Hello, My Name Is Steve

My name is Steve Krager and I write for MD Journey. Here’s a picture of me climbing a big mountain in Peru a few weeks ago:

I thought writing anonymously would give me more freedom but I am only feeling more restricted. So from now on I’ll be writing as me, Steve. Nice to meet you.

My Pre Med Journey

I grew up outside of Portland, Oregon and went to college at Seattle Pacific University. I graduated in 2008 with a degree in Biology and minors in Chemistry and Spanish. I loved SPU.

I went to college with the vague idea of doing missionary or international development work. I changed my sophomore year to pre med. It sucked at first. I was a valedictorian in high school but my first quarter of college Biology I barely scraped by with a B-. My first General Chemistry exam I scored a 64%.

Ugh. Do I really want to do this pre med thing? I pushed through, found a tutor in chemistry, discovered more effective study methods and started to improve. I pulled out a B in Gen Chem I. Gen Chem II, an A-. I made strides in Biology, slowly.

I graduated with a 3.65 overall GPA with a science GPA of about 3.4. In January of 2009 I took the MCAT and scored a 32M. The last two years I have worked as an ER Scribe.

Last summer I started the medical school application process. After 12 secondary applications and 8 interviews I was accepted at 6 medical schools and waitlisted at 2. I will be attending Creighton University School of Medicine in August. I’ve been in Peru the last two months watching births and dressing newborns in a public health clinic. It’s been amazing.

I’m passionate about global health and living a remarkable life. My faith is a huge part of why I want to be a physician. I am also passionate about helping pre med students navigate the journey to medical school. I believe deeply that you can be a great pre med student and have an awesome life at the same time.

I’m hoping to be a great medical student and have an awesome life too.

So that’s my story. Any questions?

Keep up with the blog and I’ll be sharing more personal stories about my pre med journey, research on how to study and take tests effectively and other useful pre med content.

What’s your pre med story?

7 thoughts on “Hello, My Name Is Steve”

  1. Small world.

    I graduated from a high school only about 30 minutes from Portland.

    I too was my high school class 09 valedictorian. However I choose to head to Clackamas Community College for my first year of college so that I could get a EMT cert.

    Right now I’m with an ambulance service and have probably ran into you at some point if you did the ER Scribe position locally. (Legacy System? OHSU?)

    I will most likely be transferring to UO this coming winter term to major in molecular biology

    I really dig your blog, keep it up!

  2. Thanks for the comment! Small world indeed. I worked at the Legacy Hospitals, mostly Mt Hood and Emmanuel. I may work a few shifts when I get back to the states in July, perhaps we´ll run into each other.

    Good luck at UO!

  3. Hey Steve, just stumbled upon your blog- really helpful! I too am a NW person. Moved to Portland, OR in 06 from Hawaii and just recently graduated Lewis & Clark College with a BA in psychology. I’ve always been interested in medicine but decided in college it would be best to explore my many interests and options. I am now set on pre-med and hope to take post-baccalaureate classes at University of Portland in the fall. Currently I am in San Francisco doing a cardiology research internship for the summer.

    I have taken general chemistry but am planning on retaking it as i didn’t do too well my freshman year of college (gen chem I C+, gen chem II B) which I feel has effected my confidence. I was wondering what worked for you study wise through your chemistry classes.

    Also I was wondering how you got that amazing opportunity in Peru!

    Karielle Brugman

  4. Karielle,
    Congrats on graduating! That´s a big deal.
    I know a lot of people from University of Portland who worked in the scribe program with me. If you want a great part time job when you´re there you should check it out.


    As far as Chemistry goes… well I´m actually going to write a guide for Gen Chem very soon where I explore what worked for me and what I see working for others. One tip: Identify weak areas (types of problems you don´t understand) and take them to a tutor. I only had two sessions with a tutor but it helped immensely.

  5. Oh and Peru! I went through a program called AIDE.


    While they were great, I would recommend going directly through programs in Cusco such as Centro Tinku or Maximo Nivel. You´ll save some money and get the same experience.

  6. Hey Steve!
    funny thing. I’m also from Portland. I’m about to graduate from Whitman College as a premed/Psychology major. I’m planning on taking a year off to partake in some clinical experience before I start my medical school application process. I’m really interested in the scribe position and was wondering how difficult it is to get hired.

    Also, I haven’t taken the mcats yet, but I have a similar GPA (combined 3.65 and science 3.4). I know its not an incredibly high GPA comparatively, and I was wondering if this created any problems for you during the medical school selection process. Did you strictly apply to schools that accepted GPAs around 3.6? Were the medical schools more interested in your post-grad experience than your scores?

    Thanks so much for all of your help in advance!

  7. This blog is a great find! My son is about to be a junior in high school and wants very much to practice medicine. He goes to Catlin Gable in Portland where he is class president, works for a pediatrician, participates in all the OHSU/NEOAHEC Medstars and Medquest programs every summer, coaches special olympics soccer and bball every summer, and the list goes on. He is very afraid of the tuition prices he is seeing. We cannot afford to flip the bill for college and he works very hard hoping to get into a good school and receiving financial aid/scholarship. We keep hearing that the competition is tremendous now. Any advice? Thanks!!!

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