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beginning the process... does this make sense?

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by RabbitMD, Dec 22, 2008.

  1. RabbitMD

    2+ Year Member

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    Hi, this is my first post here! Just reading through these forums has already been really helpful though... what a great resource. :thumbup:

    I'm just starting out in the process, and want to make sure that what I'm doing makes sense... would love to get some advice from you!

    The situation:
    - 24 years old, with a BA in physics/math minor, and an MS in physics... 3.62 undergrad GPA.
    - In the process of moving to Berkeley and don't have a job yet
    - Registered for an EMT class at a CC, which will run mid-Jan through end of May.
    - Planning on applying to the Mills post-bacc, which would start in the fall (anyone know what makes a competitive applicant there?)
    - Trying to figure out what to do with myself in the mean time (or even just until the end of the EMT class... and then get a job as an EMT)

    I have some experience doing math/science tutoring, so I've applied to a couple of tutoring companies but haven't heard back yet... it seems like doing this would make sense because a) I could make ~ $40/hr doing it, so could support myself on just a few hours a day, leaving plenty of time for volunteering and EMT class, and b) it's pretty flexible/doesn't require too much of a long term commitment, so if I wanted to get an EMT job after the class (which I do), I could either just stop or work at reduced hours... same for once post-bacc classes start. The key is actually getting a job though... any other ideas if I don't?

    I've also been looking for healthcare-related jobs I could do right now that would let me interact with patients... which would be really appealing, though these jobs seem to be few and far between. I'm having a hard time figuring out what to include on my resume for something like that, given that my only medical training is as a WFR! I do want to make sure I get some non-emergency face time with patients *somehow* though, because I'm pretty sure I want to do Family Med in an underserved area (though I would also like to keep up my emergency skills... is it possible to do both?). Maybe volunteering would be best for this.

    So ideally it would look like...
    Jan-May: tutor/EMT class/volunteering
    May-Sept: tutor?/work as EMT/volunteering
    Sept-?: post-bacc/work as EMT/volunteering

    Something like that? Plus some shadowing in there. It's not that complicated a plan and I think I'm in a pretty good spot, but I've been obsessing about it a little... probably need to stop thinking about it and just *execute* the plan... :rolleyes: story of my life.... it would be great to know what you guys think and if there's stuff I'm not thinking of.

    Thanks so much and happy holidays to everyone!
     
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  3. Captain Fantastic

    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    Seems like a good plan. Plan some contingencies, too.

    I'm not sure how saturated your EMT market is, but I had a difficult time getting hired after I got my license. Apparently the advanced degree and salary history turned them off. After many months I finally got an EMS gig (911 service, too, which was great!).

    Like I said, maybe you'll find it easy to get an EMT job, but I didn't. Just throwing that out there.

    Your uGPA is good. Get all A's in your post-bacc classes and you'll be sitting well on the GPA side of life. Nail the MCAT and you're halfway there.

    Good luck!
     
  4. droz1

    2+ Year Member

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    Here in Florida, EMT jobs really easy to get. My cousin just completed his training and was hired full-time 4 days after graduation. I was gonna do EMT with him but I heard that part-time EMT jobs are almost impossible to get and that the average work week is 60-hrs.

    I would investigate first since working 60-hrs a week plus volunteering plus doing a post-bacc seems a lot to me.
     
  5. RabbitMD

    2+ Year Member

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    Thanks Captain! It's good to know that an EMT job isn't a given... I really hope the tutoring works out then, I could keep doing that till I find one. I'm determined to do it eventually! I'd love to get involved with search and rescue too. That's awesome you were able to do 911 service. :cool:
     
  6. RabbitMD

    2+ Year Member

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    oops, missed yours droz! That's good to know also... so maybe getting a part-time EMT job is the tricky part. Captain, was yours full or part time? yeah, 60 hours a week + post-bacc (never mind the volunteering even! I'd have clinical experience up the wazoo) would definitely be a no-go.
     
