My name is Paulina Predko and I am currently a rising second-year majoring in Health Science. I am also from NYC, specifically Manhattan. Other than acclimating and adapting to online classes, I have been doing my best in these classes in order to improve my GPA for medical school. Just in general I would describe my first year of college as a journey of adapting and transitioning to a heavier workload and a more dynamic lifestyle; I feel like living on campus and actually learning to manage my time better helped me feel more prepared for future endeavors like medical school. In fact, I think I made the right decision in majoring in Health Science because I learn so much more than just science! I have always thought that being a doctor is more than just being intelligent and being able to understand and analyze upper level biology and chemistry; being a Health Science major has taught me how the American Healthcare System works, and allowed me to go more in depth and learn more about the financial intricacies behind every outpatient visit, as well as the communication and conversation that occurs between a doctor and their patient. Such crucial aspects of the patient-physician relationship cannot be ignored, and it is important to keep that in mind when deciding to pursue the pre-med track.
This past year I have also been working as an office assistant at the Pre-Health/Pre-Med Office! I think that my position as an office assistant is a truly rewarding experience, since I get an opportunity to familiarize myself with the advisors who work there (shoutout to Rob, Ciara, and Dr. Hughes!), while learning more about medical school admissions, as well as medical school prerequisites. I personally started researching some things about the medical school application process back in the summer of my first year, and was always interested in the medical field from a young age. During my first semester of college, I spent a lot of my time further researching medical schools and their requirements for incoming applicants. At first I felt overwhelmed with how much I had to research for work, but at the same time I felt that it was a wonderful opportunity to dip my toes into the world of AMCAS, the American Medical College Admissions Service! In my second semester, I did further research into D.O. schools and what the criteria and prerequisites looked like for upcoming applicants. I will say that when looking back, there really is no major difference between D.O. and M.D. My research has shown that although requirements are a bit different to gain admission to a D.O. school, you still actively help people and work as a doctor, with more hands-on experience. Not only is there nothing wrong with people choosing to pursue a D.O. track, but you also still have the ability to be an active member of the healthcare workforce! Getting into medical school takes a lot of time and effort, both in school and outside of school; I think before anyone decides to pursue this path they should really ask themselves if one, they are willing to put in the time and work it takes, and two, if they think that their hard work will pay off in the future.
I hope that this has been helpful to all current and future pre-med students and I did want to wish everyone good health and safety during this time of crisis.