This summer I am preparing to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) for entrance into medical school. The test is administered by the American Association of Medical Colleges and is a standardized exam testing the student in the subjects of general chemistry, physics, organic chemistry, biology, and a critical thinking section called “verbal reasoning.” Studying for the MCAT is a long term academic goal. This test cannot be crammed for or taken lightly. It is the test that decides the fate of aspiring physicians.
I have learned a lot in preparing for the MCAT not limited to knowledge of the sciences. I am required to know myself: my strengths and weaknesses, the study habits that promote effective and efficient learning, my time management, and the sacrifices necessary to devote my energy to this goal. I have to admit, I do not always abide by these, but self-discipline is a learning process.
This past year, I started the Pre-Medical Club on campus to form competitive Catholic candidates for medical school to become physicians who uphold and defend the sanctity of human life. One of the club’s aims is to inform its members about the MCAT and help them to prepare for it by forming study groups.
Some sort of internal motivation is absolutely necessary in preparing for the MCAT because it is so demanding. For me, the MCAT presents options upon graduation. Medical school is one of those options. The MCAT is also accepted by Physician Assistant schools, another option. For now, I am relying on the strength of the Lord to help me to study with integrity and entrusting the future to His divine will and providence.
I learned of Franciscan University while I was in High School. I was adopted from China as a baby. My birth mother was unable to keep me and she left me in a basket with only a note including my name, birthday, and asking that I be taken care of. (I kind of feel like Moses.) The name she gave me, “Zheng Pan,” in Chinese means, “Hope for a Better Life”.