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Episode 128 – Jessica, third year medical student at University of Utah School of Medicine

Jul 10, 2019

“I had to ask myself some serious questions. One of them was: If you get to the end of your life and this is what you did, you stayed in real estate, would you feel like you had done enough? The answer for me was no, so I knew I had to make a change.” In the back of her mind, Jessica had always wanted to be a doctor. As a single mother of three, she prioritized taking care of her family by building a successful career in real estate. Jessica remarried, and with the support of her family, the dream of going into medicine became a reality. We discuss the process of making a serious career change, balancing family life with medical school, the benefit of being a non-traditional student with life experience, personal growth as a couple through mutual sacrifice, choosing a specialty, and finally, preparing to apply for residency.

Episode Transcript

Dr. Chan: What's it like to give up a career in real estate to become a doctor? How do you balance being a mom and going to medical school? How does work experience with a diverse client base help you on interview day? And finally, what is the benefit of going into family medicine? Today, on "Talking Admissions and Med Student Life," I interview Jessica, third-year medical student here at the University of Utah School of Medicine.

Announcer: Helping you prepare for one of the most rewarding careers in the world, this is "Talking Admissions and Med Student Life" with your host, the Dean of Admissions at the University of Utah School of Medicine, Dr. Benjamin Chan.

Dr. Chan: Well, welcome to another edition of "Talking Admissions and Med Student Life." I've got a fantastic guest today. Jessica, how are you doing?

Jessica: Good. How are you?

Dr. Chan: Good. Almost fourth-year student?

Jessica: Yes, almost fourth-year.

Dr. Chan: So I still remember when you started. So time goes by very quickly.

Jessica: For me too. Yeah.

Dr. Chan: All right. So let's start in the beginning. I love the story. I love the journey. How did you make a decision to become a doctor?

Jessica: So I didn't really think about medical school until I was mid-20s. And I had asked myself, "What would you do if you could do anything?" and I knew I'd want to go to med school. But I was a single mom at the time. I had three little kiddos and it just was not on the table. So I tried to find something else to do, a way to support my kids, and I ended up going into real estate, which was a really great career for me as a single mom. Like, really good financially. I had lots of time off.

Dr. Chan: So like an agent?

Jessica: Yes.

Dr. Chan: Like, showing off houses, selling houses, helping people buy houses.

Jessica: Selling houses, yeah, helping people buy houses. And it was good. It was really good for that time in my life.

Dr. Chan: Were you a good real estate agent? Or what do they call them? Realtor? What's the preferred . . .

Jessica: Realtor.

Dr. Chan: Realtor?

Jessica: Yeah. Not real-a-tor, but realtor.

Dr. Chan: And were you good?

Jessica: I think so. I mean, I did well. I did okay. Yeah. My clients liked me. So I guess that's good.

Dr. Chan: Okay. You can close the deal.

Jessica: I can close the deal. Yeah.

Dr. Chan: What was your geographic area like?

Jessica: Really, all of my business was referral-based. So, I went all over a place. I was like Santaquin to North Ogden.

Dr. Chan: Wow.

Jessica: Yeah, lots of driving.

Dr. Chan: But still in the back your head, medicine.

Jessica: Always. Yeah, always that I wanted to, but I didn't think I would get the opportunity. But I got remarried. Married a really great guy. And he started working from home and I just had that nagging voice in the back of my head like, "You should be doing something different." And we got to the point where that was a possibility. Financially, I figured out we could pull it off. I'm a planner. So I started looking at things and thought, "I think we could do this."

Dr. Chan: So how old were you when you started having these thoughts?

Jessica: I'm really bad . . . if you asked me how old I was today, I would have to think about it. Let's see. I'm 44 now. So I was like 38, I think, when I went back. I had not finished my undergrad degree at that time. I got married really young and dropped out of school. So I still had a lot of work to do even to get to the point of applying.

Dr. Chan: Interesting.

Jessica: Yeah. And then there was a question of should we do this? We're stable financially. I had a pretty easy job. Life was not bad. So I had to ask myself some serious questions. And one of them was, "Okay, if you get to the end of your life, and this is what you did, if you stayed in real estate and did this, would you feel like you had done enough?" And the answer for me was no. So I knew that I had to make a change.

Dr. Chan: So I know our medical school, all medical schools, we have all these requirements, right? And you alluded to the classes and the tests, which is a part of it, but then there's all this other stuff, like shadowing doctors, and research, and community service. How did you find that balance before you came to med school? How did you do that?

