Applying to Medical School (4): When the universe decides to call your bluff…

In an overly dramatic post last week, I shared with you all that I am sc-ared of deferring money from aggressive student loan repayment to apply to medical school. I mean, I said some other stuff, all true, but at the end of the day, the immediate consideration is that every dollar I put toward the uncertain process of applying to medical school is a dollar I won’t be putting toward my very certain student loan debt. While this anxiety isn’t new to me and has kept me company for at least four years, the universe seemingly got sick of my belly aching and decided to call my bluff…

Yesterday, I received a notification from the payroll system of University B (my current employer) that my pay-stub for a direct deposit being made this Friday (10/15/2022) was now available for review. Assuming it was an error or a resend of my monthly pay-stub, I initially ignored it. However, after reconciling my financial books last evening, curiosity got the better of me and I decided to take a peek. I was immediately confused. While the amount seemed familiar, I was confused as to why I was receiving a deposit on a biweekly payroll cycle. As I didn’t want any problems with my future paychecks, I immediately reached out to human resources representative for my division and asked her about the odd payment. She surprised me by informing me that it was for a retroactive payment for an extra duty I performed in August and that the amount was correct. Well…okay.

However, before I could even begin to obsess over how much closer the $323.00 payment was going to put me towards my goal of getting under $90K in student loan debt this year, I received an email reminder from the Association of American Medical Colleges letting me know that registration for the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), for the 2022 test year, would be opening today at 12:00PM EST for Group A testing sites (East Coast and Midwest testing sites). Yea.

An 8-hour beast of an exam, the MCAT has felled many a hopeful premed. It also doesn’t come cheap at $325.00. Yea.

So…the universe seemingly called my bluff with this pot of “found” money and I decided it was time to put-up or shut-up. The above is my MCAT registration receipt for the March 25th test date. This is more than enough time to really study for the exam, giving it my best effort, and determine whether or not I have a competitive enough score to apply. In the medical school admissions process, especially for an older student, your MCAT score is often the determining factor as to whether or not you get admitted to medical school. You receive your score approximately one month after you take the exam. For me, one way or the other, whether or not I will continue to pursue admission to medical school will be determined in April of 2022.

4 thoughts on “Applying to Medical School (4): When the universe decides to call your bluff…

  1. Ahhh I’m squealing in delight! This is literally the kind of thing that I would take as the universe giving me a sign too. So excited for you! To be honest, I was so 50-50 on what you should do based on your last update that I couldn’t even make a comment as I didn’t want to add to your confusion.

    I really think this is a win-win as it gives you an extra year to make student loan payments and it gives you the extra time to study to give you the best chance of getting a high MCAT score. I think your answer to your best friend’s question on whether you would apply to med school if you had no student loans really solidified my initial thought that you might regret it if you never took a chance on this. So I’m glad you’re giving yourself a proper chance to pursue this dream.

    Now, don’t procrastinate on studying. I know, easier said than done. March may look far away, but it’ll be there before you know it!

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      • You’re absolutely correct Blissful. Also, I learned that my top choice program (the in-state school) has an accelerated 3-year track if you commit to a primary care specialty (the only specialties of interest to me) that comes with a 2-year full-tuition scholarship. It means that if I could get into that school (anyone interested is admitted to that program) I would only need to cover one year of tuition. Getting a good score that would make me competitive for admission there is my #1 goal. It’s another reason I decided not to try for late admission this year. I realized that getting into the right program would save me way more money in the long run than starting a year earlier.

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    • Thank you for the support Avery! And you are absolutely correct about March being here quickly. I am currently creating a study plan to be done with learning new material and material review by mid-January and plan to spend the rest of the time focusing on test-specific study.

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