One Student’s Journey

From left: Mary Ann McCauley, WCMS executive director; Denise Savell, DNP, RN and Anita Savell attended Dean Thomas Schwenk’s, state of the medical school address where Anita was recognized by Dr. Schwenk as one of the first-year student’s and for her research work.

My name is Anita Savell. I am a first-year medical student at UNR Med. Through this column I will share my medical school experience I progress through my education.

With just one month of medical school behind me, I have a lot to learn, but in this short time I have already learned several important lessons. First, everything people say about the demands of medical school is true. In order to stay on top of the flow of information, I am either in class or studying from 8am until 10pm. After learning lesson one, I quickly learned lesson two: the importance of balance. I have begun building things I can look forward to into my schedule.

Medical school is a constant challenge and the admissions process reflects this rigor.

The medical school application cycle made for a grueling year. With June came over twenty drafts of a personal statement. July saw an onslaught of secondary applications and late nights writing after long days working in a laboratory. August through February brought a half dozen interviews spanning the country as I balanced traveling with finishing my senior year
in electrical engineering.

The interview circuit was filled with surprises. The day before an interview in Georgia, I was driving around towns outside Atlanta when the air got very still, the sky got dark, and sirens began to ring. I ducked inside a big box store, and we were all told to take shelter in the photo department—a tornado had touched down in town. Let’s just say I was glad I got rental insurance.

When planning for one February interview, the cheapest hotel I could find was a $200 per night Motel 6. I jokingly asked my dad, an avid football fan, “Is Houston hosting the Super Bowl or something?”. His eyes widened and he tried to keep from smiling. Sure enough I would be traveling to Houston, Texas, the fourth largest city in the country, when the largest sporting event of the year was happening within walking distance of my interview.

Thankfully I survived both the Super Bowl crowds and the tornado unscathed. The application cycle ended in May, when I decided to attend the University of Nevada Reno School of Medicine.

Editor’s Note: Anita joins us as a regular columnist in The Communicator to share her observations and experiences so we can follow her through her medical school journey.

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