Jessica: That was tough because your pre-med years are pretty busy. You have a lot to fit in, a lot of volunteering, you need some clinical works, and patient care experience, leadership experiences. And you have to do all your prerequisites and do well. So it was hard.

And my husband, Cody, and I had some serious talks about, "Okay, if we're going to do this, it's going to be hard for both of us." He has definitely grown through this process as much as I have because he's had to take on a lot of roles that I filled before. He cooks. He's a fantastic cook. He does the laundry. He does the homework. He's really picked up all the pieces that I can't do so that I have time to spend with our family.

And in the pre-med years, that was the case too. He picked up and did stuff so that I could spend more time volunteering, doing the things I needed to do, and be able to go to school, and finish my degree.

Dr. Chan: So it sounds like there's a certain amount of sacrifice involved. Yeah.

Jessica: Absolutely. Yeah.

Dr. Chan: Did you miss certain events in your kids' lives? Or were you able to find . . . you know what I'm saying? There are the birthdays, and then there's the alone time with Mom.

Jessica: I never missed like a birthday or anything really important. Never missed a school program. Luckily, things have just fallen into place that way. But I have missed . . . I used to be able to go on all the field trips, and I haven't been able to go on all the field trips. I might hit one or two a year. So, there are things you don't get to do and that's tough, but it's a sacrifice that I feel like has been worth it.

Dr. Chan: All right. So you're getting everything in order and you start applying to schools. And where are you living at this time when you started applying?

Jessica: We live in South Jordan. That's where we lived during undergrad and all my pre-med years as well.

Dr. Chan: So did you only target our school or did you cast a wide net? I mean, what was your strategy going into this?

Jessica: Right. So that was a little scary. At the time of application, I still had a bunch of kids in high school and junior high, and I have two step-kids that live with us part-time. So there was no way that we could just take off and move across the country. That wasn't a sacrifice that we could make. So we only applied to The U. And that was really frightening, because the advice is you apply to, like, 30 schools, you apply really broadly, and you might not get in your first year. You might still have to apply two or three times.

So I just went into it with the mindset of, "Okay, I feel like this is what I'm supposed to do. And if that's the case, I'm just going to put everything into it that I can. And I'm going to have faith that it's going to work out. And if we need to apply two or three times, that's what we'll do."

Dr. Chan: Okay. Something that people often ask me . . . I'm just going to label you a nontraditional student. I hope you're okay with that.

Jessica: Yeah. I absolutely am.

Dr. Chan: Okay. Because I get asked a fair amount about this, and anecdotally . . . I haven't done any research projects about this, but anecdotally, I feel that nontraditional students tend to interview better because I feel like they have more life experience to draw upon. They've been through more situations and perhaps it's easier for them to communicate their thoughts and ideas. Was that your experience on interview day? Did you feel like this was a tactical advantage or no?

Jessica: Yeah, that's a good question. I'm not sure if I can answer that well because I don't have any other experience.

Dr. Chan: Well, obviously you got in. Yeah.

Jessica: But I never interviewed as a young student. But I definitely think there were points where I could connect with my interviewers because we had common ground. We had kids, and I could talk about some of my life experiences that are maybe a little bit different. I think being a nontraditional student sets you apart because you do have stories, you have stuff you've been through, you have had experiences. Not that you wouldn't as a younger kid, but I think you have more time to draw on.

Dr. Chan: So you're interviewing for med school. Is that too different than like an angry client when you're . . . because you're used to going into situations, but then maybe . . . I'm just thinking out loud. And then maybe in medicine, you're used to navigating patient concerns, balanced with client concerns. I don't know. Do you see what I'm saying?

Jessica: Yeah.

Dr. Chan: I would argue you have a certain skill set that you've really developed over time.

Jessica: My interviewers were definitely not like angry clients. They were very nice to me, but in the real world, working with different personalities, whether that be patients, or attendings, or whoever, I do think that working out in the world for so many years and doing real estate has helped me a lot. Because you understand that everybody doesn't communicate the same way that you do. People need to receive information in different ways and you can figure that out when you're talking to somebody.

And you understand, I think, too, maybe complicated emotions, that it doesn't always have to do with you. You don't take everything personally as much and are able to give people the benefit of the doubt. That's definitely experience that I gained along the way. So, yeah, I think that's helped me a lot.

Dr. Chan: I remember when I called you. I think you were very emotional, but also shocked at the same time.

