All Of The Misconceptions About Medical School In The U.S. Vs. Bangladesh

All Of The Misconceptions About Medical School In The U.S. Vs. Bangladesh

America is unique in many ways.

America is unique in many ways and we never fail to show how different we are compared to the rest of the world.

Whether it’s not using the metric system, short maternity leaves for new moms, or still using capital punishment as a developed nation, we tend to do things differently when compared to our counterparts around the globe.

One thing that the U.S. does differently from countries such as Bangladesh is the medical school admissions process.

Ever since I was five years old, I have always dreamed of becoming a doctor.

My parents and I had different upbringings since they grew up in Bangladesh with the education system over there. When I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in medicine, my parents and I had a few misunderstandings in terms of the process of becoming a doctor here. I soon discovered that along with my parents, many Bangladeshi people were unfamiliar with the system here and that they had a few misconceptions.

The first misconception they had was that a medical school is an option immediately after graduation from high school.

This is a common misunderstanding that people from Bangladesh have because over there if you decide to become a doctor you can declare that during high school and complete science courses and then apply to get into medical school.

Here in the U.S., students have to study for four years in their undergraduate career and then go on to medical school for another four years; making the total amount of schooling equivalent to approximately eight years. This is completely different from Bangladesh where students go directly into medical school after high school.

Another misconception that Bangladeshi people had was that pre-medicine is a college major.

This is not true since pre-medicine is just a track and you have to major in a field that will end up being your Bachelor’s degree. Most people major in the Biological Sciences, but you can major in any subject as long as you take the classes required for the pre-medicine track.

The last difference between the two countries’ processes is that medical school admission is not guaranteed unlike the programs in Bangladesh.

Medical school acceptance rates are very low here and it is much more competitive than it is in Bangladesh. The biggest disadvantage is that applicants must put in four to five years’ worth of work before finding out whether or not they are eligible to get into medical school.

Alongside excellent grades and high MCAT scores, students must also shadow doctors, volunteer at hospitals, have leadership experience, great letters of recommendation, essays, and interviews. They must also engage in many more activities to be a competitive applicant for medical schools. Unfortunately, despite having everything right there is still a very high chance of rejection.

Bangladeshi medical schools don’t take all of these factors into account and so my parents were initially shocked with these requirements.

I cannot explain the countless amount of times my parents and I have had to explain to friends and family members in Bangladesh about the medical school admissions process here and how pre-medicine is not the same thing as studying medicine.

Being well-informed benefits both the students and parents since studying pre-medicine is not a joke.

It is a rigorous curriculum that comes with many requirements. It surely isn’t easy to get into medical schools in either country and it is looked at as a great achievement and honor in both places.

Cover Image Credit: Wikipedia Commons

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The Transfer Experience: Finding Home

Transferring to tranquility.

Some people do not get the legendary feeling of, “This is where I need to be” when visiting colleges.

I was one of those people. I have learned that spending short periods of time visiting many colleges and focusing on the application process is not necessarily what will give one the special feeling of, “This is where I need to be.”

Rather, it is really only until one arrives and settles in that really gives one the opportunity to learn that they made the right decision about the place they will call home for 4 years or more. When a student settles in, sometimes they realize that the college they chose during the process does not really suit them or make them feel at home.

Suddenly the revelation occurs to the student that they need to do something about it and find a new place that will offer the fabulous comfort everyone wants in a college.

Truthfully, when does one ever know the right thing to do or the right place to go? As much as we all want to say that we are leaders, why do we commonly follow social stereotypes? We are bred to do it, no matter if we realize it or not and the only true lesson — especially as a teen — that we can give ourselves is experience.

Experiencing school life as a first semester college freshman and recognizing that I was not happy at my first college broke my heart. I took lengthy hours deciding where I should attend based on my major, what I thought I wanted location-wise and the size that I felt comfortable with after graduating my small high school.

I began thinking about transferring when I was in my third 200-person lecture class of the day in the middle of my first semester. I had gone to professors’ office hours multiple times and still, my professors did not remember my name. I left that class asking myself, “Can I really see myself here for four years?”, and when I answered, “No”, I immediately knew that I should not waste time at a place that will not offer me what I deserve for my pricey tuition bill.

To my fellow transfers out there, it takes real stamina to make such a big change in your life. I offer congratulations because maturity and respect is what can cause someone to make such a big change in their life. Transferring is not easy and experiencing it can only make you stronger.

I may be a unique case where I do not regret going to my previous college because I learned a lot about myself in those four months and made great friends. However, being a transfer is hard when you do not regret where you were in the first place, and can be conflicting because you are happy in what you can now happily call your new home, too.

For everyone else who fell in love with their college from the start, here’s what being a transfer is really like:

1. Knowing that you have a second chance and you want to not only take it, but also make the most of it.

2. Being worried about making new friends, so you always say yes to every event despite knowing that you have homework and need to study for a test and need to eat and sleep. Oh, did I mention sleep?

3. Feeling worried that you are not making enough friends, but then you realize it is still only the first week. Note: Knowing people coming in is a blessing in disguise. Even if they are older than you or you cannot see yourself being in the same friend group as them, it is always nice to know familiar faces and have them introduce you to their friends. There is no better feeling than being said "hello" to when walking around campus.

It is important to stay confident throughout the process because sometimes people that you think you will be best friends with in the beginning weeks of school are not the people you hang out with a month into the semester. Most importantly, it is key to always be thankful for the people out there who helped in the transferring process because without them, a transfer would have a lot harder of a time transitioning.

So, for all of you, whether you are a transfer or not, the above is what the experience is like. Do not lose confidence and always know that there are resources there to help in the transition because whether it feels like it or not, there are others out there feeling the exact same way that you are in the experience of finding home.

Cover Image Credit: Catherine McSorley

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From Politics To Battlefront 2, The Difficulties Of Lootboxes In An Online World

'Loot Boxes' have become a key term that synergies with the young, and poses as an opportunity for politicians.

Video games have been in the limelight for some time now, given entire news outlets are dedicated to that hobby. Evolving from the likes of basic Pong all the way to large-scale events like eSports, this activity has become a main staple in the lives of many people, many lying in the young adult and below category. However, with the recent controversy of Loot Boxes and what they mean going forward into this industry, video games are becoming more and more akin to something that many would not compare them to slot machines.

Now the system of microtransactions have been in video-games since the dawn of DLC and its use has been a common complaint by gamer and parent alike. It has served as a barrier to additional content, but it is a business practice that people have grown accustomed to. In fact, looking at the current prices of video games hasn't budged an inch when it really should; Extra Credit, a channel on Youtube, explains this dilemma in a much more elegant way.

However, loot boxes, this new microtransaction on the shelf, has introduced another hurdle to customers: chance. The randomization of what a paying customer would receive entices buyers similar to how gamblers go to a casino.

Recently, the eerie similarity between the two, especially when people under the legal gambling age can buy these items, has become a topic of debate as to the legality of the situation. Politicians like Chris Lee have quickly come to this (either as a result of easy votes or genuine care) as a topic of urgency and has made attempts to resolve the difficulties by placing those games under gambling laws, thereby restricting them to adults.

This comes with difficulties on its own but raises more questions. If this set of rules is implemented, would the owners under the legal age be committing felonies? Would this be regulated per state then? How badly would this hemorrhage video game sales for the companies?

This leaves a lot of room for discussion going into this, but this was a just a basic run down of the topic. This would affect a large majority of people, and many more than just the customers; I just hope awareness of this topic is more well-known when this evolves into a discussion point for the nation as a whole.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash, John Sting

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