Kamali Thompson, Orthopedic Surgery Resident and Olympic Hopeful [VIDEO] – premedlife.
Kamali Thompson applied to medical school at 19 years old, pursued a dual MD/MBA degree, and graduated from medical school while training for the 2021 Olympics, and she’s accepted our ridiculous request to answer 49 questions about her premed life. We talked to the Olympic hopeful and incoming orthopedic surgery resident at Temple Hospital to find out what the premed years looked like and her love for fencing. We even asked her about her study and workout playlists. Watch the video to find out 49 things you may have not known about Kamali Thompson.
49 Questions With Kamali Thompson
Let’s jump right in…
- What are 3 words that describe your premed life?
Non-traditional, busy, social
- Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in medicine?
- What advice would you give your premed self ?
Enjoy more of the moment and have a little bit more fun.
- What is the best advice you received as an undergrad?
My mom said “keep working hard and your hard work will pay off.”
- If you had one piece of advice to give to those applying to medical school, what would it be?
Make yourself really unique and make yourself standout.
- Are there any courses you did not take, but wish you would have during undergrad?
Anatomy and physiology. I also wanted to take some business classes.
- Fav class in undergrad?
- Worst class in undergrad?
- What was your #premedmotivation?
I kept telling myself “if you can get through this, you can get into medical school.” Second, I worked at Sears in the shoe department and one day I cried after putting 10 pairs of shoes on this one person and I said this is the worst job ever.
- Any MCAT prep tips?
Don’t be afraid to enroll in a course.
- How was organic chemistry for you?
I did not like orgo but I had a great teacher and he had a British accent and was kind of attractive. .
- Any advice for premeds taking Orgo?
Get other books than the textbooks early on so you can really understand what’s going on.
- Did you have a mentor?
No, not really when I was a premed.
Now, our readers always love hearing about the med school admissions process…
- How was the med school admission process like for you?
- Any admission process tips?
– On the financial side, try to get fee discounts or waivers for the applications; if you use a credit card to book flights, get points for the flights you take; for primary and secondary applications, send them back as quickly as possible.
- What do you think helped to make you stand out to the medical school admission committees?
I had a couple of cheat codes. I skipped first grade and started school early so I was 19 years old when I applied to medical school. My other cheat code was that I was a fencer and my story was very unique.
- What’s the first thing you did after you learned you were accepted to medical school?
I was on my bed and I just got up and started screaming.
- Best medical school interview moment?
In my MMI, I completely forgot to talk about being a fencer and my interviewer asked, “aren’t you a fencer” and I looked at her and said “duh” and I was like did I just say “duh” in an interview. I ended up getting a phone call a week later that I got in.
- What were you most nervous about?
Imposter syndrome and it was a really stressful process.
- Why did you want to pursue a dual MD/MBA degree?
I was very interested in business when I was an undergrad.
You’re a fencer and you’re going to the Olympics, that’s badass…
- What do you like most about fencing?
I think fencing is such a unique sport. It’s an individual sport so you just have to be accountable for yourself. Fencing is awesome and everyone should really watch it during the Olympics.
- There’s a saying, “your talent is not for you, it comes through you for the world” – do you agree?
I definitely think that everybody has something to give.
- How many hours do you train?
A lot. About 40 hours a week.
- Oh my goodness…How did you balance training for the Olympics and medical school?
I’m finished now but the biggest thing was scheduling.
- Did you have a study playlist?
If I had to study today it would be the Emotional Oranges playlist. And podcast.
- Do you have a workout playlist?
Yes, I do. It is a combination of old and new hip hop…Meek Mills, Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion.
- Any songs on repeat right now?
Yea, Drake just released three new songs, so those are definitely on repeat. I love Drake.
- Other than being an Orthopedic Surgeon or Fencer, what other profession would you have liked to attempt?
Something in public relations. I like going to events.
- What profession do you think you would least like to attempt?
Something that would require more physics, maybe engineering.
You just finished your last year in med school…
- How does it feel?
It feels great. It feels so exciting to be finished. I’ve been waiting for this day for a really long time.
- If you could sum up your med school years in one word, what would it be?
Non-traditional, but non-traditional is more fun, so it’s not a bad thing.
Now, some questions for fun…
- If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title would be?
- If your story was turned into a movie, who would you like to play you?
- If you could choose a tv medical drama to have a role in, which would it be?
- What’s your favorite quote?
Relentlessly put in the work. You may not see the results for a long time. Don’t get frustrated by the success you see around you. Don’t be discouraged by those who cut corners. Value your integrity. Be patient. Keep building. Find confidence in your preparation – by Allyson Felix.
- How many countries have you visited?
- Which one has been your favorite?
It’s a tie between Italy and Paris.
- Fav podcast?
- Fav book?
- Favorite beverage?
Chai Tea Latte
- Do you have a spirit animal?
- Do you still dress up on Halloween as a doctor?
I do when I’m home.
- What’s the best thing that happened to you last month?
I got into residency and I was in Forbes.
- Must have study item?
- Have you ever played the game Operation?
Yes, when I was very very young.
- What’s your go to self care practice?
- Crocs or clogs?
- If you could make a documentary about anything, what would it be?
The difficulties that it takes to get to the Olympics.
- LASTLY, anything we haven’t asked you that you would like for our premed community to know?
Follow my journey to Tokyo on my blog Saber and a Stethoscope, an education, fitness, and travel blog.