Real quick reminder: a post-bacc program allows students that have already attended college to complete all the prerequisites for admission to medical school, physical therapy school, veterinary school, and other health professions schools. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has an extensive list of post-bacc programs. Programs have some variation in extra courses and program length, but they all get you the core basic science classes required for medical school and to prep you for the MCAT.
I’ve been sitting on this post for a few months now and wasn’t sure I wanted to publish it. If you follow me on social media, you’ve seen me talk about Beautycounter and my side hustle as a consultant. I was unsure about posting it here because I try to keep this space focused on health policy and medical school. But then I realized that those parts of my life are exactly WHY I joined Beautycounter in the first place. So today, I’m going to let you in on why I really became a Beautycounter consultant and why I love it!
In all honestly, I never gave much thought to my skincare or makeup — I didn’t learn how to wear makeup until college and my idea of skincare until recently was taking off my makeup with a remover wipe at night. But as I’m approaching the big 3-0 this year, I decided it was time to be more proactive and take care of my, admittedly, pretty great skin (#thanksgenetics). I want it to look this good years down the road!
I had no idea what products I needed and I’ve always felt overwhelmed by the department store counters and Sephora. I start sneezing thanks to the perfume and then have no idea if something is good quality or worth the cost. So when a blogger I’d been reading for years mentioned that she was a Beautycounter consultant, I was intrigued. She shared a lot of concerning facts about the personal care product industry that spoke to my public health and almost-a-medical-student heart.
The Alarming Truth about the Personal Care Product Industry
I wanted to write this post last week, but I had to play some serious catch-up with school work instead. I shared a little bit about the conference I attended in D.C. and the amazing celebs I met (!!) but I wanted to let you in about why I attended in the first place and why I think more medical students should be engaged in advocacy.
Prior to medical school, I worked at a policy non-profit in D.C. for three years. Part of my job included meeting with Congressional staff and legislators and running workshops to give high schoolers and adults the skills to be an advocate at the local, state, and federal level. I loved teaching about the basics of government, a little bit about a policy issue, and giving some tips for effective advocacy. [I’ll be back soon with my tips for effective advocacy!]
I love to cook and there is nothing I enjoy more than ending my day in the kitchen with a glass of wine. But sometimes I’m just too tired or have other things going on at night and don’t get around to making dinner, which means I end up without leftovers to take for lunch. And when that happens, I end up at Panera. Now, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Panera — I probably eat it a little too much. But I shouldn’t eat it every day, or really any fast casual/fast food on campus — it’s not good for my body and not good for my wallet. To keep myself from eating tomato soup every day, I try to meal prep, at the very least, my lunches for the week every Sunday. A food blogger I am not, so please enjoy this picture of me eating a delicious dessert instead of the horrendous photos I take of the, albeit delicious, food I cook.
The “pre-clinical” years of medical school are pretty similar at most medical schools — anatomy, basic science courses, and organ modules. No matter how the curriculum works, you spend a lot of time watching lectures and studying in the library. I only have two weeks left of our cardiovascular system module and then it’s Spring Break and our last module of MS1, Neuroscience and Behavioral Science! I had a busier than usual day earlier this week and thought I’d take you through it!
During my senior year of college, I took a class called Man’s Food, which was a basic nutrition course and it made me question everything I knew about healthy eating. I became a bit too regimented in what I ate for a few months — oatmeal or eggs for breakfast; a sandwich, carrots, and an apple for lunch; and then it was up in the air for dinner– but I lost a good, and needed, 10 pounds. Then I started walking on the treadmill every other day and eventually, ran my first half marathon. It was an incredible accomplishment and also some of the worst physical pain and exhaustion I have ever felt.
Running 13.1 miles in Orlando in October can be brutal — it was still so hot and humid and my longest training runs had been during D.C.’s lovely crisp fall. But I did it, recovered, and then wanted more. I even convinced a group of colleagues to run a half marathon with me! [Yes, we’re still friends!] I eventually reached a point where I started running less and joined a the gym so I could try out Bodypump class, which I learned about years ago from Julie of Peanut Butter Fingers. I went to that class twice a week until I moved to Philadelphia — the first time I took it, I was so sore I couldn’t walk without pain for nearly a week!
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that I was in D.C. this weekend and had a bit of a lucky day on Friday on Capitol Hill. I’ll be back soon to share more about the conference I attended and some of my D.C. faves, but today it’s all about super(s)heros — real and fictional.
I was in D.C. for the American Medical Association Medical Student Advocacy Conference (MARC). I made new friends from medical schools around the country, learned about important issues facing patients and healthcare providers, and met with Members of Congress and their staff to discuss pharmaceutical drug pricing, graduate medical education, and gun violence prevention.
Most medical schools have a White Coat Ceremony prior to the start of first year and that is when students put on their white coats for the first time. My medical school does things a bit differently. I’ve actually had my white coat for months now and I’ve been wearing it for clinical and professional experiences. This past weekend was my Pinning Ceremony, which marks my official induction into the medical profession. And I’ve 100% been signing Bye Bye Birdie since the ceremony. [In case you didn’t guess, that’s where the title of this post is from.]
Yes, I’ve been in medical school for over six months now, but I honestly think it made the ceremony more fun! Also, an outdoor ceremony in Miami in August sounds like pure torture — the March sun was warm enough!
This past week has been a whirlwind — it started with an exam and ended with my official induction into the medical profession at my medical school pinning ceremony. It’s been wonderful to have my whole family in town to celebrate and it’s kept me from staring at a screen all weekend. It has been a very welcome break from technology.
I’ll be back later this week to share about the pinning ceremony, but I wanted to make sure you had some podcast recommendations for your morning and evening commutes this week!
When I was in graduate school, I used to listen to at least two podcasts episodes a day — I walked the nearly 45 minutes from my apartment to work/school each morning and evening to get fresh air, but also it was faster than any public transportation option. Honestly, I actually really miss that walking commute. It was so good for my mental health to be outside each day, rain or shine. To say my podcast habits have shifted would be an understatement; if I get through two podcast episodes in one week, it’s a success. But, I still have some great recommendations for you!
I need to thank the Clare at Fitting It All In for blogging about her experiences in a post bacc premed program. When I learned that this type of program existed for people like me — career-changers who wanted to go to medical school (or other biomedical or health sciences careers) with no science background — I got onto Google and typed in “post bacc premed blog.” Her site was one of the first to come up! Now I’m in medical school after five years in the professional and graduate school worlds, a year in a post bacc, and a glorious year spent as a nanny for the cutest two year old. So, I think it’s time to pay it forward.