Letter of Inspiration: Oct 25th, 2011

Date: Tue, Oct 25, 2011 at 10:59 PM
Subject: Pre-med student seeking guidance!
To: info@kathymagliato.com

Dr. Magliato,

Over the past two months, as I have been adjusting to college life as a dorky little freshman, I have been asked three questions at least 100 times now.
1) Where are you from?
2) What is your major?
3) What do you want to do with your life?
Answering the first question is easy. I am from Katy, Texas, which is only about a three hour drive away from the University of Texas at Austin, which is where I am currently studying. People only ever ask this question out of mere courtesy. Afterall, most kids going to UT are from either the Houston, Dallas, or Austin area. It’s only interesting when someone throws a wrench into the mix and says they are from some exotic, faraway land like Michigan or New York.
The second question is a little more difficult to answer. I mean, I have a major, but most people have never heard of it. I am majoring in something called Plan II Honors, which is just a strange name for an interdisciplinary honors major that serves the main purpose of shipping kids off to graduate school, law school, or medical school. Besides Plan II, I do plan (no pun intended) on declaring another major in the natural sciences college.
Now, the third question is where I start to fumble. What do I want to do with the rest of my life? I am only eighteen! How am I supposed to know what I am supposed to do with the REST of my life? Generally, I tell people that I plan to go to medical school and end the conversation. Hopefully, it will not take me the rest of my life to complete med school, but I honestly have no plan after that. The only thing I know is that I want to save people and that is simply not something I want to blurt out to new acquaintances.
As a means of clearing up some of my confusion about the blurry mess that is my future, I read Heart Matters. Since reading your book a few months ago, I cannot stop thinking about heart surgery! By that, I don’t mean that I dream of opening patients’ chest cavities. I mean that something about heart surgery has struck a chord with me. The innovation, the intensity, and the adrenaline of surgery. It all appeals to me! And then the romantic idea of fixing a broken heart has also passed through the “sentimental” portion of my brain.
Ultimately, I just wanted to let you know that you have had an immense impact on me- a conflicted college student- and I wanted to thank you for giving me something to ponder and dream about.
If you have any advice for an undergraduate student hoping to get into medical school and possibly even enter the realm of heart surgery, please do let me know!

Thank you,
A. F.