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Best ECs to help admission

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by playthatfunky, Nov 14, 2005.

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  1. playthatfunky

    playthatfunky Member
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    The search was giving me fits so I'll just post a new thread.

    What are the very best ECs to have that are medically related/volunteer work?

    Everyone has their own unique stuff "4 time water polo all american" and that type nonsense, I'm looking slightly more generic.

    I've been volunteering at a childrens hospital and thats basically it. What helps (and I'll need some help) with admissions the most? Shaddowing? A health care related job? Thanks.

    Just looking for ideas, all are appreciated
     
  2. jammin06

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    I worked as an EMT, OR intern, and volunteered abroad. Any one of those look good to adcoms.
     
  3. 10yearmedic

    10yearmedic Member
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    I am an EMT-P and an ed tech in a hospital that sees over 100,000 pts/year. I became a medic ten years ago (yea, I'm old). I think that looks pretty good on my application.
     
  4. Shredder

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    research publications
    leadership in the community. volunteerism is dime a dozen, true leadership is rare
     
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  5. Pontifex Maximus

    Pontifex Maximus Rads-a-palooza
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    I would definitely shadow as much as you can, as broad as you can.
    Research is also good but they'll grill you some times, so know your ish.
     
  6. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    Definitely a Nobel Prize will validate your research, so try to get one of those.


    Cozmosis - they'll grill you if it's also their area of expertise, but I'm doing my research in a realm a bit outside of the typical bio/med range, so my interviewers have kind of "smiled and nodded" when I tell them what I'm doing. They still had a decent number of questions, but I wouldn't worry about somebody critiquing the specifics of your work or anything like that.
     
  7. jackets5

    jackets5 Senior Member
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    probally something that is not easy to do ie. volunteer, be involved in random clubs. Like shedder said there are a dime a dozen. Just do something you really like and show some dedication in it. IMOH 1 or 2 real quality EC's are probally worth more than the basic, "im in the pre-med club, volunteer at so and so etc.
     
  8. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    Something that you love enough to be involved in for multiple years with increasing responsibility to supervise and train those coming up behind you.

    Whether employment or volunteer work, if it involves helping the sick, poor or the illiterate, then all the better.

    EMT, pediatrics and ER stuff is a ubiquitous and won't elevate you above the pack. Shadowing or watching is okay but actually doing is better. Racking up a list of procedures you've done is not as impressive as you might think (I saw one the other day that helped perform a c-section in the 3rd world). More impressive is organizing a group of volunteers to do xyz.
     
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  9. jammin06

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    Seeing that I was the one who helped with the C-section, I think a better explination is to highlight the experience of actually volunteering in the 3rd world country. Yes, the procedure was cool, but it's not something i bring up in interviews. When discussing the trip, its more about how you deal with assimilating into culture, educating 6th graders about HIV/AIDS, etc..
     
  10. SailCrazy

    SailCrazy I gotta have more cowbell
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    Here's a thread you might have found if the search function was working:

    Post Your Best EC . :thumbup:
     
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  11. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    No, I don't think I read your application... the point is, medical tourism isn't as impressive as you think that it might be and "assimilating into a culture and educating 6th graders abouat HIV/AIDS" might be contradictory depending on the culture and the "education".

    A great EC doesn't require a lot of (Daddy's) money. Being passionate about your EC and demonstrating leadership capacity as a junior/senior after being involved in the activity starting as a freshman or sophmore is more impressive. Being the captain of a team sport and having a great letter from the coach is a prime example of this sort of thing.
     
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  12. SailCrazy

    SailCrazy I gotta have more cowbell
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    ...Or maybe it is. I was recently fortunate to receive an offer from a top 10 med school. My "medical tourism" (your words, not mine or theirs) was one of three items specifically mentioned in my acceptance letter as an appealing part of my application.

    Way to draw attention away from your point about what makes a good EC (which was interesting and valid) by throwing in a sarcastic pseudo-insult.
     
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  13. jammin06

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    First of all, I resent the fact that you assume that it was "daddy's" money that was spent on "medical tourism." That's just a low, cheap shot.

