Name: Peyton Goethe
Major(s) and minor(s): Double major in Neuroscience and Psychology
Favorite class you took at Michigan: Split into science and non-science, below.
Non-science: AAS 245: Islam in Africa, with Dr. Rudolph Ware — something I didn’t know much about but has contributed greatly to the person I am today
Science: PSYCH 345: Human Neuropsychology—arguably what inspired my interest in combining Neuro and Psych fields of study, awe-inspiring to see the intricate mechanisms that help dictate our behaviors and daily lives
When/How did you study for the MCAT: Take summer off from classes to study. Try to truly immerse yourself in the content by doing daily practice questions/ passages.
When do/did you take the MCAT: January 2021
What was your pre-med experience: My pre-medical experience was far too competitive. The people surrounding me in most of my classes made me feel that since I didn’t come out of the womb wanting to be a doctor, I wasn’t a “real pre-med.” My own struggles with an inferiority complex definitely contributed to that, but nevertheless, it wasn’t an environment in which collaboration or compassion was encouraged. That led to some irresponsible academic choices (i.e. 19 credits, including taking Biochemistry, Genetics, and Animal Physiology and RETAKING Orgo I at the same time)—to this day, I cannot articulate what motivated me to make such a ridiculous schedule that looks like a joke. I think it might have been a combination of my response to the competitive nature of my surroundings as well as my unrealistic expectations of myself in order to be a physician. I always wonder if I was trying to self-sabotage myself from truly pursuing medicine on some level due to my feelings of inferiority.
Recommendations/advice for current students: Find a niche of people who inspire you to grow, but not because they make you feel bad about any aspect of yourself—also, find close friends who can, for example, veto unfeasible schedule choices to prevent you from spreading yourself too thin when you’re not in the right headspace. Make time to decompress in whatever way works for you. Get involved in things that motivate you to pursue the career you’ve chosen.
Classes: Again, before you look at my class schedule, please see most of this as a guide of what NOT to do. I retook four classes because of how irresponsibly I scheduled my classes. I did two spring and summer semesters and one summer half-semester. I had to do a whole M.S. degree just to have something besides my abysmal cumulative and science GPA—nothing wrong with getting an additional degree, but debt is debt. If I didn’t have to improve my academic performance, I would’ve much preferred getting an M.P.H.
However, there is also something to be said in regards to forgiveness. I look at this schedule and genuinely laugh, still shocked that I made it out of some of these semesters. I do my best to avoid festering on the subject of my previous academic shortcomings and focus on where I am now—in a job I love that challenges and teaches me on a daily basis and has significantly affected the healthcare professional that I will become.
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