How to: Respond to Premeds and Their Problems
Everyone has a friend or two who is premed, and who — although you love them — never stops talking about it. After a while, you will probably run out of things to say about their real, but too often mentioned, problems. Here are some suggestions for what to say the next time you find yourself listening to their orgo exam woes or medical research venture.
Them: This orgo/chem/LS pset is taking so long and I don’t think I’ll ever finish.
What you used to say : That sucks. At least you started early, and there are still two days before it’s due. Maybe you can go to office hours later?
What you should say : Did you not read the Q-Guide for this class? They all say the psets take forever and I know you’ve been planning on taking this class since the first day of freshman year. Also, I don’t think that telling me about how long your pset is will help you complete it.
Them: I am so stressed about the MCAT. I don’t know what I’m going to do.
What you used to say : I know, standardized testing is the worst. You will do so well though, you are so prepared. Even if you don’t take it right now and wait so you can study more, you can always work in a lab to strengthen your resume.
What you should say : You know you got yourself into this right? You signed up for this the day you decided you actually enjoyed the content of LS1a. You truly played yourself.
Them: Getting into med school is so hard and I only want to go to this [insert incredibly selective school]. I don’t think I will ever get in.
What you used to say : You’ll get in for sure. You are so smart and have a great resume. Also, gap years are so common these days — it would be such a good experience for you to go work in medicine before you go back to school.
What you should say : Have you considered a different concentration? Folk and Myth? Slavic Literature? I know you want the quickest way to the inside of a hospital, but I don’t think having a stress-induced heart attack and being a patient yourself is the best way to go.
So next time you run into one of your premed friends, remember honesty is the best policy. If anything, you will give them a great story to tell in one of their med school interviews.