Jessica: I was very shocked. I don't think I started crying until I hung up the phone. But at that point, I hung up the phone and I started sobbing. So I was very shocked that I got in the first time and so happy. Very, very happy.

Dr. Chan: Because it's been the culmination of, it sounds like, years and years of hard work and sacrifice.

Jessica: Yeah. Absolutely.

Dr. Chan: Did it feel more real at that moment? I mean, did the conversation start becoming a lot more serious with your husband and what this meant for the family?

Jessica: He's so great. He believes in me even more than I believe in myself. And he just always said, "I know you're going to get in," from the moment that I told him, "I want to try to do this. Are you okay with that?"

I said, "I probably won't get in, especially not the first time, but I want to try." And he was like, "No, if we do this, you're going to get in." So he was very prepared for it. When he said, "Yes, you should try to do this," he was like, "Okay, we're doing it. It's going to happen."

So, when I told him, he was not shocked. I was shocked that I got in. He said, "I knew you were going to get in." And we were ready I think that point. We had planned enough that we, financially and from a family standpoint, were ready to do it.

Dr. Chan: And any doubts start creeping in? Like, "I don't know if I'm ready." Imposter syndrome, the committee made a mistake.

Jessica: Yeah. I never had doubts about . . .

Dr. Chan: Yeah. There were a lot of Jessicas applying that year. Maybe my name got mixed in with some of those. Yeah.

Jessica: I never had doubts about if I wanted to do it or if I felt like it was the right thing to do. I think all of us experience imposter syndrome, no matter how old you are or where you came from, because the people that you were going to school with are so amazing in their own rights, so talented, and so smart.

And we're all different and have different strengths and abilities, but I think you come into school feeling like everybody must know more than you do. And that's a little scary because you want to come off as being competent. But I think it's important to reach that balance point, where you're like, "I'm learning. And it's okay for me to be humble and acknowledge that I'm learning, and so as everyone else."

Dr. Chan: So how was that jump from pre-med to med? How was the first couple of weeks? How was that first semester?

Jessica: The first year kicked my butt. I'll be honest. It was hard, and not just because it was med school. I had a pretty cushy life before. Even during my pre-med years, school wasn't hard. Studying for me wasn't hard. We went on a lot of vacations. We had a lot of free time. And all of a sudden, you don't. You don't have any free time. You have to find a new way to study because it's a lot of information.

But we also had a lot of family tragedies that year. My husband lost his mom the first week of school, and we lost some other family members. It was really tough. And so first-year for me was difficult. It was a big adjustment. I don't know that I could have been better prepared for it. I just had to get through it. We just had to find a way to get through it.

Dr. Chan: Yeah. I mean, there's an image of what med school is like, and then there's kind of this, "People just study all the time." Oh, yeah, I think there's that. But then when you're actually into med school, then you realize, "Oh, there's all this stuff. There's all these different learning methods, and all this material, and clinical skills lab, and small groups."

To me, it's beautiful, but it's also overwhelming at times. Because I just sit back and look at it and going like, "Med school looks different than it did 20 years ago when I went through." Your med school experience today is going to look very different today than 20 years from now. Yeah. So it sounds like, in your words, it kicked your butt.

Jessica: It did. Yeah, first-year was stuff.

Dr. Chan: Did you realize it was kicking your butt?

Dr. Chan: Yes. Yes, I did. I knew it was hard, but I thought, "Maybe this is what everybody's going through." But again, my husband, who had taken on the lion's share of responsibilities in our house, was grieving the loss of his mom and dad in the recent past and a brother. So it was hard for us on many fronts.

And I think once we got through that first year and I figured out how I needed to study to be more efficient, and we realized, "Okay, we're going to get through this," these emotional things that we were going through, second-year was easy for me. It was so easy. And I know that wasn't the case for some of my classmates. They said second-year was much harder.

Dr. Chan: So let's just focus on second-year. What was a typical day like for you? I mean, what time would you wake up? I mean, I'm just curious about the process, the logistics of trying to balance family and this awesome responsibility of med school, and awesome responsibility of family too. Not to minimize that.

Jessica: Yeah. Right. So, second-year was nice. We have the luxury at our school of watching some of our lectures from home. Everything's uploaded. You can watch them online. And then we have to be here on campus certain times during the week for labs, and groups, and things of that nature. So, when I could, I would watch lectures from home. So I'd get up in the morning, I'd watch the lectures from the afternoon before.

Dr. Chan: So what time would you get up?

