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Volunteer exp. in hosp. vs.nonmedical community service

Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by Neuronex, Apr 19, 2010.

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  1. Neuronex

    Neuronex

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    Hi,
    I have been volunteering in a hospital for ~3yrs (in different areas). I must say that I have a wonderful experience so far and I planning to continue to volunteer in my senior year. However, I have not done any nonmedical community service and don't have any leadership experience. In my senior year, I am also planing to gain some leadership experience by leading a class (either a chem or bio recitation for 1 yr) and by becoming a part of pre-med club executive board. I have been doing research since my sophomore year and will continue in my senior year also. Should I quit volunteering in a hospital and work on gaining some nonmedical community service or just continue to volunteer at hospital?
  2. mdbound1987

    mdbound1987

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    3 years is plenty of time in the hospital. If you don't have any non-medical community service, chances are you won't get accepted anywhere. You really need to make this your #1 priority because even if you have a 4.0 gpa and a 40 mcat, a complete lack of community service is going to ruin your chances.
  3. noshie

    noshie Don't judge!

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    I second this. You are not strengthening your application by doing 4 years of hospital volunteering as opposed to 3 years. Start getting different experiences to add to your application.
  4. Catalystik

    Catalystik Herd Protection SDN Advisor

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    You already have a splendid degree of longevity in the hospital volunteering, but ideally you'd want recent clinical contact at the time you apply. You might accomplish that with some physician shadowing of a few types of doc, spaced out over the next year to do that and still give you time for nonmedical/noncampus community service. Or you could drop your hospital hours to every other week, with the community service the alternate week. I encourage you to get in the nonmedical volunteering as adcomms seem more interested in seeing it lately.

    I'd consider exec board as leadership, but the class recitation would fit better under teaching.
  5. ThaliaNox

    ThaliaNox

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    When reviewing applications I really like to see continuation of activities. If you've been volunteering for three years, I would keep it up at least a little until your application is in. Like Cat said, maybe drop down to twice a month, and pick up some community volunteering.

    It doesn't have to be a versus thing. Do both, just maybe not as long per week.
  6. Neuronex

    Neuronex

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    Thank you for the feedback!
    I am going to start community service in summer and will continue in my senior year (2010-2011). How many hours of nonmedical community service are "expected" from a pre-med student (on average)?
  7. mdbound1987

    mdbound1987

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    There is no specific amount of hours. Adcoms really want to see that you invested a good amount of time for an extended period of time and really actively contributed to the community service activity.
  8. CaptainSSO

    CaptainSSO

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    WTF is this kid talking about?
  9. mdbound1987

    mdbound1987

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    So you're trying to tell me that great numbers and no community service will get someone an acceptance. Wtf are u talking about? Any school would fill all 180-200 seats in their class with students having 3.7+ gpas and 35 mcats who had extensive community service before any student with a 4.0 and 40 mcat and no community service. If someone else who has more insight into this topic and feels I am wrong, please correct me, but CaptainSSO, I'm guessing you don't since you didn't make an argument.
  10. CaptainSSO

    CaptainSSO

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    You specifically said non-medical community service. I would agree (although I actually have no clue) that someone with absolutely zero community service would get in, but I would say someone with a 4.0 40 with only medical volunteering would definitely get in. At least that's what everyone tells me in real life. It's only on this website that I ever read if you don't have 4 million hours of community service coupled with a pilgrimage to the African rainforest with a 4.0 45T MCAT you won't get in.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2010
  11. mdbound1987

    mdbound1987

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    Ok I misunderstood what you were trying to imply by asking that question. I do agree that a 4.0 and 40 could probably make up for a deficiency in non-medical volunteering if the person has quite a bit of medical volunteering and only if medical volunteering was classified under "community service" instead of "clinical experience." I've always been under the impression that hospital volunteering is clinical experience and not community service. Maybe I am wrong though.
  12. Catalystik

    Catalystik Herd Protection SDN Advisor

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    The vast majority of SDNers would consider that medical volunteerism covers both expectations, which is why it's commonly referred to as a "double-dipper". There's no question that adcomms also like to see hands-on, nonmedical/noncampus community service as well. And there's no question that it's an unwritten expectation to have some altruistic activity if you gain your clinical experience through the workplace or through clinical research. Just my observation. Exceptions do occur. But it's always a good idea to have your application appeal to a broad range of schools so you have the best chance of an acceptance somewhere.
  13. Neuronex

    Neuronex

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    I completely agree, Catalystik. Thats the reason I want to do some non-medical community service. Thank you! you feedback is always helpful:)
  14. ThaliaNox

    ThaliaNox

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    It is going to depend on the school. Some schools will be fine with only clinical volunteering. Others are more community oriented. It has to do with school mission and fit, those horrible things that SDN loves to hate.

    This year, for example, the husband of a classmate had excellent stats, a grad degree in the physical sciences, so lots of teaching and research, but almost no volunteering besides a bit of clinical volunteering. He didn't get into my med school. It sucked for my classmate. Would he have gotten into other schools? Probably. He was just stuck applying only to ours because of his wife.

    Make yourself as well rounded as you can because you never know when a school is going to go postal about their "mission."
  15. Neuronex

    Neuronex

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    Thanks ThaliaNox!
  16. stoptouchingme

    stoptouchingme

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    Why are you people so concerned about EC/Clinical Experience??? No one even looks at that crap. You will get your clinical exp in med school. That's what you do in medical school!!! LOL

    Just get your numbers up and write a kick*** PS.
  17. noshie

    noshie Don't judge!

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    Well, in my opinion if you don’t have any clinical experience prior to applying than you really don’t know what a physician actually does. Also, if someone with the same stats as you has some ECs and you don’t, they will definitely get your spot for the incoming class. Life experience is a big deal, sure people get into med school without it, but they are the ones that make crappy doctors. Trust me, I’ve met many of them...

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