Our brains are funny. When we make a decision and start planning, it is often difficult to change direction when another option presents itself. Like a large, dense object travelling at a certain velocity, our decision has momentum that takes a lot of force to change (that’s for all those studying MCAT physics).
A few months ago I was accepted at the Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine. I was excited, as this was my top choice among DO schools. As I traveled through Peru I waited to hear from the two MD schools I interviewed at, my state school OHSU and Creighton University. I love my home city of Portland and being in Peru made me surprisingly homesick. Therefore I started hoping to get into OHSU. Unfortunately I was waitlisted at OHSU with a terrible ranking that essentially ensured my fate (only 87 more people need to give up their spot, I got a chance, right? Nope).
So I started getting excited about DMU. They had accepted me, and I really enjoyed the school. Creighton was great too, but as I was still waiting it did not feel like a real option. DMU was real, so I focused on it.
That changed a little over a week ago, when I was accepted at Creighton School of Medicine.
Initially I was torn. I had spent over a month getting excited about DMU. The campus was smaller at DMU and I felt more comfortable there. Tuition is more reasonable. At first I didn’t want to change my mind.
Then I started having conversations with friends and family. I remembered that one of my biggest motivation for becoming a physician is to do international work. I remembered that osteopathic physcians have full practice rights in only 50 countries. I just spent three months learning about medicine in Peru, and if I became an osteopathic physician I would not be able to return and actually practice medicine.
We can debate the MD vs DO thing for a long time (do a search over at SDN if you really want to have some fun) but at the end of the day I don’t want that limitation hanging over me.
Therefore, I’m ecstatic to announce that I will be attending Creighton University School of Medicine. This is certainly a change of plans, but one that I am very excited about. Once I pushed my mind to past that initial block to consider my choices, the right decision was clear.
So what’s the lesson here? Well first, the med school admissions process is crazy. Although I was disappointed at times, ultimately I had options which was a blessed position to be in. Second, when presented with a new option that changes your plans, take some time to really consider it carefully. Talk it over with people who know you well. I’m glad I did.