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Advanced volunteer position or extra time studying for MCAT?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Dayfed, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. Dayfed

    2+ Year Member

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    Hi all. it's been a long time since I've posted. Alright, so here's my question:

    I am a junior going to be taking the MCAT in May. My schedule for next semester is not too difficult: Neuroscience 2 (my major) and Cell Biology are my only two science classes, along with three liberal eds. Anyways, my Tuesdays and Thursdays are pretty much wide open, and someone recommended to me that I apply at a local hospital as a Research Associate at a local hospital. I would be doing mostly data entry volunteer work, but would be exposed to everything in the ER and get to know doctors, according to my lab partner. Here is their website:
    http://www.hcmced.org/ It is an 8 hour time commitment plus 1 hour each way in travel.

    One side of me thinks this would be a great experience because I would get time in the ER. On the other hand, I already am a CNA at a nursing home with over 1500 hours of working, have volunteered at a hospital since high school (over 400 hours total, but not too many since becoming an NA). Also, I volunteer heavily in areas outside of medicine, including interning for Barack Obama's campaign during the primary and general, and being a volunteer at the local radio station for over three semesters now.

    My GPA is 3.59, and went down last year because of ochem/physics (b average in both). My GPA for this semester should be mostly A's/A-'s in Biochem, Neuro, Physiology and directed Research. I should also say that I have only shadowed two doctors.

    What do you guys think? Have any of you done a similar type of volunteer work? Would it be worth my tuesday and thursday afternoons or would it be time better spent studying for the MCAT and trying to raise my GPA?
     
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  3. DrYoda

    DrYoda Space Cowboy
    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    Your volunteering and clinical experience are already great. I would work on the grades/MCAT.
     
  4. ChubbyChaser

    ChubbyChaser Yummmy
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    MCAT hands down....you could easily get in with your volunteer and clinical experiences..but if you blow your gpa or MCAT you can screw yourself.
     
  5. chiz2kul

    chiz2kul t.roll.ed for Banning
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    Mcat mcat mcat mcat
     
  6. musicalmedicine

    musicalmedicine Guitarist/future MD
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  7. Kaustikos

    Kaustikos Archerize It
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    The maverick in me says DO IT.
     
  8. funkydrmonkey

    funkydrmonkey They Call Me Dr. Funkmonk
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  9. DrJD

    DrJD Junior Member
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    Mcat...
     
  10. halekulani

    halekulani Member
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    ...just do the mcat stuff.
     
  11. xrevision

    xrevision Senior Procrastinator
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    Numbers first then EC's. Unless the EC leads to a first author publication in nature.
     
  12. Jonnymed

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    I didn't realize data entry was considered an "Advanced Volunteer Position". By that description, you'd think you had some actual patient contact or something.

    The reason med schools want you to volunteer is so you get patient exposure, if you have a lot of that already, then I would focus on other areas you can improve.
     
  13. ApoK

    2+ Year Member

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    I'm in the HCMC program. There is plenty of patient contact. In the summer program, all we do is go from room to room asking patients questions pertinent to the study. It's not really data entry ... we write down what patients tell us. Also, we collect data during drug administrations and then follow up with patients, asking about their feelings while taking the drug. Also, we get to take data and observe emergency situations in the Stabilization Room, which is quite cool. Many lives saved there.

    All that said ... focus on your MCAT...
     
  14. majahops

    majahops YOU are great.
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    Mcat mcat mcat
     
  15. AtheGre

    AtheGre YES
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  16. labgod

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    MCAT. i would even stop volunteering to give yourself more rest time from studying. resume after the test. glck
     
  17. GoawayAvalon

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    I'm planning on getting the MCAT out of the way and then doing the HCMC program over the summer, so you should too.
     

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