    I'd like to think that the hard work it took to earn the money i spent to travel abroad went towards something that I am passionate about. With regards to the culture, I suppose it may be presumptious to assume that a population where 1 in 5 individuals have HIV needs some level of awareness. But, I am pretty sure the students we taught appreciated the lectures we gave, simply based on the fact that they and their teachers asked us to come back in the future so we could teach more people.

    Honestly, I don't think that being the captain of a sports team is all that impressive. I think we could both agree that being passionate about something and exhibiting leadership skills are both critical components of having a good EC. That being said, no team sport will every make someone think, "i think you will be a good doctor." There are definitely transferable elements that could be incorporated into the position of being a physician, but I like you said, having some type of clinical correlation would be better. However, I think that if you are referring to something along the lines of what I did with my trip, which was get involved with a club my freshman/sophomore year, become an officer my junior year, get involved with an aspect of the club i hadn't experienced yet (go on the trip) and now come back and educate others about it and get them excited about going on a similar trip next year, then sure that's a pretty good EC.
     
  14. jammin06

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    Thank you
     
  15. DropkickMurphy

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    LizzyM, what about someone such as myself who has had supervisory experience as an EMT and EMT-I, would that set one apart or is it viewed in the same "Oh, that's nice" sort of way. I know EMS certification is a common step, almost a knee jerk reaction, among premeds as if it's a prerequisite or something, but I don't imagine many others have leadership experience in emergency services, both in the fire department and EMS sides of things.
     
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  16. LT2

    LT2 Senior Member
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    i don't think Lizzy's comments were intended to insult anyone and considering she is a member of an adcom (if i remember correctly), her suggestions/comments may carry some weight. however, i do agree that medical "tourism" (i don't necessarily agree with calling it this either) is important. it has been the only thing to come up in every single one of my interviews.
     
  17. jammin06

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    I don't know if there's a greater rush than being en route to a call, where your blood is rushing, you're going through your procedures and question in your head, and then you finally get out, run the call and actually save some lives. Now that's some real leadership.
     
  18. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    Keep in mind that not everyone knows EMT lingo. You have people on the adcom who spend most of their time teaching the basic science curriculum, some who are subspecialists that have minimal contact with emergency services so if you are doing something you should explain it well on the AMCAS. If you trained others, were responsible for developing manuals or SOPs (standard operating procedures), if you were doing recruiting of the rescue corps, or fund-raising for a new rig, or whatever, spell that out.
     
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  19. Camillekc

    Camillekc Senior Member
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    Granted I'm not on an adcom, but I have to strongly disagree here. While I think it is definitely true that leadership capacity and passion are important, I don't want my future doctor to be good at basketball. I want him/her to have shown that he can be compassionate, and that she is willing to take the extra steps to learn to be a good physician.
     
  20. LizzyM

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    I said I didn't read your application. Interesting that more than one applicant in this cycle has helped with a c-section in the third world. It really isn't unique.

    I should have said that medical tourism isn't as impressive as some people might thing. (I am sorry for using the word "you" in that sentence and I hope you will accept my apology.)

    A long term commitment to a group that makes trips abroad is good. A three week trip out of the blue to gain some clinical exposure and improve one's language skills is less impressive.
     
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  21. DropkickMurphy

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    Spoken like a wet behind the ears rookie or someone who has never seen the inside of an ambulance. This is a perfect example of why 85-95% of the people who are trained in EMS don't stay in it for very long- they come in with totally off the wall ideas of what the job actually entails and when they see that most of our cases are little old ladies who just want someone to pay attention to them, or minor medical or traumas, they quickly find the door.
     
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  22. DropkickMurphy

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    Thank you for your advice. It is very greatly appreciated.
     
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  23. jammin06

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    heh, yea, it'd be the rookie option. Workin on the EMT-I, but still take shifts with our campus EMS service. Rarely get major trauma, but still get that rush every once in a while.
     
