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What makes you stand out as a non-trad?

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by WTEngel, Apr 2, 2012.

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  1. wholeheartedly

    wholeheartedly

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    You guys are all pretty awesome and giving me a bit of an inferiority complex with my more meager nontrad experiences :laugh:
  2. talas

    talas

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    Conservatory trained violist based in NYC. Performed throughout US, Europe, and South Korea. Have worked teaching and performing for years, with the standard restaurant serving job to keep my head above water while in school.

    Had no sciences experience since high school (barely remembered basic algebra), but joined a post-bacc program in the city and nailed it. Nothing like the hard core discipline of a musician to teach you how to practice until you get it right! Starting med school this fall!

    Good luck to all the non-trads!
  3. augeremt

    augeremt

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    It's a square-rigged tallship (a brigantine, I believe) named Kapitan Głowacki, on which I was supposed to sail into Bergen several years back. But I had to get off one port early and I've been kicking myself in the butt ever since.

    Anywhos, that's the view looking up the main mast.
    Last edited: May 19, 2012
  4. galaxyx

    galaxyx

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    Ah, it's Polish. It didn't look like any of the American square riggers, or the European ones that frequent this side of the atlantic.
  5. MT Headed

    MT Headed snow, PBR, and bears Lifetime Donor

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    Lot of sailors in this thread. I sailed my own boat lazily from eastern Canada to western Canada over the course of five years, then walked back to Mexico over the next five months. That always seemed to come up in interviews, moreso than my EMT experience.
  6. wholeheartedly

    wholeheartedly

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    MT you gonna write a memoir at some point? please?
  7. oCrystal

    oCrystal

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    Enlisted in the Navy after 9/11, was selected for an officer accession program while deployed to Iraq. I would ultimately wind up resigning my commission, for the reasons outlined below, after nearly 9 years of active duty service. I had always planned on attending law school and actually utilizing that degree in Criminal Justice. Life apparently had other plans for me. In October 2008 my wife gave birth to 29 week triplet girls. On day 1 of life one of my daughters was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot and a chromosomal deletion known commonly as DiGeorge Syndrome. After a lengthy NICU stay for all 3, my special needs daughter would still require multiple open heart surgeries and catheterizations, neurosurgery, while also having a severely compromised immune system resulting in over 15 hospitalizations to date.

    As challenging as the last 3 + years have been they, and more specifically my daughter, led me to medicine. With the support of my wife and family I began taking the pre reqs for med school. Often missing class to take my daughters to appointments or simply being in the hospital for weeks at a time with my daughter proved beyond challenging. I was unwilling to deploy or be away from my daughter and family during these tumultuous times. This is what necessitated my resignation. Obviously completing all of the pre reqs, studying for and taking the MCAT, and enduring the application process was difficult to say the least. These life experiences and what I have learned from them are what I will bring to the medical profession. I love reading the Non-trad board. Everyone has such compelling stories. Good luck to all those still pursuing their dream.

    Accepted Class of 2016 MD
  8. oCrystal

    oCrystal

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    Every great challenge brings with it great opportunity.

    I know it sounds cliche, but that outlook on life has enabled me to make the most out of some seeemingly desperate and would be discouraging circumstances.
  9. wholeheartedly

    wholeheartedly

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    I second this :thumbup:
  10. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Residency Sulfurer Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    I don't think I had anything specific that made me stand out as a nontrad applicant. My MCAT was high, and I had teaching/volunteering experiences and some cool work/EC experiences. But you can see that lots of people have those things just by reading through this thread. And for sure plenty of other people have led lives that are far more interesting than mine.

    I guess I would say that what made me a successful applicant is that I was relatively strong in all of the major areas (stats, ECs, etc.) that adcoms typically consider when evaluating applicants. I wasn't the very best or the most exciting in any specific area, but I was above average in all of them.
  11. sagain

    sagain

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    Very inspirational
  12. WTEngel

    WTEngel

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    Wow...really great stuff everyone! There are some amazing people on these boards.