  7. njbmd

    njbmd Guest
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    If you are using the Mills post bacc as your pre-med prep, you likely don't need the EMT courses (unless you just want to do this extra for your own interests). Since you are a physics buff, you should be able to make some money tutoring (you would be in a good area for this type of work).

    I would leave the volunteering until almost last. You are going to have a glide year because my guess is that you haven't had General Chem/Organic Chem (takes a year to get through these). You will have more than enough time to get some shadowing and volunteering.

    Since your post bacc comes with plenty of advising, you can certainly ask them when to insert the volunteer/shadowing experience. You won't need tons of this but just enough to show that you are serious about becoming a physician and that you know what the profession entails.

    More useful health care-related jobs for you (rather than EMT) might be getting a phlebotomy certificate (6 weeks) or doing something like PCA in the Emergency Room/Operating Room where you can observe, learn and where you have exposure to patients. Again, if you really want to spend the time going after the EMT, then do so but as others have said, you may encounter EMT saturation in your area and the course itself is time-consuming.

    Just some things to think about since you don't need much and anticipate entering a formal post bacc program.
     
  8. RabbitMD

    2+ Year Member

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    thanks njbmd! The EMT is mostly for my own interests... I've wanted to do it ever since my WFR course (which is also what got me started thinking about medicine). Even if I can't get a job with it right away, I want to do search and rescue, and it seems like it might be useful for other volunteering... I hope? I hadn't thought about getting a phlebotomy cert... that would definitely be a good skill... would it make sense to do that in addition to the EMT?

    Is PCA the same as a medical assistant? I get all of those jobs mixed up... patient care assistant, medical assistant, nursing assistant, physician's assistant?? oh my! Would it be total overkill to do that in addition to the EMT? an either/or kind of thing?

    You're probably right that I don't need to be jumping into so much stuff right away... I'm just so excited about getting started. And not sure what it takes to get into the Mills program, and if I would need to have some clinical experience just to get into that??
     
  9. montessori2md

    montessori2md Member
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    Mills is NoCal, right?

    Your stats are great for most places, but have you considered relocating to a state less competitive than Cali?

    Just a thought...
     
  10. RabbitMD

    2+ Year Member

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    Thanks montessori2md... at this point I want to stay in CA because my significant other has a great job here, we just got an apartment, etc. (I also grew up here and love it). We'll see about the actual med school part though...

    Did you go to a Montessori school? I went to one for 1st-3rd grade, it was great!
     
  11. dragonfly99

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    rabbit, I like your plan of tutoring and the postbac.
    First thing I would do is check on the requirements for the postbac and try and get yourself in ASAP. Then I would try to secure some type of job...tutoring is good if you can get it.

    Agree with jdh,
    The EMT thing I think would be time consuming...you can do it, vs. choosing some other route (patient care tech or phlebotomist, etc.). I think the latter would get you into the hospital quicker and doing stuff with patients, and interacting with doctors.. How long is the EMT course and how much will it cost you? I would investigate the EMT thing more before you commit to it...will you be able to use it to work part time? Will they hire you if they think you'll just leave in a few months and don't want to do this as a career? Personally, I would avoid telling folks you are premed...that might make it easier to get hired.
     
  12. RabbitMD

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    Ugh, you guys are probably right about the EMT... I'm just so emotionally attached to it, I've been wanting to do it for a long time. I think it will cost around $200-300? The class meets Mon/Wed from 6-9:20 (some is lecture and some is lab, with a break somewhere in there), from mid January through May. So it is a bit of time... but honestly, when I was taking my WFR class, the whole experience was such a joy I was in no hurry to be done with it. Just like med school, right? :D

    Even if it's hard to get a job with it, I could probably use it volunteering somewhere...? I want to help people for gosh sakes, there must be someone who wants me! Is EMT training more advanced than Medical Assistant? Would it be totally weird to do both the EMT and something more hospital-y like that?

    I like the idea of getting the phlebotomy cert.

    Anyway I had a phone interview with an SAT tutoring company today... I think it went well, I have an in-person interview/test :eek: on the 5th. It seems like a pretty good deal...
     

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