Jessica: I would usually get up around 7:00 or the time when my kid would go to school. I mean, not super-early. Yeah. I was getting plenty of sleep second-year. And I'd watch lectures, I'd do flashcards, study for whatever we had coming up, come to campus if I needed to for groups, and then spend time with my family. So second-year was pretty nice. It wasn't bad.

Dr. Chan: Okay. So get enough sleep, study on the weekends a little bit, but also family time. Was there a support group or was there some network of the nontraditional students? Did you guys band together?

Jessica: Not really. I mean, there might be. I'm really bad at doing the group things. There are lots of opportunities to be involved in, like, extracurricular groups at school. And that's one thing that I have kind of said no to, by and large. I'm an hour away from school where I live. And so, if I'm coming up for an extra group or something, that means more time away from my family, which I'm pretty protective of.

And I think as a mom or wife that you have to be able to say no to everything that is not school or family. And that's the way that I found balance. I used to say yes to everything. I wanted to help everyone, and make a dinner, and go do this and that. And I had to learn to say, "No. The things I have time for right now are school and my family. And if it's not one of those two things, then it might not happen."

Dr. Chan: So I get the sense your family is very supportive.

Jessica: Yes.

Dr. Chan: I'm curious, though. As you've progressed in your medical education, have you encountered individuals, either in your neighborhood, or former coworkers, or maybe some distant family members, who weren't as supportive? Or they would say comments like,"Oh, why are you going back to med school at your age?" or, "You took a spot of someone who's younger than you"? Would you encounter that? And if so, what would you say?

Jessica: I haven't had anybody really malignant comment on me going back to my school. For the most part, everybody's been really supportive and said, "Gosh, I wish I would have done that," or, "If I could do something like that." And obviously, my family's been very supportive of me going back and really tried to rearrange schedules and make it possible for me to still do all the family things.

But I have run into a lot of people . . . some people who are like, "Why would you do that? Your life was so easy before." And it was. Because they knew that I had a good . . . my career was great financially, and they could see that, and they were like, "Why would you give that up and go back to school?" But when you have that nagging and you know that maybe you should be doing something else, I think that's when you make that choice. But I have had a lot of people repeatedly ask me how nursing school was going. And I . . .

Dr. Chan: Are those patients or . . .

Jessica: Some distant family members.

Dr. Chan: Okay. Distant family matters.

Jessica: Yeah. I have the most respect for nurses because they work so hard and we couldn't . . . especially students, they help us so much. But I'm not going to nursing school. I'm going to medical school. And I think it's too bad that there's a stigma there that if you're older and going back to school, you must be going back to school to be a nurse. Yeah, that's probably . . . but really, everybody's been great.

Dr. Chan: Good. All right. So third-year. I assume you still live in South Jordan.

Jessica: I do.

Dr. Chan: How did you balance . . . because third-year is a much different animal when it comes to schedule.

Jessica: It is.

Dr. Chan: Compared to first- and second-year. So how did you do it? I mean, what's your secret? How did you pull that off? Especially with everything else that's going on.

Jessica: Right. So my husband has some friends who are doctors. And he likes to gather information. He talked to all of them, and they all told him, "You're never going to see your wife during third-year. Good luck with that." So he was really depressed, like, "Oh, we're never going to see each other leading into third-year." And we just said, "We'll make the best of it. We'll carve out time where we can. It's going to be okay. It's a year. We'll get through it."

And so we've both been pleasantly surprised that it has not been as bad as I think we anticipated. I do live far away, which means that on 5:00 start days, I have to leave my house pretty early. So I'm getting up at like 3:30 in the morning. So I have to go to bed early.

Dr. Chan: Not a lot of traffic at that time, right?

Jessica: Not a lot of traffic. It's beautiful on the freeway at 3:30 in the morning. But it's been all right. We just find time where we can. We make sure that we are protective of our weekend time. We don't do a lot of extra stuff. But I loved it. I loved third-year.

Dr. Chan: Why?

Jessica: I love the patient interactions. I love the learning. Learning actually in the hospital or in the clinic is so cool, so much better. And I've had really amazing attendings and residents that I've worked with. I had great experiences in all my rotations. So, for me, it's been a great year.

Dr. Chan: That's what medicine almost truly is, right? It's like the first two years you learn about medicine. And there is some clinical interaction, I get that, but, yeah, third-year is really where it bears fruit. It comes to fruition, where you're using all that knowledge and then you're rounding on patients, seeing patients, being in the OR, returning pages, running around the hospital.

