regardless of whether a class is to your liking or not is very valuable as well!

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Maddie » Thu Oct 03, 2019 5:39 pm

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences in order to better prepare us for what the future and specifically med school has in store!

kevinolvera1j
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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby kevinolvera1j » Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:22 pm

Thank you for sharing your personal experience. Do you have any advice for those of us unsure about our majors as first-years?

Nare Arakelian Dis 3E
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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Nare Arakelian Dis 3E » Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:17 pm

Thank you so much for sharing your experience! I know getting letters of recommendation is a part of the application process, and I was wondering if you had any advice on how to get close and comfortable enough with professors to ask for a letter? I am also not 100% sure I want to follow this path and am scared of such a big commitment, so thank you for your help!

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Chem_Mod » Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:26 pm

kevinolvera1j wrote:Thank you for sharing your personal experience. Do you have any advice for those of us unsure about our majors as first-years?


If you don't know what major you want to be in, take classes from all different majors. The classes that you take that don't end up in the major you decide can help fulfill some GE credit. So it's a win-win. See which types of courses you enjoy. Sometimes I think students who come in without knowing which major they want to pursue have an advantage. They don't have tunnel vision. They aren't coming in committed to a field. They get to explore multiple avenues and see which types of classes they like and by doing so, I think they end up happy because they are choosing a major that they love!

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Chem_Mod » Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:31 pm

Nare Arakelian Dis 3E wrote:Thank you so much for sharing your experience! I know getting letters of recommendation is a part of the application process, and I was wondering if you had any advice on how to get close and comfortable enough with professors to ask for a letter? I am also not 100% sure I want to follow this path and am scared of such a big commitment, so thank you for your help!


There's no formula. I never took a course and on day one thought "this is the class I NEED to get a letter from." If you have that mindset, it's not going to be a good and genuine experience. You just need to see how you jive with the professor. For example, medical students need letters of recommendation when applying to residency. Today, I just asked one of my attendings if he would be willing to write me a letter of recommendation. When I first met him on day one, I thought nothing of it. I wasn't planning on asking for a letter from this rotation. But based on the interactions he and I had, I really felt like our personalities clicked and he and I worked really well together. It needs to be personal and you will meet professors who you get along with really well. Just don't try to force a letter. You will be taking enough classes that you can easily find professors who will be willing to write one for you. Also, you don't need to worry getting letters of recommendation until your 3rd or 4th year so don't stress about it right now. You have time.

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby RBergtraun_3A » Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:38 pm

Very inspiring! Thank you for taking the time.

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby plopezcordon_4C » Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:53 pm

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and story. I love hearing people's experiences in medical school because it motivates me to actually keep pursuing. When I see other people go through medical school I feel like I can get through it. Do you havee any advice with studying for medical school and for chem 14A? How do you prepare for exams too?

Maria Poblete 1D
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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Maria Poblete 1D » Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:55 pm

Thank you for sharing this information! It gives me hope and affirms that I am not alone in this process.

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Gilberto Millan 1F » Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:04 pm

This is some really valuable advice, so thank you. I've always been curious about medical school, and this post helped a ton. I think this is important because it allows students to understand better what they're getting themselves into with STEM. Also, what advice do you have for those that want to start pre-med late in their undergraduate careers.

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Elizabeth_3F » Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:47 pm

WOW this is such an inspirational story. I am shocked by all the knowledge you accumulated just by going to school. You just motivated me to power through this Chem class.

005162520
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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby 005162520 » Fri Oct 04, 2019 1:03 pm

After reading your updates and your advice, I feel very motivated to do well in this class. Thank you for sharing your story and your experiences, like many have said, it is very inspiring. Wish you well in your last years of med school.

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Chem_Mod » Fri Oct 04, 2019 2:37 pm

plopezcordon_4C wrote:Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and story. I love hearing people's experiences in medical school because it motivates me to actually keep pursuing. When I see other people go through medical school I feel like I can get through it. Do you havee any advice with studying for medical school and for chem 14A? How do you prepare for exams too?


