Alexander Mehreteab is a current student in the Indiana University School of Medicine Master of Science in Medical Science (MSMS) program and will be entering his second year in the program this August. Mehreteab, who obtained his undergraduate degree from Valparaiso University, enrolled in the MSMS program in 2021 to continue his journey toward becoming a physician.
Mehreteab has maintained a 4.0 GPA through his first year in the MSMS program, and in April 2022 he was awarded the Sheila and William Bosron Scholarship. Mehreteab recently spoke with IU School of Medicine about his journey as an MSMS student, his proudest accomplishment so far, and what he hopes to conquer next.
Why did you choose the MSMS program?
I heard a lot of good stories about it, especially from when I used to work as a patient care assistant at a hospital. One of the surgeons at the hospital actually said he went through the program, and he really enjoyed it. We thought it would be a good transition for me toward my medical career. After I heard that story from the doctor, I talked with my brother who knew another person who went through the MSMS program. And once we got in contact, he actually told me how he enjoyed it and how he pursued medicine afterward. I thought "maybe I should try this program to see if I can be well acclimated to the medical profession."
What has been the most valuable thing that you've learned so far?
One of the valuable things that I've learned through this program is time management, which I was terrible at in my undergraduate career. Through this program, I actually saw how I could transition into a more time-efficient person. I know what time I have to study, what time to go to bed, what time to wake up, and what time to work out. So the program really taught me how to manage my time.
As an undergraduate, you're always trying to do more, and it tends to be overwhelming. So it was awesome that this program actually taught me that once you have a goal set in place, there has to be a time for you and a time for the goal. If you're dedicated to pursuing medical professions, the program is going to work out perfectly for you because it's geared toward the first-year and second-year medical school curriculum. So it allows you to focus and find out what your weaknesses are so that you can work toward bettering yourself.
What has been your fondest memory of the program?
My fondest memory is when we had the end of the year celebration for the program. It's usually second-year graduates and first-year students who matriculated into medical school. So through this celebration, we had time to really say goodbye to one another and really spend some time with our friends. It was a really nice time.
What accomplishment are you most proud of thus far?
I think academics probably. During my undergraduate career, I overextended myself. I was never a 4.0 GPA kind of person. So it was very exciting to find my rhythm and find my way toward a 4.0 GPA in this program.
What advice would you give to someone struggling on the path to getting into medical school?
I think one of the hardest things about getting into medical school is the fact that you get rejected a lot of times, so it's very discouraging for people who want to be doctors when they get rejected. So personally, my advice is to never give up. If you find that medical school or a medical profession is your path, then there's no giving up. You have to pursue that to the very end. If it's a passion, you can't abandon your passion. So you have to work as best you can to get to that point.
What is next for you after graduating from the MSMS program?
After graduating from the program, I hope I get into medical school or a medical program so I can pursue my passion of becoming a physician. But I’m thankful and grateful for this program because I really didn't think I had the grades to get admitted. I was very happy to get in to show that I can really handle the work.