I attended the P-MAP orientation program on Friday. It was very informative and I was impressed by the support we receive in the program. It’s obvious that the faculty wants us to succeed. We met with many people, including the directors of P-MAP, the Cellular and Molecular Medicine program and medical school admissions and some of our professors. We were assigned a mentor from the current P-MAP cohort. My mentor’s name is Berna and she very sweetly offered me her tutoring services if I need them. I have also been assigned an advisor to guide me through the thesis writing process. A couple of students came in and spoke to us about their theses. Both students gave some very useful advice.
The program is interested in ensuring that we are mentally capable of handling the strain of the program. We are required to meet with the medical school’s psychologist at least four times over the school year. She came in to meet with us and she totally has an Oprah-esqe vibe going on. I can see why people want to speak to her about their problems. Another way the program supports us is by having our families come in to speak with the P-MAP staff where they give a presentation on what to expect when we’re in medical school. They mentioned that in undergrad, most students are able to balance out school and life in a 50/50 ratio but in medical school, the ratio changes to 90% school and 10% life. Because it’s important for a student to have a support network, they talk to the families of students and encourage them to continue to offer support and understanding throughout the process. I think my husband has a pretty good idea of what he’s in for but I think it’s a great way for him to meet and connect with other family members of students.
Overall, orientation was very informative and helpful. It definitely has me revved up and ready to jump into the program. I’ve already been narrowing in on my thesis topic. So excited and ready to hit the ground running!