The best advice I can have to prepare for medical school is to develop good study techniques while in undergrad. If you can find a good technique that works for you, you can hit the ground running when you get to medical school (since it really feels like they just throw you right in to the middle of it all). When preparing for exams, it's best if you understand the underlying concept. The tests are not going to be exactly like the homework, but if you understand the key concepts that each homework problem is getting at, then you should be well prepared for the exams. Also, always ask questions. No matter how simple you think the question is, you have to ask. That was my thing. I'm willing to ask a question, even if it's super simple and the rest of the class knows it, because I want to make sure that I have an understanding and that I know the material. Do your best to learn. And don't be afraid of other people judging you for questions you may ask.

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Chem_Mod » Fri Oct 04, 2019 2:43 pm

Gilberto Millan 1F wrote:This is some really valuable advice, so thank you. I've always been curious about medical school, and this post helped a ton. I think this is important because it allows students to understand better what they're getting themselves into with STEM. Also, what advice do you have for those that want to start pre-med late in their undergraduate careers.


For anyone who says they're "pre-med" on day one, just think about what that means because I'm not really sure. Every bio or chem major is going to take very similar classes the first two years. Everyone needs their year of chemistry, biology, physics, math, and English. So being pre-med doesn't you're taking a special route of classes on day one. I knew I wanted to do medicine but I never said I'm "pre-med". I took the classes that I needed to take to fulfill my graduation requirements and the upper division elective courses that interested me. Those fulfilled most if not all of the requirements for medical school. So don't think there's one pre-med route. Yes, medical schools have prerequisites for admission that you might have to take if you are not a science major. But anyone who is a science major will more than likely have all medical school course requirements just by fulfilling the courses necessary to graduate from UCLA. So don't stress. You don't need to make up your mind now. You have plenty of time, and there's no need to feel behind.

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby GEOVANNAO_3F » Sat Oct 05, 2019 11:01 pm

At this point in time, I don't have a definitive answer for which specialty I want to do. I've loved what I've done so far, but I don't have enough experience in all the fields yet to make a final decision. My one piece of advice and also the mindset I have right now is to just enjoy each rotation and make the most of it (and for you guys, enjoy each class you take). And just remember, even if you're not interested in a class, this is probably going to be the only opportunity you ever have to learn anything about it. For example, if I choose not to do OBGYN, then that rotation will be the only chance for me to ever deliver a baby. So whatever class you take and may feel is just a graduation requirement, think about it as your one opportunity to become exposed to this new topic of information that you probably will not get the chance to further explore in the future.


This really stuck out to me because I’ve always been a more technical driven person. Now that I’m taking a course liken COMM 10 which is an intro class to communications, something I’m not use to and don’t really like and fulfills my requirements for nursing school, I’m learning why it is we do what we do when we communicate. It’s quite interesting even thought I hope I never have to take another COMM 10 class

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby GEOVANNAO_3F » Sat Oct 05, 2019 11:02 pm

At this point in time, I don't have a definitive answer for which specialty I want to do. I've loved what I've done so far, but I don't have enough experience in all the fields yet to make a final decision. My one piece of advice and also the mindset I have right now is to just enjoy each rotation and make the most of it (and for you guys, enjoy each class you take). And just remember, even if you're not interested in a class, this is probably going to be the only opportunity you ever have to learn anything about it. For example, if I choose not to do OBGYN, then that rotation will be the only chance for me to ever deliver a baby. So whatever class you take and may feel is just a graduation requirement, think about it as your one opportunity to become exposed to this new topic of information that you probably will not get the chance to further explore in the future.


This really stuck out to me because I’ve always been a more technical driven person. Now that I’m taking a course liken COMM 10 which is an intro class to communications, something I’m not use to and don’t really like and fulfills my requirements for nursing school, I’m learning why it is we do what we do when we communicate. It’s quite interesting even thought I hope I never have to take another COMM 10 class

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Areena H 3F » Sun Oct 06, 2019 12:39 am

Loved reading about your experience! Thank you for sharing this with us but I was wondering what kept you motivated to keep going? I know a lot of people just give up because it is too difficult from or switch career paths because they think they're not able to continue with medicine.