    Even though it has come with some challenges and other "life experiences" I wouldn't trade my non-trad status for the traditional route any day...I have a feeling most of you guys would say the same.
  13. MT Headed

    MT Headed snow, PBR, and bears Lifetime Donor

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    What? And waste my 20s and 30s, 'the best years of my life', slaving away in medical school and residency? Never! I had way too much important stuff to do back then.
  14. augeremt

    augeremt

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    PCT? This used to be on my bucket list until I realized that I'm not actually a fan of hiking. But it's impressive nonetheless. Everyone I've talked to and/or ran into on the trail has spoken wonders about their experience. Sounds like an amazing time.
  15. BuSyDaZe

    BuSyDaZe *On the Move*

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    Great story! Very motivational :)
  16. FrkyBgStok

    FrkyBgStok DMU c/o 2016

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    now that is a church i could see myself attending. honey i am going to church! winning.
  17. BuSyDaZe

    BuSyDaZe *On the Move*

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    :laugh:
  18. Pose

    Pose Senior Member

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    Not sure what constitutes nontrad around here, but I label myself as one.

    My mother was a traveling nurse and single parent, and I really hated living in northern Maine where she was on assignment when I was 14. So I ran away from home, illegally dropped out of school, and house jumped between family members, making it from ME to FL and finally to KY. When I was seventeen I moved to Massachusetts to be with a girl I had met on a previous travel assignment, and I haven't left yet (though oddly enough, the girl did leave).

    It's probably a mixture of spending a lot of time in rural hospitals with my mother, and just a drive not to be a failure that led me to medicine. I am traditional in the sense that I began college knowing I would go into medicine. I am nontraditional because of these early experiences, and probably things I have done since beginning college. I moved to the Middle East (on a government grant) to learn Arabic, and almost immediately afterwards backpacked Mexico and Central America (I don't speak Spanish, but I found a one way ticket to Mexico for $99). I took another break from school to move to Germany to learn German -- but I ended up becoming romantically involved with a German surgical resident, and her superior English didn't help my progress in German. :) I have also worked as an EMT/ED tech full time since starting college (with a few LOAs thrown in for travel purposes), and my degree is in economics/Arabic, which is why I am doing an informal post-bacc presently.

    This year I'm hiking the PCT southbound as part of a fundraiser for the ALS Association (and just for myself).
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012
  19. beethousand

    beethousand

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    Wow! Hats off to you.
  20. LaEsponja

    LaEsponja

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    Amazing replies! Good luck to everyone.

    My ability to sell myself will be what adds the cherry to what I hope will be an amazing banana split of factors for med school. I'm currently in the Army Reserves, dabbled in animal rescue, and will be a black belt in Tae Kwon Do before I apply to med school. Throw in a couple of kids, that giant light-bulb of recognition to become a medical scientist, and a great smile should do the trick.

    Convenient connections in the medical world to fantastic shadowing and research opportunities can't hurt!
  21. ChemMed

    ChemMed Curiosity is Fun!

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    I didn't really stand out in any one area. I guess maybe my ECs that's about all. I was pretty average across the board otherwise. I organized climbing competitions for cancer research, had a few publications and hung out at toxicology rounds while in grad school version one. That would really be about it.
  22. LupaCupcake

    LupaCupcake

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    I was in the Army. That will probably play to my advantage.
  23. Icecreamboogers

    Icecreamboogers SDN Bronze Donor Bronze Donor

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    I'm 22 and I definitely agree with that.
  24. orthogenes

    orthogenes

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    LOL. Totally counts.
    I taught high school physics, that's kind of like being a mascot in front of a bunch of kids!
  25. startingover84

    startingover84

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    Wow! I love reading about all your experiences.

    I don't have anything as impressive, which makes me worry I won't even be considered.

    I've worked for a labor union, doing web editing and design. I've also worked in a call center and two different grocery stores. When I work 50-60 hours per week, there's not much else I want to do.

    Now, I'm working part-time. I'm planning on getting my doula certification this year and volunteering as a doula in L&D.

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