  24. Risa

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    I'm gonna support Lizzy on this one. I don't think it's meant as a complete generalization or to slander any of your particular experiences, but international travel is often a mark of privilege. Plus, I hate the philosophy some people seems to have that the worth of their work varies directly with the distance they travel to do it... there are people who need helping right here.

    So if you've had the abroad experience, that's great for you. But I think the need in our own communities is something that it's important for a future doctor to be cognizant of.
     
  25. DropkickMurphy

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    Please see my revised statement above, regarding being in EMS for "that rush".
     
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  26. max_wannelius

    max_wannelius Junior Member
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    just lie. u ran marathons, u volunteered for the red cross (read up on what red cross volunteers do), u were an EMT (EMTs have written books, check out ur local library), u were president of 2 or 3 nonexistant clubs at ur uni, u worked at some soup kitchen, u tutored at ur uni, u organized a blood drive at ur uni for 2 consecutive yrs, etc. etc. basically the only thing u can't lie about is research. and if u need a LOR or 2, pm me. theres very little u can't lie about & thats all that matters.
     
  27. astrife

    astrife Senior Member
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    I really don't hope you you get into medical school if you employed those techniques...
     
  28. jammin06

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    True, it isn't completely unique, but compared to the number of people who have volunteered through the method you had proposed, I think its still far less.

    Yea, no hard feelings. It was the medical tourism and the "daddy's" money comment that kinda set me off. I honestly worked my a$$ off before and after I came back to pay for part of the trip and then pay my parents back.

    couldn't agree more.
     
  29. DropkickMurphy

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    I hope he doesn't get in if his spelling and grammar are really that bad.
     
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  30. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    Interesting. The doctor and adcom member who was always most impressed with varsity athletes (I should add that these were usually varsity athletes from the Ivy League and other schools that don't give sports scholarships -- not the NCAA powerhouses) was a pretty good basketball player. He said that in his experience, the residents & attendings who were former athletes were compassionate and caring. He said that the former athletes are the ones he'd see holding a patient's head when they were violently sick from chemo. He seemed to think that this comes from helping one another with sports injuries.

    Teams have leaders and the ability to lead a team in an athletic competition has parallels to leading a health care team. Also, the discomforts associated with early morning practices and the dedication necessary to keep going month after month usually translate into the ability to show up on time for rounds at 6 a.m. in the dead of winter.

    Finally, anyone who can participate in a varisty sport and maintain a 3.7 gpa is usually very good at time management and academically strong.
     
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  31. BMW M3

    BMW M3 Senior Member
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    Maybe its me, but I find it very pleasant when I'm on duty for 12 hours and have no calls. Call me crazy, but I like it when people don't get hurt.
     
  32. DropkickMurphy

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    My current boss is a former NFL player and probably one of the most compassionate people I've ever met, so I would be very inclined to agree with the above statement.
     
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  33. DropkickMurphy

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    Amen. Those are the good days. Nobody dies, everybody goes home safe. :thumbup:
     
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  34. max_wannelius

    max_wannelius Junior Member
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    it happens. if i don't do it, someone else will. need i mention: Arthur Anderson, ENRON, Karl Rove, Martha Stewart, GW. any administration that wields enough power, u'll find corruption at the top.
     
  35. jammin06

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    Yea, we have our fair share of shifts with no calls on campus. But after a few of those, and then you get a page for "81 y/o, fall at gym, massive bleeding, but conscious and breathing," the adrenaline starts pumping again.

    Yea, I suppose working on a Campus emergency medical service doens't really offer that exteme option (pt. dying) very often, so i forget how realistic the chances are in the real world.
     
  36. BMW M3

    BMW M3 Senior Member
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    Yay! someone else who shares my sentiments!! I thought I was going crazy over here with all these hardcore, gung-ho, EMTs that beg for bloody trauma calls
     
  37. DropkickMurphy

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    Uneasy lays the head the wears the crown, especially when that crown is ill begotten. Look at how many of those people or companies that you mentioned have paid the price for their misdeeds (or is at serious risk of doing so) and you'll see my point.
     