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Chem_Mod » Sun Oct 06, 2019 10:05 am

Areena H 3F wrote:Loved reading about your experience! Thank you for sharing this with us but I was wondering what kept you motivated to keep going? I know a lot of people just give up because it is too difficult from or switch career paths because they think they're not able to continue with medicine.


You need to make sure you have a great support system, whether it be friends or family. I definitely had days in undergrad where I thought maybe I can't do it. It's really tough and really hard. But you'll find some very important people in your life who you can turn to, and sometimes just a little talk from them can give you the strength or change in mindset to keep you pushing. On the other hand, if you are struggling and find yourself hating what you're studying then maybe medicine isn't for you. And that's not a bad thing. I had multiple career paths in mind, and I still do. I'm very fascinated with business and hope to one day pursue and MBA just because I think it would be beneficial to understand the administrative part of medicine too. So don't think that if you can't do medicine it's over. It's absolutely not. It's easier to find out early on, then commit and go through the stress of medical school to find out it's something you hate and don't want to do.

Rebekah Alfred 1L
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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Rebekah Alfred 1L » Sun Oct 06, 2019 12:06 pm

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience with us and answer our questions! Your advice is extremely helpful and motivating. Is there anything you didn't expect to experience as a medical student that you wish you knew before starting medical school?

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Chem_Mod » Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:30 pm

Rebekah Alfred 1L wrote:Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience with us and answer our questions! Your advice is extremely helpful and motivating. Is there anything you didn't expect to experience as a medical student that you wish you knew before starting medical school?


It wasn't really an experience, but the one thing I wish I had done differently was learn anatomy prior to medical school. It's difficult because UCLA doesn't offer an anatomy course to take and it's not a prerequisite for medical school. However, that class was extremely fast paced and it was so overwhelming learning each innervation and vascular supply to each muscle in the body that I wish I had seen it earlier (not so that I knew it all but just so I would have some familiarity with the terminology). It honestly felt like I was learning a new language with all the new vocabulary terms for identification that I had to know for that class.

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Kaylee Sepulveda 3C » Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:50 pm

Thank you for sharing your experience. I am planning to go to medical school, and it is comforting to hear from people who have been in my situation and are doing well.

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Rich Zodda 4B » Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:57 pm

Thank you so much. This was probably the most helpful post I've read so far

Merin Padayatty 3G
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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Merin Padayatty 3G » Sun Oct 06, 2019 9:58 pm

It was super inspiring and motivating to hear your experience as a medical student! As a first year premed, I'm wondering how you were able to balance your social and academic life?

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Alan Cornejo 1a » Sun Oct 06, 2019 10:03 pm

Great and awesome to hear that you still think about and take time to give advice to students of a teacher you had so long ago. We all appreciate the advice and good luck to you and all your endeavours .

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby KatherineValdez_4B » Mon Oct 07, 2019 12:07 am

wow that's so cool. Do you have advice for first years who want to potentially go to grad school and become physicians?

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Maya Serota 3G » Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:26 am

Thank you so much for sharing. I am also thinking about Medical school -- as someone who has already gone through it, do you recommend doing anything specific as an undergraduate to make a Medical School application especially stand out? I know it is extremely competitive. Thank you again for your time!

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Chem_Mod » Mon Oct 07, 2019 12:08 pm

Rich Zodda 4B wrote:Thank you so much. This was probably the most helpful post I've read so far


Thank you so much for that feedback. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I'm happy to guide you :)

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Re: Advice from a Medical Student - Part II

Postby Chem_Mod » Mon Oct 07, 2019 12:11 pm

Merin Padayatty 4F wrote:It was super inspiring and motivating to hear your experience as a medical student! As a first year premed, I'm wondering how you were able to balance your social and academic life?


Honestly, first year (at least first quarter) was tough. I wanted to start off strong and figure out how this quarter system worked since high school was semester system. I definitely focused a lot on academics my first quarter but one piece of advice I'd give is whenever you finihs an exam, take the rest of the day off. You definitely earned it. Some students feel the need to keep studying, but I think you need to take a mental break and do something that you enjoy. By doing so, you don't get so burnt out from studying. Plus it doesn't make exam days as bad because you can think that you'll get to do something fun after. You kind of just figure it out and once you get a better study routine, you'll find more free time during your second and third quarters.


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