Mission: To help save at least ONE life, by becoming a surgery/medicine resident

Time capsule:

Mission: To help save at least ONE life, by becoming a surgery/medicine resident
Date of declaration: April 22, 2012
Medical School: Oceania University of Medicine
Applied: July, 2012
Accepted: December, 2012
Pre clinicals location: Tokyo, Japan
Clinicals location: Apia, Samoa & Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Age at date of declaration: 46
Expected date of completion of MD: 2018
Expected date of beginning of residency: 2018 (age 53)

Progress report:

May 21st, 2012: Sent transcript requests (Yeah!!! Finally got around to doing that!!)
Well, it is time to add a little personal note here…

They say, “Life is a series of challenges to be met and mastered”, and I am one of those people who just loves to challenge and master new things. However, if this is a time capsule of my life, I can say that while I am encouraged by my progress towards my dream, sometimes, the daily drag gets me down…and I think…will I ever get there? Will I ever work in medicine again? Or, is this simply a pipe dream…something I thought up to pass the time…Well, today, I took a few steps closer to making it happen, and I feel great!!
It is NOT a pipe dream, and I WILL make it happen!!!

April 23rd, 2012: Met with my school staff to tell them of my intention.

April 23rd, 2012: Began writing personal essay.

April 22nd, 2012: Began ordering transcripts.

April 24th, 2012: Up at 4:30am, rewriting my essay, updating my blog.

May 12th, 2012: Sent personal essay, professional resume.

June 29th, 2012: Attended “Meet the Student Session” with Donna Beagle, NP.
It is hard to summarize this session, except to say that after hearing her speak, I am even more sure that I would like to apply to this school.

July 12th, 2012: Attended “Meet Scott Cunningham, MD, PhD”, session
It was great, as usual..can’t wait to apply…

July 29th, 2012: Today, I sent my application to OUM. I still need to forward my three recommendation letters.

September 23rd, 2012: 95% finished with basic application procedures. I am being held up by a few transcripts.

October 21st, 2012: Last week, I met online with my admissions advisor. After talking with him, the mission became more real, and I must say…it certainly shook me a little to think that I might actually be accepted, and start Feb 2013, or July 2013. The next day, I attended another of the Blackboard Collaborate sessions where you get to meet alums, and current students, professors, etc. Again, I was pumped up, and felt sure that I want to enter this OUM program. Next week, I will meet the registrar. If that goes well, then I will have my main interview.

For any of you who are considering applying to Oceania University of Medicine, I would like to say that it is definitely the real thing. The graduates are either in residencies, or have began to work in their specialities. The program is very flexible, and tailored for working professionals.

The application process is clear. They want to see all the documentation, and have good letters of recommendation. Their attention to detail strengthens my belief that they will see me all the way through if I start. Well, tune in next time for my progress report. If any of you have questions about my experiences with OUM, please feel free to email me at simonrdownes@gmail.com.

November, 17th 2012: My application is complete. I am waiting to see if I will be invited to the third and final interview.

December 19, 2012: Interview (It was tough…be ready for it! – 1.5 hours)

December, 20th, 2012: Accepted!

– had to defer due to my work and living situation not being optimal, and not yet having the funds…this sucks! –

April 4th, 2013: Still not able to start due to lack of funds…working my tail off to make it happen. The next entrance date is July 2013, then Feburary, 2014…will I ever start??? Well, I am studying hard to try to make my start smoother…I suppose that can make me feel a little better about the late start. (Recently I have been looking at You Tube videos about the oldest working doctors…yup…I am getting worried about when I will be able to begin!!)

April 21st, 2013: Madly watching many, many YT videos trying to review/learn as much as I can.
I have been looking at many iPad aps too… I do MCQs before bed on biochemistry, and just for fun, try to challenge all of the other areas of the USMLE, just for fun…I am actually quite surprised that I am starting to get some of them right!!! (Still…waaaay at the beginners level though..not surprising as I have not even started my program yet! Ha!)

May 13th, 2013: I have decided to begin from the July, 2013 term. I am super fired up, and reviewing and learning as much as possible before I start the e-ITM.

(which reminds me of a funny thing my sister told me when she was accepted to medical school…”Hey Simon, I was accepted to medical school!!…Hey wait…OH MY GOD…I just realized..now I have to go to MEDICAL SCHOOL…ahhh!!)

July 22nd, 2013: Yup..med school starts today!! -Gulp!

August 23rd, 2013: Finished Physiology, Pharmacology min-blocks, now working on Biochemistry.
I have just started using ANKI as a flash card maker. It is awesome!! OUM has been great, enjoying it a lot!!

September 28th, 2013:
Microbiology test in two days….gulp!
14 lectures…maaaany slides….bugs, bugs, bugs, slime, and ..parasites..

Yes, I do feel a little woozy from seeing all of the bugs, but it also makes me realize the great unfairness of this world.

So much sickness, so little assistance to those in need. 
I hope I get to make a difference to some of these people by studying hard in this class. 
Gram + and – bacteria, Spirochetes, Anaerobic bacteria, Mycoplasma, Basic Virology, DNA and RNA viruses, Retroviruses. Basic parasitology, blood protozoa and tissue protozoa, intestinal protozoa and helminths, Basic mycology, Cutaneous systemic, and opportunistic mycoses.

We need many more people in medicine… Many more. 

and why can’t the world unite and fight to provide clean water for all?
We need more Matt Damons in this world to help.

October 15th, 2013:Pathology I starts tomorrow.

March 23rd, 2014 (2:04 am): Studying for a pharm quiz…CNS drugs, CV drugs..
Yeah. It IS tough. But, must admit it, I am STILL HAVING FUN!!!!!!!!!!

July 22nd, 2014: Yup…still here folks. I am in Molecular Biology and Medical Genetics II. This week we started immunogenetics. Last week was single-gene disorders, and cytogenetics.

October 30th, 2014: In a path block..have a cold…sorry for the short post!

August 30th, 2015: I am still here!!! I am about to start my second system based block, Heme-Immunology. Check out my new blog – www.simonrdownes@wordpress.com

November 23rd, 2015: Currently on leave of absence due to lack of funds. This really sucks! The university has been very kind to me offering payment plans, but I do not have the capability at this time. So – for now, I am Simon “The English Teacher in Tokyo”. Neurosurgery will have to wait. By the way – do you know that my blog has moved? Please follow me here:





January 25th, 2016: Hi. I’m still on LOA – this SUCKS!!!!!
I need to make enough money to get back in, but it is tough!!
I like OUM a lot, and I have come this far..I will not quit. I will come back in somehow!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s