My Suggestion to Pre-Med Students: Tell Your Story

Published February 01, 2023


Choose DO

Everyone has a story to tell. Preparing for medical school is a long road with challenges and hurdles that are different for every applicant. These unique challenges are what make up our unique stories. Dr. Duwayne Campbell’s story began in his home country: Jamaica. There, he was raised in a tight-knit rural community where taking care of one another was second nature. We spoke with Dr. Campbell about his reasons for choosing DO and asked him to share his words of wisdom to help future physicians as they begin the strenuous medical school application process.

Why medicine, and more specifcally, why did you Choose DO?

At a young age, I quickly recognized the need for an improved healthcare system. Motivated to be a part of the change, I dove headfirst into studying the sciences in high school. I began my medical training in Jamaica before moving to the United States at the age of 21. Once stateside, I attended Rutgers University – Newark, worked as a scribe for a year and then matriculated to Rowan School of Osteopathic Medicine.

What would you suggest to other students interested in medicine?

I recommend that anyone who is considering medical school talk with current medical students to get their honest perspective about what it’s like. A lot of my colleagues, myself included, did not know what to expect or were surprised by the medical school experience. We knew it would be hard work, defined by sleepless nights and dedication, but the medical community is unique, and there is value to exploring the culture before entering it yourself.

What do you wish you had known prior to applying to medical school? 

  1. Prepare early. Take the MCAT in junior or senior year in undergrad so you can transition more seamlessly into medical school after graduation.
  2. Research each school you apply to. A school that is supportive is very, very important.
  3. Know what it takes to get into medical school: research, volunteering and clinical experience. The sooner you start building your CV, the stronger it will be.
  4. Develop a good science foundation and know your learning style. Medical school is very fast-paced and there is a lot to cover. Know how you learn best and work to improve on it. That will help make the learning process more efficient and less stressful.
  5. Know what it means to be a medical student. Talk with students and physicians about their experience to minimize the shock factor.

What sugestions would you share with pre-med students about writing their personal statements?

Ultimately, my advice is to tell your story. I believe we are all unique and someone out there will be impressed by your journey. I shared my struggles, accomplishments, motivations and intentions in my personal statement and throughout the interview process. Even now, as a medical resident physician, I still look back at my personal statement to keep me motivated and to remind me of why I embarked on this journey in the first place.