3rd&4th Year Medical School

My name is Merna Haridi and I am a medical student. When I was a Barnard student, I knew I didn’t want to take a gap year post graduation and to attend medical school right away. But given my academic standing in the sciences, I took the gap year as suggested to me by many. I took a lot of time to prepare for my MCAT, took Kaplan courses and tutoring, and took the exam. I did as best as I could, but the score was not competitive enough for American medical schools, unfortunately. At that point, I was feeling really down because it was then that it hit me that my hard work of 4 years on the pre-medical track isn’t taking me to where I want to be. I did not have the financial means to go above and beyond with private tutoring for the MCAT, nor for any of my classes in undergrad. I used what I was offered by programs at Barnard to get through, and I am grateful for that. However, I still struggled in the sciences and my grades were good, just not excellent. So, when I got into a Caribbean medical school, I went for it because these were the schools that gave me the chance to come in for an interview, and were the ONLY schools that saw that I had the potential to be a practicing physician.

            As many of you know from a previous Facebook post, I attended a Caribbean medical school in 2016, completed my basic sciences, and then the school lost its Accreditation. I made a decision to start over at a new Caribbean medical school, one of the hardest decisions I have ever made because I had to repeat everything. I am currently preparing for Step 1, but following that examination, I will be starting my last 2 years of medical school which is clinical rotations and that will cost a total of $60,000. Unfortunately, I was not aware of the fact that Caribbean schools offer either a limited amount of loans for clinical rotations in a hospital or offer no loans at all. There are no loan service providers that are able to provide me with a private loan for attending a school that is overseas. Financially, I am struggling with paying that amount of money in increments after every rotation that is completed. Of course, my parents are by my side and supporting me in every way they can to help me. I completed my MPH and I am thankful for being able to accomplish this in the midst of everything my MD experience has been. Completing this MPH helped me receive enough loans to help me pay for my basic sciences portion of Medical School and my rent while on the island, but it is not enough to help me cover clinical rotations.

            In return to your gracious contribution to help me become the doctor I have truly fought so, so hard to become, I will be updating this GoFundMe with my basic sciences transcript, my Step 1 & Step 2 CK scores, and my progress through rotations moving forward. I also intend on going back to Barnard in the near future to help guide pre-med students on the non-traditional path of medical school, share my story, and mentor in any way I can. I hope I get to do that as an MD with a set career in the near future. Thank you for making it this far into my post, I truly do appreciate it.
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Merna Haridi 
Brooklyn, NY
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