I decided to be a role model, so had to go through the motions of applying. The easiest part was paying the $20 application fee.
Having been a professor of anatomy for over 15 years, I have done my share of recommendation writing. However, I haven’t had to ask for letters since receiving tenure. Fortunately, just for fun, I took microbiology from one of my colleagues just a year before. So, my letters came from him, my orthopedic surgeon, and my boss.
The hardest part of the application wasn’t getting all my transcripts into a single pdf, it was the essay questions. They were intended for undergraduates, but some still applied. “What do you do when not in school?” Others were thought provoking. “What moment in history would you like to have witnessed and why?” When you know there are no right answers, it’s hard to decide when you are done.
I submitted everything on-line and on-time, and felt like I had gotten in touch with what my students go through. I imagined that I might be so overqualified as to not receive an interview, so I started thinking about what hobbies I could take up for summer. Then of course I was invited to interview. By this time I was torn between my competitive nature and desire to be lazy all summer.
The interview was only thirty minutes, for which I had to spend money on round-trip air, hotel and rental car. I even bought a new outfit. When I arrived, it became obvious I was not only the oldest applicant, but I was close to double my interviewers ages. These questions were more serious than the essays covering ethics and motivation.
When I was accepted, I secretly felt guilty for taking a spot away from some truly motivated premed. But the truth is, I will learn whether or not I want to be a surgeon and everything I see will help in my teaching. Now let’s hope I can keep up with the residents.