• Set Yourself Up For Success Webinar

    October 6, 2021 at 2 PM Eastern/11 AM Pacific
    SDN and Osmosis are teaming up to help you get set up for success this school year! We'll be covering study tips, healthy habits, and meeting mentors.

    Register Now!

  • Site Updates Coming Soon

    Site updates are coming next week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Click the button below to learn more!

    LEARN MORE

Being a pre-med during the pandemic

deophob

Full Member
May 27, 2020
14
8
11
  1. Pre-Medical
The ongoing pandemic has limited opportunities for everyone, and as a non-trad premed I am feeling really lost as to what I should be doing at the moment to prepare going forward.

What should/can we be doing now in terms of volunteering (clinical/non-clinical) and shadowing, etc.?

Are expectations (i.e., definition of a competitive applicant) likely to change for future application cycles?
 
Upvote 0
May 19, 2020
125
273
66
  1. Non-Student
What you are doing depends a lot on where in the country you are and what training you have.

I know others on here tend to disagree, but I usually recommend to my students that they set themselves up to be able to work at the entry level in healthcare settings. Depending on where they are in the country, this changes some- but CNA, EMT or other entry level training (including scribing) can enable you to get a job- and jobs can be less impacted than volunteer positions, especially if they're jobs filling a need or demand. Anecdotally, my students who are working in such positions are seeing increased hours and opportunities now, while those who were volunteering are seeing that practices are too busy/overwhelmed to have room.

From what I'm hearing, there might be some "give" for applicants this cycle if (and I stress the if) they had a history of consistent involvement and simply don't have as many hours this spring/summer as they otherwise would. For students who were putting off getting experience until their senior year, there's not likely to be much flex in expectations. As a colleague has pointed out, those students should be prepared to have a very good answer for the question "Why did you wait to get experience?"

My personal take is that future cycles will be more competitive. I'm seeing a lot of my students who would already have had a moderately competitive application decide to take an extra gap year, and they will be entering the pool next year a lot stronger. I'd guess this is going to be a trend elsewhere, as well.

Depending on what happens with the economy, there may be people moving from other paths into medical school as non-traditional applicants from other healthcare fields. This could also happen due to personal experiences- entry-level or mid-level practitioners who have realized that they want to be in a more independent position, for example, or people in non-clinical research positions who have realized they want to be more involved on the front lines in patient care.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
Upvote 0
Jun 11, 2010
67,026
2
103,025
276
Somewhere west of St. Louis
  1. Non-Student
The ongoing pandemic has limited opportunities for everyone, and as a non-trad premed I am feeling really lost as to what I should be doing at the moment to prepare going forward.

What should/can we be doing now in terms of volunteering (clinical/non-clinical) and shadowing, etc.?

Are expectations (i.e., definition of a competitive applicant) likely to change for future application cycles?
There are still venues for nonclinical volunteering. Election poll working (normally done by retired folks), food pantries, and Meals on Wheels comes to mind. Check out your local houses of worship as well.

For clinical, perhaps scribing>

EDIT: Here's the harsh truth: your medical career aspirations take a back seat to your health, as well as that of your family, and society,
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 5 users
Upvote 0
About the Ads

Microbe_Hunter

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Jun 1, 2016
342
2,400
176
  1. Pre-Medical
Here's the harsh truth: your health, as well as that of your family, and society, takes a back seat to your medical career aspirations.

I am so dissappointed to see this sentiment expressed by an adcom as it really highlights the problems inherent in the system. It is this type of thinking that contributes to high rates of physician suicide and depression.

I do not believe such extreme ideas and hope, we as premeds, medical students, and physicians, move away from this type of thinking.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 9 users
Upvote 0

SunBakedTrash

Reading the meat and hitting the street
2+ Year Member
Sep 8, 2019
151
396
116
A CLIA-certified dungeon
  1. Attending Physician
I am so dissappointed to see this sentiment expressed by an adcom as it really highlights the problems inherent in the system. It is this type of thinking that contributes to high rates of physician suicide and depression.

I do not believe such extreme ideas and hope, we as premeds, medical students, and physicians, move away from this type of thinking.

Medicine should be a job, not a lifestyle choice. It might be an unpopular opinion among pre-meds and the academic doctors who enjoy huffing their own brand in the ivory towers, but it’s key to not going insane. Your patients matter, but so do you.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 4 users
Upvote 0

Startingover123

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Aug 27, 2019
239
118
116
In case you haven't noticed, there's a pandemic going on. The case fatality rate is >5 %. Your rights end where other people's lungs begin.
Lol I really hope you are joking. Yes, let’s spread the virus to the elderly people in your family and potentially kill them so you could potentially get accepted to med school in the future. Since you are a person of a science I’m a bit shocked by your sentiment.
 
  • Sad
Reactions: 1 user
Upvote 0
Jun 11, 2010
67,026
2
103,025
276
Somewhere west of St. Louis
  1. Non-Student
Lol I really hope you are joking. Yes, let’s spread the virus to the elderly people in your family and potentially kill them so you could potentially get accepted to med school in the future. Since you are a person of a science I’m a bit shocked by your sentiment.
Huh??? Your bolded sentiments are in agreement with the point I was trying to make over the noise of student entitlement. Unfortunately, some of your peers do not like harsh truths.
 
Upvote 0

and 99 others

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Apr 2, 2019
774
1,954
126
  1. Medical Student (Accepted)
There are still venues for nonclinical volunteering. Election poll working (normally done by retired folks), food pantries, and Meals on Wheels comes to mind. Check out your local houses of worship as well.