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  38. DropkickMurphy

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    You'll never hear me beg for a bloody trauma. I've been doing this far too long to wish for that kind of thing. Give me something easily managed- a hypoglycemic is a great case for those very reasons.
     
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  39. DropkickMurphy

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    Go work a busy service for about five years and see how quickly your opinion will change....but thank you for your service to your campus. I'm sure those you take care of do get the finest care you can offer and are very appreciative of it. :)
     
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  40. Camillekc

    Camillekc Senior Member
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    For god's sake, I'm not saying that there aren't amazing, and amazingly compassionate people who are athletes, and I agree that helping teammates through injuries shows that. I'm just saying that there is nothing inherent in playing a sport that requires you to do that or to be a specific type of person who would make a good doctor.
     
  41. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    You can't fool the interviewers. They will find you out.
     
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  42. jammin06

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    I keep hoping that there's a "j/k" attached to the end of every statement you make. If you do try and pull this off, interviewers will see through it. Since you brought up those high profile caes, I find it intersting that the one common thread through all of the Enron scandles and Martha Stewart was that they all ended up in JAIL. It's hard practice medicine from behind bars.
     
  43. jammin06

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    couldn't have said it better myself :)
     
  44. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    I've run hundreds and hundreds of EMS calls, and I still love driving like Batman through crowded streets (well, I'm the passenger, but still). I suppose that could be my nascent desire to be a NASCAR/F1 driver, but.....:p
     
  45. tigress

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    Except when they don't ask anything about your ECs, like almost every interviewer I've had so far. :rolleyes: (Not that I'm condoning lying on your applications. I think that's despicable. But you could probably get away with it for the most part.)

    And I do think your first comments were rude. Just because you're on an adcom doesn't mean you're always right, or that you can imply that people are doing things on their "daddy's money." You yourself said you didn't read the guy's application, so how can you judge it?

    I respect that you're on an adcom and therefore you know a lot of things that we don't. But you're also one person, and whatever your opinion is, it's still YOUR opinion. I'm mostly saying this to remind everybody else out there. Also, I sort of wonder why you are spending SO much time on sdn lately. I don't mean to be rude, but it's something I've noticed. Us pre-meds are overly anxious and fretting about our applications right now; at least that's why I'm around a lot. What about you? Why did you decide to come and "enlighten" all of us here? (That's a serious question. I'm really not a mean person. I'm just a bit wary of the current situation.)
     
  46. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    This just emphasizes to me how much it can matter who it is that reads your application. I certainly give a lot of credit to people who can be a top-notch athlete and still manage their schoolwork, but having been thrown in the shallow end of the athletic gene pool, I can say that some of us just don't stand a chance at a D1 school of getting anywhere in sports. :p I did ski race for three years (private team), but I have no talents in any of the sports my school has. :laugh:
     
  47. DropkickMurphy

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    It's funny that you mention that....I was involved in a heated discussion last night (heated only because the guy I was talking with became angry when I had data to back up my position) about whether running lights and sirens has any appreciable effect other than killing and injuring ambulance crews and innocent motorists.
     
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  48. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    Well, we almost never run hot once we've picked up a patient, but we pretty much have to run hot to get to our calls because we have a substantial chunk of the city, and we're mandated to reach our calls in under 13 minutes of being dispatched (otherwise, the FD requires a form explaining why we weren't there on time). You're probably right, because most calls are less than life-threatening, but still, if you call 911 because you got in a car accident, you're not going to want to wait 25 minutes while we sit at stoplight after stoplight in order to get to you.
     
  49. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    It's not to say that non-athletes won't get recommended for interviews -- and as members rotate off of an adcom what impresses an adcom will change. But being able to handle a e.c. with a heavy weekly time commitment and make good grades & do some other interesting things (off season research, etc) does make a positive impression. For every athlete I see, I think I see 5 musicians and a couple of dancers, a journalist, and an artist.
     
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  50. -Goose-

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    st louis ems has a strict protocol that only allows them to run hot if it is going to make a difference.

    not sure about the details behind to protocol, but it has supposedly saved a bunch of lives.
     
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