Apr 19, 2020
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My question is about extracurricular activities for older non-trad premeds.

My stats so far (two-thirds of the way done with pre-reqs, hoping to apply for 2022-2023 cycle): sGPA 4.0, cGPA 3.6, no MCAT yet.

I work full-time (40+ hours per week) in a clinical role (NP).
I am taking 2 science prerequisite classes at a time.
I am volunteering 4 hours a week as a crisis counselor.
I have several years of research experience through my job, which includes 2-3 first authored peer reviewed articles and several poster presentations at national meetings.
My job is unique in that I see patients alone but also in shared visits with physicians about 25% of the time, so I feel like I have thousands of hours of "shadowing," since I've observed how they manage and communicate with patients and families for years. But I'm not sure if this would count as shadowing.

I am planning to try to shadow 2-3 physicians in the specialty that interests me most (psychiatry), but I haven't asked yet. I am hoping to get about 20 hours of shadowing in.

By the time I apply, I will have about 300 hours of volunteering in my current role as a crisis counselor and 14 years of full-time clinical experience in nursing.

Anyone see any glaring deficits here or areas for improvement? Thanks in advance for suggestions/guidance!
 

GreenDuck12

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Mar 30, 2014
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On apps you really can’t double dip with your experiences - your work is certainly clinical but I wouldn’t count it as shadowing as well. I would plan on trying to shadow in primary care for a bit to meet any minimum requirements schools might have, granted given your resume, shadowing is much less important on your application compared to others without the breadth of clinical exposure. The only thing I can spot is a lack of volunteering with diverse and underserved communities. Other than that you have a nice set of background experiences.
 
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Apr 19, 2020
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On apps you really can’t double dip with your experiences - your work is certainly clinical but I wouldn’t count it as shadowing as well. I would plan on trying to shadow in primary care for a bit to meet any minimum requirements schools might have, granted given your resume, shadowing is much less important on your application compared to others without the breadth of clinical exposure. The only thing I can spot is a lack of volunteering with diverse and underserved communities. Other than that you have a nice set of background experiences.
Thank you for responding, that's really helpful advice!
 

DO_or_Die

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Mar 16, 2016
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I'm not an NP but I was an RN prior to med school. I called one of the schools I was interested in and they suggested shadowing to check off the box just because everyone else had checked off the box. I ended up shadowing 100 hours between one of the hospitalists I worked with and en ED doc. I would say..50 hours of primary care would be good. I wouldn't shadow psych for the sole fact that I really wouldn't consider that primary care and many schools are so PC oriented. Honestly your background is great, while I would say some schools say they are holistic, as a whole I would say they mostly care about the MCAT (just from my experience). If you haven't taken biochem, hands down take biochem before you take the MCAT.
 
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jhmmd

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Apr 28, 2020
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My question is about extracurricular activities for older non-trad premeds.

My stats so far (two-thirds of the way done with pre-reqs, hoping to apply for 2022-2023 cycle): sGPA 4.0, cGPA 3.6, no MCAT yet.

I work full-time (40+ hours per week) in a clinical role (NP).
I am taking 2 science prerequisite classes at a time.
I am volunteering 4 hours a week as a crisis counselor.
I have several years of research experience through my job, which includes 2-3 first authored peer reviewed articles and several poster presentations at national meetings.
My job is unique in that I see patients alone but also in shared visits with physicians about 25% of the time, so I feel like I have thousands of hours of "shadowing," since I've observed how they manage and communicate with patients and families for years. But I'm not sure if this would count as shadowing.

I am planning to try to shadow 2-3 physicians in the specialty that interests me most (psychiatry), but I haven't asked yet. I am hoping to get about 20 hours of shadowing in.

By the time I apply, I will have about 300 hours of volunteering in my current role as a crisis counselor and 14 years of full-time clinical experience in nursing.

Anyone see any glaring deficits here or areas for improvement? Thanks in advance for suggestions/guidance!
Would need a little more info to advise you (state you live in), practice AAMC test scores, etc. to advise you better
VERY IMPORTANT: You will need a solid answer for "why medicine" for PS as well as interviews, secondaries, etc. if you are already a practicing NP.
Good luck
 
Aug 20, 2019
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Assuming your MCAT comes out well, your biggest "deficit" is going to be admission committee members questioning why you are going to spend the money to become a MD when you already have a lucrative career as a nurse practitioner. As long as you can answer that question to their satisfaction, I think you're fine.
 
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Apr 19, 2020
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Assuming your MCAT comes out well, your biggest "deficit" is going to be admission committee members questioning why you are going to spend the money to become a MD when you already have a lucrative career as a nurse practitioner. As long as you can answer that question to their satisfaction, I think you're fine.
True, though if finances were my highest priority, I wouldn't be doing this. I have done the math and understand the opportunity costs, just like people who transition into medicine from other fields such as law, engineering, or finance. I also recognize that I am extremely lucky and privileged to be in a financial position to be able to make this decision more easily.

For me, this journey is about wanting to care for patients in a more thorough way than I currently can. In my current position I have long-time patients for whom I *could* function as a PCP, but don't have the breadth/depth of medical knowledge or training to do so. My NP training focused mostly on chronic disease management, not on understanding physiology, pathophysiology, and evidence-based clinical medicine well enough to develop a thorough differential ddx for new complaints. I have already experienced NP training (and I went to a top 10 brick and mortar school), so know that if I spent another 1-2 years trying to get the additional medical training I am seeking through a post-masters NP program, I would not get the depth of education/training that I feel I need to be able to safely and holistically care for patients as either a PCP or any kind of specialist.

I also don't think I could get this training through "self-study," since you don't know what you don't know.
 
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