Jessica: Exactly. Yeah. Doing all the stuff.

Dr. Chan: Yeah. So that's great. So you're near the end of your third year, so what's been your favorite rotation so far?

Jessica: Oh, gosh, that's a bad question. I suffered from the ailment of loving every rotation that I did. Everything. And some things I weeded out just because of my age, because of where we're at in life. I didn't want to spend a really long time in residency. I feel like I could have picked anything and loved it.

Oh, gosh, that's hard. I would say probably psych and family med were my two favorites. And I almost picked psychiatry, but I missed the medicine part of it. I really missed the looking at labs and checking this out. And so, I'm picking family med because you can do a little bit of everything. And I love that.

Dr. Chan: Where did you do your family medicine rotation?

Jessica: I did my family medicine rotation out of the Daybreak Clinic, with David Owen. He was amazing. It was a great experience and I had a lot of fun.

Dr. Chan: And for people who don't know, describe what family medicine is and why it resonated with you. Because you mentioned there's a little bit more medicine attached to it than psychiatry.

Jessica: So family medicine, if you're going to work in a big city, you're probably going to be in clinic. If you're in a smaller town, you can work as a hospitalist too or work in an emergency room. There's a lot of diversity in family medicine. So you can choose what you want to do.

But in family medicine, you're going to be somebody's primary care physician. So they're going to come to you for their checkups. It doesn't matter if they're a baby, or a kid, or an adult. You can treat patients of all ages.

And the thing that I love about it the most probably is that you have these long-term relationships that you get to build with your patients. And you get to worry not just about one part of what's going on with them medically, but you get to worry about all of them. So you can focus on preventative health, you can focus on their mental health, you can focus on their physical health, all things that play upon each other. And you can address all of them, instead of just trying to fix one thing without being able to look at the others. And I really love that.

Dr. Chan: That's awesome. I mean, was it a single moment that you came to this decision or was there a series of events?

Jessica: Yeah. It's hard.

Dr. Chan: I mean, it sounds like recently you made up your mind.

Jessica: When I came back to school, my pre-med advisor said, "Oh, what do you want to do?" And at the time, I was like, "Well, maybe like hem-onc, or maybe neurology, or maybe family med." I came in with those three things on my radar.

So, really, family med was kind of always the thing, but it was a matter of trying to keep an open mind to see if there was something else that stuck out and said, "No, choose me. Choose me first." And nothing ever convinced me that I shouldn't do family medicine. Yeah.

When I did internal med in the hospital, which I also loved, I wanted to know everything about my patients. We had patients who weren't getting well because they had psych issues. So we were going to send them home and they were going to be back in a couple of weeks because they weren't taking care of themselves. And that was incredibly frustrating to me that working in the hospital, my job was just to stabilize them and send them home, and than I couldn't address these other things that were really important. And in family medicine, you have the opportunity to do that.

Dr. Chan: So what's your strategy for fourth-year? Someone that's going into family medicine, how do you craft or create a fourth-year schedule?

Jessica: Right. We're really lucky here in Utah because we have four family medicine residency programs, which is amazing. So I'm going to have an opportunity to spend time at a few of them to check out the programs, get to know the flow of things, see [inaudible 00:23:24] differently.

Dr. Chan: So an away rotation.

Jessica: Exactly, yeah. So I'll do some away rotations at the different hospitals. I'm also going to do a sports med rotation, because sports med is part of family med. You can do a sports med fellowship off of your family med residency. I'm going to do some continuity clinic, which is just volunteering in different clinics. Try to learn some Spanish, which is very important. If you have an opportunity to learn Spanish and you're thinking of going to medical school, you should do that, because you'll use it.

Dr. Chan: A lot. Yeah.

Jessica: A lot. Yeah. And then there are different rotations that we have to take just as a function of being a fourth-year student. We do a stint in ICU. We do some internal medicine, things like that.

Dr. Chan: So it sounds like you want to stay in Utah.

Jessica: I would love to stay in Utah. Our whole family is here. We have a house full of stuff that my husband would rather not pack up and move across the country.

Dr. Chan: Is this his baseball card collection or other . . .

Jessica: Yeah. No.

Dr. Chan: Okay.

Jessica: It's mostly my stuff [inaudible 00:24:19].

Dr. Chan: Okay. Your stuff. I was about to say . . .

Jessica: Yeah. He's kind of a minimalist.

Dr. Chan: Yeah. That's good. And then looking back, Jessica, what advice would you give to someone who may be in your shoes, thought about med school, but life has happened and they may be a little bit older than the traditional applicant? What advice would you give to someone out there?

