Let me preface this post by stating that I’ll always support the underdog. The one who everyone counts out. The one who has seemingly insurmountable odds stacked against him/her. However, in the world of social media, people are exposed to a skewed impression of overcoming the odds to achieve one’s dreams. I’ve seen this countless times with those hopeful to become physicians, and honestly, the realist in me finds this a bit disconcerting.

Baylor College of Medicine

We see stories of people who had sub-2.0 GPAs and MCAT scores in bottom quartile who make it to medical school and land a “competitive” residency. Great! Major props to them for their resilience and “overcoming the odds.”

My concern is that everyone thinks they are in the same position… that they too will have the same outcome eventually if they continue to persevere. In the process, they disregard how long medical training is AFTER they start.

I’ve never been one to sugar coat my responses, so here it goes – the odds are still against you. I’m not saying give up. Instead, it’s these very individuals who need to understand that resilience does not mean mindlessness. Blind ambition is dangerous. There’s an opportunity cost with decisions to “try again”, and quite frankly, the formative years in one’s life are short.

Be ambitious, but always be realistic and understand that your decisions have consequences whether it’s time, money, family-related obligations, etc.

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