AmeriCorp, Peace Corp, JET program, Fulbright Scholar programs, etc.

PeripateticMD

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They love it. But, they love a lot of things. You need to choose the best balance of those things that works the best for you. I wouldn't suggest planning your life around getting into medical school, just make sure to keep that door open while you do what you love.
 

EBI831

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How attractive are these programs to ADCOMS?

i don't know about adcoms but i personally find it unattractive for someone to consider signing up for these programs where there are actually people out there dying to do them to help others just because of how it'll make you look to adcoms. now, i'm not stupid so of course i know that ppl volunteer and do research to get into medical school, etc but i will accept that because now its nearly impossible to get in without this kind of experience. i, however, think its not such a good idea to sign up to go to a foreign country, etc for a year or even two years as some of these programs demand just because it looks good to adcoms, there are easier ways to look awesome on paper and these usually have to do with research and medically related things. if you are doing it b/c you are interested in helping these ppl but at the same time want medical schools to reward it, then by all means go for it.
 
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wisguy

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Such things look nice, but only if you're doing them for the right reasons. If it's something you're passionate about, by all means go for it. I'm spending this year abroad and I am very pleased with my decision. It is good to gain some perspective about your place in the world, especially if you're young when you graduate. But don't do it just so you can write it on your application. People will see right through that.
Also, for a Fulbright you'll want to have a GPA of at least 3.7 to ensure that you'll be competitive. Peace Corps can also be quite selective. I'd focus more on the task at hand (getting good grades and learning your basic science material to prepare for the MCAT) and then look into your options once you've taken care of these things.
 

bbabul01

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I have friends in all 4 programs. And I echo others when I say do it for the right reasons.

Americacorp/Peace corp is a huge commitment, usually like 2 years in some place with no connection to the world. So do it because you want to do it, not because you want it on your resume.

JET is tough to get into, and requires you to live in Japan for at least a year. My buddy loves it and is staying on for another year, but he's doing it because he enjoys it and doesn't know what else to do.

Fulbrights are RIDCIULOUSLY hard to get. If you can get one of these, then you can get into med school. You don't need a fulbright to add to your application.

If you want to do it to take some time before school, do it for that. Adcoms will like it, but doing it for that reason will burn you out.
 

clusterfunk

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Fulbrights are RIDCIULOUSLY hard to get. If you can get one of these, then you can get into med school. You don't need a fulbright to add to your application.

Eh, Fulbrights are overrated but meritorious nonetheless, if only for the name recognition. A lot of the "competitiveness" depends on which country you are applying to and the feasibility/creativity/originality of your research proposal. Go for the Fulbright Teaching Assistantship, which is nothing but a glorified English teaching gig in a foreign country.
 

bbabul01

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Eh, Fulbrights are overrated but meritorious nonetheless, if only for the name recognition. A lot of the "competitiveness" depends on which country you are applying to and the feasibility/creativity/originality of your research proposal. Go for the Fulbright Teaching Assistantship, which is nothing but a glorified English teaching gig in a foreign country.

Yeah, I agree. I was talking more about the actual Fulbright grants which are given to people to do research in a foreign country. I completely agree with the teaching ones. But the actual grants are very hard to get and very meritorious. Also, great word, I like it.
 

notdeadyet

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JET is tough to get into, and requires you to live in Japan for at least a year. My buddy loves it and is staying on for another year, but he's doing it because he enjoys it and doesn't know what else to do.
Second this. Since JET requires a pretty small commitment and does a lot of hand-holding, you find lots of folks that enter it with the attitude of "it'd be cool to live in a foreign country for a year."

I'd put JET a good few notches below Americorps, which I'd put a notch or two below Peace Corps in terms of commitment/dedication.
 

wisguy

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There are a number of factors that influence the difficulty of winning a Fulbright, given that your academics are in order.
1)The country: English speaking countries are really difficult. So is France. Other countries tend to depend more on the application year. The # of applications to a given country tends to be cyclical. If people see that relatively few people applied to a given country the previous year, applications may increase dramatically for the next application cycle.
2)Type of grant: in terms of difficulty, travel<teaching assistant<<research. 3)Proposal: Your odds of getting a research grant depend on several things. You need an in-country sponsor who is excited about the possibility of you coming. If you can work outside of the biggest city in the country that is also a major plus in many cases. The most important component is the proposal itself. You need to have a detailed plan that you have the skills to carry out. It needs to be feasible within the time of the grant. You need to sell your project and yourself.

If you have decent grades and some profs that will write stellar lor's, you definitely have a good shot at winning a Fulbright if you can work out the logistics of a project with an international adviser. PM me if you want more details about the application process.
 
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