Columbia and Baylor

20 February 2010

Last week was my first medical school interview. I headed off to the wonderful city of New York. I stayed there for five days (thank the Lord for a three day weekend) with a good friend who is working for Goldman Sachs, which was nice because my expenses were very low. All that I can say is that I love New York and would love to live in that city. It was magnificent. While I was there, I saw Wicked (amazing), the Financial District, Wall Street, the Wall Street Bull, the Meat Packing District, Chinese New Year in Chinatown, Little Italy, Times Square, the Metropolitan Museum, the Museum of Art Design, the Museum of Modern Art, and so much more! There was so much to do and I highly doubt I would ever get bored.


I thought that I would be overwhelmed with the city, but I wasn’t. When I first arrived at JFK, I was overwhelmed with getting on a bus to Manhattan and then getting my way to my friend’s apartment. After dropping off my suitcase, I navigated the subways to Columbia all by myself. I was very nervous about that, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought. I became quickly acclimated to the city.


Columbia is a beautiful place (I’m a sucker for huge hospitals). There was so much going on there that I loved. I loved the curriculum, the service opportunities, the free homeless shelter/clinic, the school, the people, the diversity, and again, much more. My interview was probably subpar. The reason for this was because the first question the interviewer asked me was why I wanted to become a doctor. I told him about my desires to help others, but I also told him about my desire to earn an MD/PhD. He then looked me straight in the face and asked me, “Why are you here then?” The reason he asked me is that an MD/PhD has a different application and interview than an MD. I told him about how my desire to earn a PhD recently developed. I then felt like I was fighting my way back from the grave for the rest of the interview. He was always questioning my motives of being there. I think that I had a decent interview, but not an amazing one. I hope that it works out so that I could go to Columbia, because I loved the school and the city.


I just barely returned from my trip to Baylor. I didn’t spend much time in Houston, but from what I saw, it reminded me a lot of Salt Lake City. This isn’t a bad thing, but I much prefer a bigger city and I prefer something that wouldn’t remind me of home. Don’t get me wrong. I do love Utah, but I am ready for a new place and a new adventure. Houston, being the fourth largest city in the US, didn’t seem like a big city. I still had a good time.


The interview was yesterday and I felt like I rocked the two I had. The first one was with a doctor. She was an amazing, strong woman from Germany (I’m a sucker for strong women). She and I had a lot in common and so the interview flowed very naturally. I had a great time talking to her and she seemed to enjoy our conversation. At the end of the interview, she told me that she was planning on giving me a very strong recommendation to the admissions committee. I’m really stoked for this! The second interview also went well. This time it was with a fourth year student. He asked me some ethical questions and my opinion on health care reform. He agreed what I said in my responses and told me that I gave a good strong response, whereas other interviewees gave lackluster comments. This made me extremely happy. After the seven hour long interview session, full of interviews and tours, most of the applicants headed to an Irish Pub paid for by Baylor. We had free food and some good times. I enjoyed my time there, but I was surprised how many people were getting hammered and smashed. I thought that people in the medical profession would know better, but I guess the socialization of the norms for my age group is still there. It made me uncomfortable so I left, especially because all of the people that I made friends with during the interview session were completely drunk.


I really loved Baylor too! The school was amazing and beautiful! It had basically everything the same as Columbia, except it was in Houston. I really like both Columbia and Baylor. I’m not sure how things are going to work out, but I’m not sure if I would go to Baylor because of Houston. If it were between Columbia and Baylor, I would definitely go to Columbia. I would be happy at either place, but I would be happier at Columbia. I still have one more interview at The Ohio State, so things might change. I still haven’t heard back from the NIH either and that will definitely change what direction I go. If I get into the NIH, I will definitely reapply as an MD/PhD, which I am currently working on.


What happens next year still scares me because my future is still a mystery. I can’t make long-term goals to achieve because I don’t know where I’ll be, but wherever I end up will be the best for me and it will be the best route for me to take in life.

11 comments:

Ned said...

Great report and such a winning attitude. My only question: How did swimming prepare you so well for a career in Medicine?

Mister Curie said...

Glad to hear your interviews are going well. Good luck on the next one!

Beck said...

There's something magical about Manhattan and no, I don't think you'd ever get bored!

When I was in Houston, I couldn't wait to get out of town to Galveston and the Gulf.

But, hey, the process you are going through will most definitely lead you to where it is best for you to be.

Abelard Enigma said...

I didn’t spend much time in Houston, but from what I saw, it reminded me a lot of Salt Lake City. This isn’t a bad thing, but I much prefer a bigger city ...

You do realize, don't you, that Houston is the 4th largest city in the U.S. and has a population nearly that of the entire state of Utah :)

Have you considered University of Texas Southwestern Medical School? Then you'd be in my neck of the woods :)

Sean said...

Ned-
Baylor was actually very impressed with my swimming and Triathlon history. The doctor interviewing me loved it and told me to keep it up and not become fat like the rest of Texas. I laughed really hard when she said that.

Mister Curie-
Thanks! We'll see what happens...

Beck-
I agree. Houston seems like a run down version of SLC.

Abe-
I know it's the fourth largest city, but it still reminds me of SLC. It's spread out, light rail, people mainly driving, etc. I haven't looked there because it's very hard to get into public Texas schools unless you are a resident. I believe it's a 90% Texan to 10% Out-of-State ratio.

Abelard Enigma said...

I hope I didn't offend - it just struck me as funny when you said you wanted something bigger :)

Too bad about Texas medical schools - would have been nice to have another MoHo in town . . .

Sean said...

Abe-
No offense at all! hahaha! Nothing gets bigger than Texas, right? ;) I guess I should have made myself more clear. I don't want to be in a city that makes me feel like I am in Utah and that is exactly how Houston made me feel.

boskers said...

I'm happy for you!

Brandon said...

Yay! (: I'm glad your interviews are going well! Who knows, maybe we'll end up within a few hours of each other (but only if you end up in not-Texas, because you-know-who is morally opposed :P).

睡衣 said...

若對自己誠實,日積月累,就無法對別人不忠了。........................................

stargo said...

All good things come to an end. .........................................