6/21/2017 0 Comments
Contributed Post: 7-Year Medical Programs: Why an Accelerated Program was right for me (and might be for you too)
This is an article contributed by a high school senior who will be attending a 7 year Medical Program next year, in response to my post on "7 Year Medical Programs: Why I Don’t Like Them (But Why You Might)".
I am 100% sure that I want to become a doctor, and I want to make the most out of my life. I selected to attend an accelerated seven-year medical program because I wanted to do what was right for my career and future, not just what would fulfill my ego.
If you need one year to understand yourself and to discover your true goals in life, by all means, take it. These programs are for those who know that they are cut out to be doctors. There will always be times in life where you will have the opportunity to make commitments. If you feel as if you are mature enough to make a commitment to such a program, make it. However, if you are wary of making such a life-determining commitment at this age, the path of attending a normal undergraduate program still remains. Even if you are not sure at the beginning of senior year, it does not hurt to apply to these programs so that you can increase your options when you are making a final decision.
Back in April, when it came to making my college decision, I had narrowed down my options to Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and The College of New Jersey’s 7-Year Accelerated Medical Program with New Jersey Medical School (TCNJ/NJMS). I ultimately committed to the seven year medical program because I had no issue with letting go of the Hopkins’ reputation. I sought out advice from students currently enrolled in both programs and reached out to current doctors, including those who graduated from highly ranked schools and programs. Every single one of the doctors I consulted had the same consensus; they all recommended selecting the accelerated medical program. However, they all also warned that the program is only meant for those who are absolutely certain that they want to become doctors. Although Johns Hopkins University had been my dream school since third grade, I was able to let go of my ego. I knew that I could not go wrong with either of these two choices, I made the decision that would serve me best in the future.
Disclaimer: If you are not sure that you want to become a doctor, an accelerated medical program is not meant for you. Even if you are 99% sure of becoming a doctor, do not enroll in a seven year medical program, because that 1% of uncertainty could honestly make you miserable.
Each program is different. Do your research before applying and committing to one if you are admitted. Some have difficult criteria to maintain, be it a GPA requirement or a MCAT prerequisite. Not all combined program are built the same-- some aren’t necessarily “guaranteed”. Talk to the students, faculty, and people around you. TCNJ’s 7 year program may not be right for everyone, but it was the perfect fit for me.
**This article focuses on the TCNJ/NJMS program because I will be attending that program. Every program differs and has its own pros or cons.**
Note from tanzerina:
Thanks for submitting this article! All information is valuable information and hopefully this opposing side offered a different insight on the topic. Remember, if you want to submit an article too (whether it's about a specific experience like a summer job or program or just a general helpful article on a topic of your interest), just mention it in the form on my home page - it's important to get as many stories and information out there! :)
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