For clinical, perhaps scribing>

Here's the harsh truth: your health, as well as that of your family, and society, takes a back seat to your medical career aspirations.
Huh??? Your bolded sentiments are in agreement with the point I was trying to make over the noise of student entitlement. Unfortunately, some of your peers do not like harsh truths.
I feel like you meant to say that medical career aspirations take a back seat to health?? That makes more sense with the rest of what you're saying lol. Super confused.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 3 users
Upvote 0

Startingover123

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Aug 27, 2019
239
118
116
Huh??? Your bolded sentiments are in agreement with the point I was trying to make over the noise of student entitlement. Unfortunately, some of your peers do not like harsh truths.
My apologies for not being more clear. You made the statement that someone’s health and family should take a back seat to applying to medical school. That’s ridiculous especially during a pandemic. One would think medical schools would realize this and not penalize someone for choosing to not put themselves or their loved ones at risk.
 
Upvote 0
Jun 11, 2010
67,026
2
103,025
276
Somewhere west of St. Louis
  1. Non-Student
My apologies for not being more clear. You made the statement that someone’s health and family should take a back seat to applying to medical school. That’s ridiculous especially during a pandemic. One would think medical schools would realize this and not penalize someone for choosing to not put themselves or their loved ones at risk.
Holy cow! Did I muck that up!!! Many thanks for your eagle eye.

I've fixed the offending post. I tell ya, getting old sucks.
 
  • Like
  • Haha
  • Love
Reactions: 10 users
Upvote 0
D

deleted804295

Medicine should be a job, not a lifestyle choice. It might be an unpopular opinion among pre-meds and the academic doctors who enjoy huffing their own brand in the ivory towers, but it’s key to not going insane. Your patients matter, but so do you.
Medicine should be a lifestyle choice while also caring about medical providers.

I truly do believe medicine is a calling and should not be given to just anyone who is smart enough to get in.
 
  • Love
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
Upvote 0

SunBakedTrash

Reading the meat and hitting the street
2+ Year Member
Sep 8, 2019
151
396
116
A CLIA-certified dungeon
  1. Attending Physician
Medicine should be a lifestyle choice while also caring about medical providers.

I truly do believe medicine is a calling and should not be given to just anyone who is smart enough to get in.

Therein lies a danger that is not discussed enough. Medicine becomes an identity for some of these types, especially naive ones who have never had a job or have extreme parental pressures to become a doctor. When they realize that it’s a messed up and broken system they are forced to work in to pay off debt or make daddy approve of them, it fuels the rampant depression and suicide we’re seeing. Medical schools are doing a poor job of screening this type out.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Upvote 0
May 19, 2020
125
273
66
  1. Non-Student
Therein lies a danger that is not discussed enough. Medicine becomes an identity for some of these types, especially naive ones who have never had a job or have extreme parental pressures to become a doctor. When they realize that it’s a messed up and broken system they are forced to work in to pay off debt or make daddy approve of them, it fuels the rampant depression and suicide we’re seeing. Medical schools are doing a poor job of screening this type out.

I would say this is one of the reasons gap years with full-time employment are (generally) beneficial to an application.

It would be interesting to see what happened if they became more of a required norm, as they are for upper-tier PA schools.
 
  • Love
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
Upvote 0

Dochopeful13

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 3, 2013
734
261
216
  1. Pre-Medical
Therein lies a danger that is not discussed enough. Medicine becomes an identity for some of these types, especially naive ones who have never had a job or have extreme parental pressures to become a doctor. When they realize that it’s a messed up and broken system they are forced to work in to pay off debt or make daddy approve of them, it fuels the rampant depression and suicide we’re seeing. Medical schools are doing a poor job of screening this type out.
A lot of people are babies on here. Most people’s real 9-5 jobs blow, mine included. You are completely right a lot of these people have never been in the real world and don’t realize how good they have it in medicine.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Upvote 0
Jun 11, 2010
67,026
2
103,025
276
Somewhere west of St. Louis
  1. Non-Student
I would say this is one of the reasons gap years with full-time employment are (generally) beneficial to an application.

It would be interesting to see what happened if they became more of a required norm, as they are for upper-tier PA schools.
I firmly believe that having a year's employment should be a pre-req for med school!
 
Upvote 0
May 19, 2020
125
273
66
  1. Non-Student
A lot of people are babies on here. Most people’s real 9-5 jobs blow, mine included. You are completely right a lot of these people have never been in the real world and don’t realize how good they have it in medicine.

The difference in perspective between someone who's never had to completely support themselves financially relative to someone who's had to work lots of hours in a physically demanding, low-wage, low-prestige job because they had to support themselves and their family is significant.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users
Upvote 0

SunBakedTrash

Reading the meat and hitting the street
2+ Year Member
Sep 8, 2019
151
396
116
A CLIA-certified dungeon
  1. Attending Physician
It’s a best case scenario when they are miserable themselves. The worst case scenario is when they get in, hate it, choose to stay in academics, project their toxic personalities onto students and residents within the hierarchical pyramid scheme that is academic medicine in many institutions and become those malignant attendings we all despise working with.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
Upvote 0
D

deleted1011020

There are still venues for nonclinical volunteering. Election poll working (normally done by retired folks), food pantries, and Meals on Wheels comes to mind. Check out your local houses of worship as well.

For clinical, perhaps scribing>

EDIT: Here's the harsh truth: your medical career aspirations take a back seat to your health, as well as that of your family, and society,
I'd like to add that if you go for the scribing route, do it now. The second cases tick up in your area and the census falls in the ER/offices close, they cut the scribes. Just my 2 cents.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Upvote 0
About the Ads
This thread is more than 1 year old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.