The Professor, my second son, was working on his applications to medical school.
He was still shell-shocked from taking the MCATs, now the dreaded application process.
He had to write an essay for each application.
The Professor sat with me in our backyard.
He mainly spent this time with me to organize his thoughts. Nothing was required of me but to sit and listen.
He had written a brilliant technical paper highlighting the research he had done with a doctor who he interned with. Everyone who read the paper felt it showcased my son’s strong intelligence and understanding of difficult concepts.
It was really good.
The Professor had written a second essay.
It was a story.
The story of how the Professor helped a friend, we’ll call Jon.
Jon had dropped out of high school. His sister had taken her own life as Jon’s spiraled out of control. He became addicted to drugs and lived on the streets. Somehow the Professor met and befriended him. Through their friendship the boy regained a sense of self-worth. The Professor began teaching him all the material he would need to know to get his GED. Jon eventually took the test and called my son to thank him when he passed.
“In my whole entire life this experience with Jon has had the greatest impact on me. It’s why I want to help people.”
“The way you helped Jon was great, but is this the kind of material that medical schools expect to see on the application?” I asked.
“I don’t know.” He moaned “I don’t know what they want!”
I advised him to keep the “Jon” story for his personal use and send the other essay out to the schools.
The Professor sent out all the applications and the waiting began.
To make this long story short, the Professor was asked to interview at a prestigious school before final admittance.
He told me about this interview. The dean of the university was there as were the heads of the medical school and research department. The Professor said they asked him various questions about his academic career.
The dean stood up, the interview was over.
As the dean shook the Professor’s hand he said to him,
“We think you would be very happy here.
But tell me, how is Jon doing?”
This is a true account of the Professor’s application and interview before medical school.
He has almost completed his first year of medical school.
(From what I hear Jon continues to do well)