Posts Tagged ‘money’

The Dating Game

In applying to med school, Finances, medical school on November 16, 2009 at 11:33 pm

To a certain extent, searching for the right medical school is much like searching for the right significant other. Most people have a certain set of characteristics in mind when they search for a mate. For some, they look for a mate that they think is on their perceived level – someone they think physically looks as good as they are convinced they look (emphasis on perceived…you know how some people have that inflated self-image), someone who fits the look they are going for. Some (like me) find intelligence irresistably sexy, and consequently all partners must possess a certain level of smarts to make the cut. Some seek financial security. Still others (usually men) are intimidated by too many brains and therefore chose someone of lesser intelligence to accompany them throughout life. The list continues… Some look for a deep measure of humanity, a concern for the environment, a shared love of music/money/sports/[insert some random passion or value].

One of the funniest things I have said when considering someone is that I could picture them an excellent father and husband, but a boyfriend…not so much :/ Rest assured, we remain friends and have never dated, and I have absolutely no desire to date the man. His unintentional lack of follow-through irks me to no end. However, I know that in another 5 years or so, when he’s matured a bit more, he would be an engaging spouse and potentially an amazing father (I’m not ready to get married or have kids any time soon…let that be known). To round out the list, let’s be honest and just say that some people use their mates for networking opportunities (cold, I know, but I’m sure we can all name somebody). Ooo, one more. There’s always that desperate individual who really doesn’t care what traits another person has, as long as they are available (sometimes that’s not even a requirement) and possess the right body parts (still not always a requirement)…they’re the most entertaining to watch, imho. lol

Likewise, all these criteria are used by applicants to evaluate potential medical schools to apply to, and finally, which one to choose as their legally bound mate for the next 4+ years.  So, let the dating game begin!

So, what am I looking for in a man and/or a medical school? Well, let’s see, for a man, I look for someone who mirrors my life values. I want someone with a sense of humor, who’s bright (I get intellectual crushes very easily…just call me intellectually promiscuous), who understands the importance of giving to others, who’s down to earth (I hate pretension), likes to live life, has diverse interests, and likes to do random things. When evaluating a guy, money’s not an issue. I mean, if he has money, it’s certainly not a negative, but lacking money is not a negative either. Ha, looking at this list, it kind of looks like I am asking for a lot, but I swear I’m not! In the end, I just want a down-to-earth guy, with a nice smile and laugh, that likes to have a good time, but also has a serious side (such as focused on his career and family).

I am pretty much looking for the same thing in a future medical school.  I want a “family oriented” school, where there is a sense of family within my class and between the administration and the students.  Likewise, I desire and institution that supports my diverse interests outside the classroom through reduced lecture hours and various student groups and community service outreach.  The only big difference here is that financial ability will be a LARGE factor when making my selection. 

I am really curious as to how all of this is going to play out. For instance, if I am accepted at a school that seems down-to-earth, has a student body that’s into serving their community (both within the walls of the school and externally), and encourages its students to maintain their outside interests, but lacks a substantive financial support, will I pick them? My heart says one thing and my brain says the opposite. Ugh, I hate when that happens!

In undergrad, I was fortunate enough to receive numerous acceptances at a wide range of schools. One of the schools offered me a $100,000 scholarship for being one of their “top 100 applicants” or something like that. They went over-the-top, inviting us all to campus, taking us out on the town – the put on the works! However, despite their enticing offer, I chose a school that I wound up having to pay full-price out-of-pocket for (thank God I had been left money to finance my education). Why did I chose that school? Because I felt that my undergraduate years were, well, literally priceless! But, unlike medical school, I felt that it made a significant difference where I attended undergrad.

Medical school is a completely different game though. Any US accredited, MD-granting med school is good – it has to be, as we will be handling human life…something our society (rightfully) highly values.  With hard work (both inside and outside the classroom) you can get into any residency program of your chosing. With that in mind, it makes no sense to choose a school that’ll land you a quarter million dollars in debt (GASP!) when you can go to another school that you might not click with quite as well for substantially less money. Plus, lowering debt reduces the possibility of being pigeon-holed into a speciality just for the sake of being able to pay off loans versus following your true passion.  Like most other things in life, I feel that it is important to follow the heart and where God is leading. I’m excited to see what the spring offers. Whew, May 15th, 2010 is only 179 days away!!! Doesn’t seem so far away now, does it?  People keep asking me if I have a top choice right now.  My answer remains the same: I am trying not to get attached to any school until financial aide packages are laid out on the table.  I need to see my potential spouse’s hand before I commit!  I must know how deep those pockets go!