Max made a commitment to helping others when he moved into a Boston soup kitchen nearly two years ago. He also made a commitment to getting into medical school.
The latter meant enrolling (post baccalaureate) in hard science classes and doing well in them. This meant studying really, really hard for the first time in his life.
This also meant putting in lots of hours volunteering at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. It meant finding doctors to shadow. It meant getting an internship with a medically related organization. It meant giving up partying for books. It meant driving himself harder than he’d ever done before. Then, it meant preparing for the MCATs, which he chose to do on his own. This meant studying eight hours a day five days a week for four months. This meant focusing purely on expanding his depth and breadth of knowledge. This meant looking deep inside himself to figure out if he was cut out for this kind of discipline. This meant coming to understand what was driving him and why. This meant searching every corner of his head and his heart. This meant looking at himself more squarely in the eye than ever before. This meant getting to know himself in a way he had never before experienced.
Max took the MCAT a month ago and was devastated afterward. He could not believe the difference between the actual test and all the practice tests he had taken during his rigid study regimen. It was much harder, and he said he had been tempted to delete the test in the end and try again in a few months. It was painful to hear him say he had done poorly. He had worked so hard.
It would be 30 days before he got his results, but he began to mentally prepare himself for the worst.
He got a tweet this afternoon announcing that his score was in. He went to a park near the soup kitchen and curled up in a quiet grassy corner to take a look.
And then he picked up his phone to call his parents. Through tears of joy and relief, he told us how he fared.
His hard work paid off. Max did it! He got a score that was even better than the one he had only dared to dream of.
I am so proud of this kid. He’s not been accepted to any medical school yet, and he still faces a lengthy and trying process to get in and then complete his medical training. But I could hear in his voice today that he’s now a physician in the making.
What an inspiration he is to me.