Bless Jung is a 2018 graduate of Virginia Tech, and is currently a first year student at Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Lynchburg, VA. This is the first part of his interview.
What led to your interest in medicine?
As a personal trainer with the VT Recreational Sports Department, I found enjoyment in encouraging others and supplying them with the right tools to better themselves. This was my first experience in providing true medicine.
Who or what inspired you to pursue medicine?
As a student athlete, I saw how the VT Athletics sports medicine staff provided that same medicine to athletes. I was fortunate enough to shadow Dr. Mark Rogers with VT Athletics. After experiencing that culture and work environment, I knew I wanted to pursue medicine.
What did you major in and what inspired you to choose this/these areas of study?
I majored in biochemistry and chemistry. I initially wanted to become a pharmacist
What activities did you participate in as an undergrad that shaped your preparation for medical school?
In undergrad, I was mainly involved in personal training, and I also bounced around a couple of varsity sports. Being involved in sports has taught me how to prepare for success. Anyone can show up to play, but the ones that are prepared win. That translated directly to medical school. Preparation is not done overnight. It takes early and consistent preparation at a high intensity to excel here.
How did you prepare for the medical school application process?
When I decided to pursue medicine, I researched what it takes to get into medical school. I realized where I was at and where I needed to be. I then reached out to the HPA department to learn how to get to where I needed to be.
Were you successful on your first attempt at application and would you like to share your story with the students on how you recovered/planned for the reapplication?
I was very fortunate to have been accepted on my first attempt.
What are some words of wisdom about the application process? What would you have liked to know ahead of time? What do you wish someone would have told you before you began applying?
I want to emphasize how important it is to have a relationship with the admissions department. The year before you apply, I would attend any open houses and network. Also, take every opportunity available to make connections with that school. The HPA program had a “Meet the Dean” panel discussion, and afterwards I was able express my interests and requested a business card. I ended up communicating to him the following week and we stayed in touch through my admissions process.
How do you balance the demands of medical school with additional obligations and challenges?
I think you have to take a step back and visualize who you want to be. Once you have that vision, you have to put anything that doesn’t get you there aside. That doesn’t mean you can’t relax and enjoy being lazy once in a while, but a majority of your actions and efforts should be getting you towards your vision.
Do you feel that you were prepared for the medical school interview? What preparation advice would you give?
I felt confident going into my interview. I made sure to have a few points to emphasize if I were asked a certain personal question, such as “what are your strengths and weaknesses.” I’m the type of person that likes giving speeches without a script, but just major points to focus on. I would recommend having practice with interviews through the HPA department.
What obstacles did you overcome in your medical school journey?
The first semester of medical school really challenges your learning and studying strategy. I had to be open to trying new strategies to figure out what works best for me.
What surprised you the most about medical school?
Medical school is easy and hard at the same time. I had the perception that medical school is a difficult bridge that I needed to cross to be a physician. It is, without a doubt, difficult, but the learning material is easy to learn because of my interest in it.
What do you enjoy most about medical school?
I enjoy how close you become with your class. We support each other, especially when we need to pick each other up during times of struggle.