In America everything is a rush to get to some sort of an end. Perhaps to brag about completing x,y, and z at a particular age is the goal of some. However, on the med school track take your time. Nothing is wrong with doing a post bacc or special masters. As long as the earth exists, there will always be a need for physicians. Programs before med school could assist with teaching one how to study effectively. My friends that are in med school that completed the post bacc have shared the ease of the ms 1 with regards to studying. Wait, I am not saying med school is easy but what I am saying is each of them said that the post bacc taught them how to study. Though their year was arduous it was not impossible. Please do not listen to folks that say that post baccs or special masters are wasteful. I’d say go for what makes you a stronger candidate not only to get in med school but to help you better prepare for the fire hydrant of work that is to come. Take your time and learn the concepts needed to become a better student. The danger of walking into med school with only a bachelors or no post bacc may be that one compares their college studying to what they think med school entails. As we should know those habits are not equivalent by any stretch of the imagination to med school studying. This is not to say that someone fresh out of college cannot be successful, because many do well. However, there are many that need any extra push in the area of effective studying. If that’s you apply to the above programs, it’ll only help in the future.
So my final grades have posted. All great grades and I am officially a candidate for the doctor of public health not to be confused with the phd in public health. Both programs end with the doctorate however our skillset is slightly different. A candidate in this case means that all I have left is the dissertation, I have completed 75% of the program. Aside from mcat studying, there is not anything else going on.
When people tell you to give, state this: Give up and do what?
It’s hard but carry on! I know of a man that carried up a cross down the “via dolorosa” aka the “road of sorrow.” This man died for a world that hates him. So, you can bear this!!! Pray and push!!!
I spent 12 hours working on a 25 page paper on yesterday. Final paper for my final class💃🏾💃🏾💃🏾! However, I had to print out the comments from my professors from prior papers. The last two papers were crap according to this professor. I must admit those papers were crap lol! She told me that I am a strong writer and over the last few weeks, my writing was disorganized! I did not get into my feelings. I used her feedback to do better. Everyone is not against you. Sometimes, we must examine ourselves to see if their lies any grain of truth in someone’s criticism. That is a test of maturity and it will definitely challenge our egos. None of us know it all.
My point: Examine yourself after receiving criticism. Some critiques are hate-filled but most are coming from a place of correction.
“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor detest His correction; For whom the Lord loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights” Proverb 3:11-12
Cinco de Mayo is my bday! I will sleep and study in that order lol! That’s all!!
I hope that all is well! I have been busy with MCAT study about 70-80 hours a week. Tiring to say the least. I already took the AAMC 3 and will go backwards and finish the other two. Anyway, let’s chat about finishing this doctorate of public health. I am in the last class right now and thank you Jesus for that. I just submitted a paper on how to evaluate the effectiveness of a public health program for Chronic Liver Disease in the Latino population. Two more weeks of this class and I am done with all coursework!!
However, being done with coursework has nothing to do with being done with the overall doctorate. I am not sure why people realize that a doctorate in medicine and law are difficult but neglect to understand the arduousness of a doctorate in any field. Heck, it is mostly PhD’s that work in labs to find cures to diseases. But, I digress. A few weeks ago, I had to attend a Residency in Denver, CO, for my doctoral program. It is not a residency in the term that most are aware of like post medical school. This is built for people doing distant degrees. This was great because my classmates are stationed all over the world and I was able to meet them. Since, this was my last residency it was solely on our dissertation topics and each component of the dissertation.
Let’s get to it. My topic will be “Racial Disparities with Infant Mortality in America.” I will not share my research questions because that is private. However, I will share the process. The first component of the Dissertation is to submit a Prospectus. The goal of this section is to illustrate to the committee and Department Chair what exactly you are choosing to study. It is only 9-10 pages, but you best believe that if does not prove that there is a gap in literature regarding the topic, it will be rejected. In the prospectus the research question has to be aligned with the purpose of the study. We are only allowed to have two datasets. I will also add that my research is quantitative so I will have to pull data from somewhere like the CDC and request a codebook for data analysis. Let me go back, we are assigned a committee at which we will defend our work. The next step is the most difficult. We are to complete a proposal. Oh boy, this part is a mess. The proposal includes why we are interested in the topic? Why did we select a particular methodology? We need to include our sample size, will our data be categorical and etc. We need to illustrate the independent variables effects on the dependent variables. The list goes on and on. Guess what? We must defend our proposal in order to proceed. After successfully defending, we move on to the IRB process. If you don’t know what that means please google IRB. You should know what that means as a future physician and etc. After approval of IRB, we move on to the meta-analysis. Here, I will probably hire a statistician to help with the interpretation of the results (with the permission of my committee board). Running data in SPSS is easy but I have always struggled with complex interpretation. The best that I could tell anyone is the strength of the p-value (very elementary level of understanding). After data analysis, discussion, comparison to other literature, the dissertation is almost done. Yes, the dissertation could end up being hundreds of pages. The final component is the last oral defense, at which you have to defend every single step. Each step can take months to years depending on how quickly that you finish each section and correct what the board says needs to be corrected. The dissertation portion is where a lot of student ends up in “Dissertation Hell” and quit. I have two friends that were in dissertation for over 5 years and they finally left the programs.
I hope that I explained what I am going through.. it is not light-weight..It may sound easy in this blog..Ask anyone going through a dissertation… I am sure they would be angry at the assumption that it is easy.
Toodles Dolls and Dudes!!!!
I promise next week that I will blog the doctoral steps that I am going through right now. However, this week I must finish my aamc practice q’s. So far I have literally done about 1k questions just with the aamc. In may, I have two tests, one section q’s for cars and the official aamc guide questions left. I will blog next week God willingly!