Hurry up and wait…..

Hey there premeds, medical students and residents,

I thought of you today as I waited an hour to start my cases. Sure, I was able to eat some oatmeal and drink tea – it’s rare in private practice to eat these days so that was welcome. However, it can be painful to rush to work in a car for an hour, run inside sweating, see your patient, set up and get ready…all to know you won’t start for an hour and you will be rushed as soon as the surgeon arrives. Such is the life of an anesthesiologist I guess.

But life is this way for all of us right? We hurry to be 10 when we are 5. We hurry to be grown and out of the house. We rush to get to college, then medical school, residency. We say – “I can’t wait until X happens, then life will be great then.” We also say the evil phrase “I should have done ____ by now.”

Let’s be careful not to get caught up in rushing. The next thing we know, our lives will be over. So while we have the chance, while we are waiting, lets enjoy the ride. So what does that mean for you?

As a premed, enjoy learning biology, microbiology, pharmacology or biochemistry. Soak in the learning. Enjoy your time being able to schedule the day away and study on your own. It’s lonely yes, but you can meet up with friends and have dinner. Most of you won’t have children and a family at this point in your lives. It’s nice to relish in relative freedom.

In medical school you are sooooo rushing to be a resident. You are like – I am getting the hang of this and want to be a doctor already. I want to get through this and have so many years ahead. Let’s go! Well, enjoy not having all the responsibility or being blamed for something. At least it’s not ultimately your fault, whatever happens. I’m not saying enjoy being called heymedstudent (all one word), or being berated. No, that isn’t fun. But the learning and adventure of learning from others is kind of cool.

In residency, you sooooo soooo want out of the pain, sleep deprivation and just all out terribleness of being a resident. When you are on your own, you call the shots, you make the choice. It will be great and best of all, you will be rich finally!!!

Hahahaaa, says the salty attending writing this piece. As an attending, guess what? You get to hurry up and wait. Hurry to work, see patients and ultimately there is no one to look back to in order to make decisions. Each step you took from premed, to med student to resident helped make the physician you are today. And rich? If you planned well and have no debt, more power to you. Most of us are swimming in all kinds of debt.

So in the waiting to be whatever you are pursuing – what to do?

Smell the roses, enjoy the good things, don’t despair. If you are working to get in med school, be sure to eat right, get fit and take care to keep your hobbies. As a matter a fact, do these at every stage. Then if you are an old crusty attending like me, you work on being efficient in your waiting time. You work on projects, build businesses, play music (my personal passion) and help premeds and students like you.

Time has had its way of giving me perspective. When I turned 40, I realized I shouldn’t have wished all that time away, crying, lamenting, complaining. It didn’t help and still doesn’t help. Instead, use the time you are waiting to get to where you want to be in order to build yourself in some way. Learn something new, build yourself spiritually, mentally and physically. One day – you will make it “there”. Don’t put off enjoying your life until tomorrow. Live it fully today.

Till next time,

Candice Williams, MD

Premed Consultants


Hey there! A little Q&A based on questions I’ve received from premeds or those I’ve seen asked online. Every situation is unique, but in general, these questions are very common along this journey and there are some general rules to consider to give yourself the best chance at success. I will post these often to give some daily insight and inspiration!

  1. When choosing to strengthen my grades, should I do a post bacc program vs. taking coursework at a Junior college or State school?

I see this question all too often. If you have a low science GPA during undergrad OR you were another major that is not a biological  or natural science major, a post bacc program could be a good choice. There are many resources out there and a list of  postbacc programs by the AAMC is a great resource. The considerations are what you can afford and whether you get accepted. IF you find you cannot gain admission due to either a low GPA or poorly written personal statement or lack of activities, I recommend to first have an expert look over your application (ie. physician, medical student or resident, or at least someone good at editing). Have a physician look it over before submission. If all these efforts fail, then the next thing to think about is what can I afford?

It does come down to money and time. With time, as you will see in my posts, I say – take it. Meaning, take your time and prepare a great, outstanding application the first time. If money is an issue and you are supporting yourself, you are a non traditional applicant or don’t have access to extension courses at a major university, I recommend re-taking the lower division courses you did poorly in at a junior college, and upper divisions at a state institution. The caveat is you must do well! An upward trend is looked upon more favorably. Make sure you retake what you received C and below grades in to demonstrate you can handle the medical school curriculum.

That’s my Q&A for today! Check back to see more tips and frequently asked questions.

Till next time,

Candice Williams, MD

Interventional Anesthesiologist and Premed Consultant