Studentdoctor.net: Friend or Foe

In your quest as a pre-health student you may very well stumble upon a site called The Student Doctor Network (SDN). At first glance this website may seem like a god’s gift to pre-health students; filled with thousands of people with similar aspirations, struggling and succeeding together;  a wealth of knowledge for all professions including articles by nurses, pharmacists, physicians, and many other professionals; and forums where you can find answers to almost all of your questions. The website is amazing. However, the part to be weary of are the forums. If utilized correctly, they can be infinitely helpful. But underneath it’s exterior of helpfulness, resource, and community, there lies a dark place where people’s sole goal is to impress, and put others down.

“3.9 GPA, research published twice, 41 MCAT, 500 hours of clinical volunteering, 1000 hours of shadowing. Will I ever get in to Med school?!!”

As a pre-med student, these are the types of posts that I would run into daily and is where the danger of the forums comes in. A perfect example of someone merely trying to flaunt their talent and scores, these post may make you feel like you don’t have a chance. However, you must understand that the people who post most often on SDN are some of the most invested, hard core, and intense people you can find. Fortunately, they do not represent the majority of applicants, much less the majority of people. When braving these forums, you must always take what people say with a grain of salt. Don’t let people tell you you can’t do something, and don’t let numbers and scores get you down. Trolls exist and in grande fashion on SDN.

However, I believe SDN was an invaluable tool throughout my pre-health career. It had so much information for me concerning the MCAT and the application process that I’m sure I would have been much more lost otherwise. So yes, I do recommend using SDN as long as you’re cautious and level headed as you go in.

Author: Danny Gonzalez – LIP Vice President

Contact: gonzal20@illinois.edu

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