I BOMBED the MCAT…Am I doomed?

Hey guys, have been seeing a lot of posts regarding the MCAT and have the sense that there are some discouraged people out there so I wanted to share my personal story.

I took the MCAT the first time when I was a junior in undergrad. I took a kaplan class, studied for my classes (which included o-chem, physics, physiology etc) and did everything I thought possible to do well on the test. Long story short, after dedicating hours and hours of my life to that damn test I BOMBED it……..

I had wanted to be a doctor since I was 16 years old and in one day I thought my dream was severely compromised. I will be honest, I felt pretty lost at that point in my life. I decided that at that point my biggest priority was finishing the spring semester of my junior year strong and to try and not feel distracted by the gloomy MCAT. By the time summer break had rolled around I had mustered the energy and motivation to begin the study process again. This time I evaluated the weak spots from my previous MCAT and focused on those areas. I did A TON of practice questions and practice tests. The second time I sat for the MCAT I knew I had prepared better and I knew what to expect out of the testing centers which cultivated into an entirely different experience.

When I got my score back the second time I was SHOCKED to see that my score had drastically increased! Having increased my score by a significant amount I was able to use the story of how I turned poor score into a decent score in almost every interview. I used it to demonstrate how I took a crappy situation and was able to step back, change plans, and have the motivation to keep going forward despite having a significant setback. This was met by great enthusiasm by the people interviewing me.

Today, almost 10 years after that grueling 6 months of MCAT studying, I go to work every morning and put on my blue scrubs, wash my hands, put on a blue surgical gown and work to change peoples lives forever. Today I am a senior orthopedic surgery resident on the verge of completing my dream of becoming an orthopedic surgeon.

Remember, that through the process of becoming a doctor everyone will have difficult roads. It is not how difficult the road becomes but what you are willing to do to overcome the mountain. This is a long hard path but the journey is worth the destination!

I am happy to answer questions about my life in medicine this far just shoot me a message on this blog, a private message on facebook or instagram, or on our facebook page On Call Mentors. I have invested a lot into becoming a doctor and want to see as many people succeed as I can, it would not have been possible without the mentors that have helped me through. Good luck with everyone’s studies and road to become a physician.

Clay Dorenkamp, D.O.

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