Jessica: I would say if you are married or if you have a partner, make sure that that's a discussion that you have together. Know that this might be your dream, but it's going to really heavily involve both of you and change both of your lives. So you both need to be on the same page and agree that that's something that you're willing to sacrifice for.

I think it's a good idea to keep in mind that both of you are going to grow. It's not just you that's going to be putting in hard work, but your partner or spouse is going to be picking up a lot of your slack. And so, they have to be okay with that and be supportive of it.

And financially, I think there are a lot of considerations because you may already have a house or kids to take care of and financial obligations. So you really need to plan that out and know your numbers. You need to know how much it's going to cost to go to school, how much it's going to cost you to live during those years that you're in school, and make sure that you plan for that, that you can live off of what you're able to borrow, or that you save enough, or restructure your life in a way such that you can get by in the meantime. Because that's a big deal when you have obligations to people.

Dr. Chan: It sounds like it was your dream, but then would you say it became your partner, or spouse's, or your family's dream too? Or is that bridge too far?

Jessica: I would say Cody and I are very much in this together. He has been so wonderfully supportive through all of this and so proud. But definitely, he would rather be golfing some days than doing the laundry because I'm not home. So I don't know if it's his dream.

Dr. Chan: Cody, if you're listening, call in. Let us know what your dream is.

Jessica: But I can say that he's been . . . I couldn't have asked for a better support system through this from him.

Dr. Chan: I think it's interesting, because I think relationships are complex. They're hard. They evolve. As time moves forward, people change. But then you throw in this med school, and how much time sacrifice it requires both in preparation to apply to and then studying to become a doctor. I think it's great, especially if you have a partner, it can be so beautiful as you experience that together. It gives you a lot to talk about. I'm sure you talk a lot about med school.

Jessica: Oh, yeah.

Dr. Chan: But I also feel like it can create . . . it can be stressful, like anything you do in life. If one partner is doing something that's stressful, does that stress starts to bleed into the other partner's life?

Jessica: There are a few times when I know that he's felt this pressure to not tell me that he's stressed or not tell me that he's missing me because he doesn't want me to feel stress on my end. And so, we had to have some talks like, "You have to talk to me. If you feel like you need more time this week or if you're feeling stressed and feeling like you have a lot to do, you have to tell me."

I think that that open communication is so important, and to know that maybe you can't fix it in that moment. He might be feeling we didn't spend enough time together that week because it was an exam week, and he can tell me . . . that doesn't mean I can spend four hours with him that night, but he can tell me. We can say, "Okay, let's go do something this weekend."

But being able to be open with your frustrations and emotions and not take it personally from each other, I think, is really important.

Dr. Chan: Do you feel Cody and the family is ready for residency, or is that . . .

Jessica: He's scared about my intern year. Like third-year, he's heard horror stories about intern year. But I think . . .

Dr. Chan: It's the last horror story.

Jessica: Yeah. Exactly, the last horror story, intern year. But I think that we've gained some confidence in ourselves as a team to know that we can get through bad weeks, or rotations, or whatever, and still feel good about what's going on and have enough time for each other. So it'll be busy. Intern year will be busy, I'm sure, but I think we're ready.

Dr. Chan: Well, Jessica, my hat's off to you because I know you've done a lot, you've overcome a lot, you've fought a lot, and you're coming out on top.

Jessica: Thank you.

Dr. Chan: And I'm so glad you're here at our medical school and excited that you'll be graduating in a little over a year, which is just . . . I don't know. Again, I watch all of you. I see all of you. I remember White Coat and then it just goes by so quickly. And then all of a sudden, you guys are graduating. So it's just amazing to me.

Jessica: Yeah. It's kind of mind-blowing.

Dr. Chan: Very much so. Well, thank you for coming on. We'll have to have you come back, especially as you go through the interview match process. Again, I tell everyone applying to med school is really hard, but it just prepares you to apply to residency. You get to do it all over again four years later. It's like, "Oh, it never goes away."

Jessica: That's the truth.

Dr. Chan: It's like this pattern we're in. It's how our medical education is set up. Well, thanks, Jessica.

Jessica: Yeah. Thanks, Dr. Chan.

Announcer: Thanks for listening to "Talking Admissions and Med Student Life" with Dr. Benjamin Chan, the ultimate resource to help you on your journey to and through medical school. A production of The Scope Health Sciences Radio online at