There are no guarentees. No matter how qualified you might be, how hard you work, and how tactically you apply, you might still not get into a US or Canadian medical school. Given how many doctors we know, as both faculty and alums, we are very well versed in the stomach-dropping panic at the thought of not getting in. Life is, of course, bigger than becoming a doctor, but then again, is it, really? For you?
There are exceptions but, for most people, becoming a physician is not a job. It's a calling. It's a vocation that is often intextricably tied to personal aspirations, sense of identity, even a philosophical contemplating of the role of a person in a society. It's only natural to feel utterly heartbroken, panic stricken, and out of sorts if after all the planning, all the work, it just doesn't work out.
You didn't get into medical school. So, now what do you do?
We have good news. It's not over. Not even close. And we're not suggesting you try for another field, nor are we saying you should just wait around for the next year and put faith in the same system that let you down. If you've put in that work, you can still go to medical school this year. Trinity is an here (we'd say "and schools like it" but the truth is, there aren't any schools quite like Trinity). It's not just an option, either. For some students, it's a great opportunity.
If you've been following this blog or met with any of our admissions team, you've heard it all before: We're a growing school, but we're comitted to retaining a tight student-to-faculty ratio because this is great for learning outcomes. We aren't here to turn you against other students, we're here to turn you into doctors. We provide first-term clinical experience at our affiliated teaching hospital. We provide opportunities to gain global health experience, to take place in regular outreach and make a real difference. It's an oft-repeated chorus because it's such an effective method.
That said, you regularly hear that from us. It's time you hear it directly from our students.
Last week, a group of our third year students gave some of their precious free time to answer questions from prospective candidates. Here's a small sample of what they had to say about their choice to attend Trinity.
They talked about the student culture and its lasting effect on their education:
"It's really a collaborative environment. A lot of the bigger schools, people are competitive; they're weeding people out. Here, the goal is to be in a group of people you can work with, everyone wants to be a physician, so you help each other get there. I still study with people I was on the island with. We did questions then, we do them now [in clinical rotations]. We celebrate each other's successes. It's a great experience." -Joshua Baiel (Harvard University)
And the rare opportunities Trinity provides, from time in Milton-Cato Memorial Hospital to medical outreach in the Eastern Caribbean:
"Trinity teaches you the academic material, but you also know how to take that history, how to connect appropriately with patients, how to give a great physical. We learn how to be clinicians during the basic sciences from day one. It's a great experience." -Leighton Elliot (Mercer University)
"World Pediatric Project, Village Doctor, Trinity does more than just put you in Milton Cato. It gives you the chance to go out into the greater Caribbean community, to help. And it was so valuable. Now, one of the things I was worried about, the thing that scared me the most, is the bad rap, the reputation of Caribbean schools. Let me tell you something, though: we use the same books as schools in the US, we take the same tests. This is why the schools there are exploding. It's the same material and our scores are high. Don't be afraid of that. You'll get it all." -Paul Cartright (DePauw University)
They covered their confidence and feeling ready to start their clinical rotations, as well as working with students from US schools:
"I just finished my family medicine rotation with students from another school and I felt extremely prepared. There were things (other) students were asking that were heavily imparted to us at Trinity. I felt so comfortable with patients, too. Ihave no problem taking a history, giving a physical because at Trinity you're going to be in the hospital already in those first two years. You're going to be so comfortable. That's why I chose Trinity, and I got into several DO schools in the US, but I wanted that immediate clinical experience." Anthony Jordan (Eastern Carolina University)
"I felt completely confident working with US students. We were comperable, mixed in with other Caribbean students and US students. In Baltimore, we're with University of Maryland students, as well as the same clinicians and attendings as Howard students, for example. You go to grand rounds regularly, and you're interacting with attendings, residents, and students from Johns Hopkins. they're a great opportunity to meet people, get your face out there, make connections, and just interact with your future colleagues." -Leighton Elliot (Mercer University)
And spoke at great length on the quality of the faculty and staff:Caribbean Medical School Faculty and Staff
"You're going to work hard, no matter what school you go to. We use the same books, we take the same tests. With Trinity, small class sizes aren't important for a lot of people, but that was a big thing for me. In lecture, you get really close with your professors. Regardless of what school you go to, you're going to be deep in the books. With Trinity having lecture with great teachers, you have the opportunity to ask questions, get clarification, dig deeper into topics during the lecture, afterwards, it's nice to have that relationship with the faculty." -Leighton Elliot (Mercer University)
"It isn't all schools where you go to the admin and faculty and everyone knows you by name, greet you when you walk in, and if you need help, they can help you." -Afolami Fagorala (University of California, Berkeley)
"If you're a student that has struggled, the professors want to see you succeed. They push you to work harder than you ever have before and you perform better, the faculty is always encouraging." -Philomise Moncion (Clayton State University)
We couldn't have said it better ourselves.
Trinity is not the school for everyone. It is the school for passionate, engaged future physicians that will fit in with our culture. If you want to spend your time buried in research, or fighting tooth and nail to be the best? We'll happily educate you, we'll train you as a physician, but you may not be happy here. And that's fine. But if your calling to medicine went unanswered this year, and everything you've read does sound like a fit for you? There's still time for qualified students to apply and matriculate in 2016.
We hope to hear from you soon. Click below to get started.