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Best Way to Enhance Application in Year Off

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Procrastinator, Feb 17, 2002.

  1. Procrastinator

    Procrastinator Senior Member

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    Not that I'm giving up hope yet, but I just wanted to get suggestions on what to do with a year off, should that be the case. I would really like to enhance my extracurricular package, and I would like specific suggestions that would be fun, personally fullfilling, and look good to adcoms.
    BTW, I am from NorCal if anyone knows of any specific opportunities.
     
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  3. Doctora Foxy

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    I plan to become a certified personal trainer (and aerobics instructor) and volunteer in a free clinic.

    I am also considering an EMT class.
     
  4. imtiaz

    imtiaz i cant translate stupid
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    i want to kind of ask this question "with" you and also tell you what im considering if that turns out to be what i need to do. im really considering doing some EMT work. either that or enhance my research by working in a new lab for a year. i want to ask the med schools what i should do too, maybe you should try that.
     
  5. yeah but guys..you'll be applying again in june if you end up having too right? so there's no time to do all that stuff and include a nice chunk of it in your application. whatever you do will end up on extra stuff you send them, which doesn't get as much weight as the amcas app. so you gotta do immediate things. what i did: retake mcat, get extra rec letters from professors (making sure you they really know you..you could ask them to interview you or whatever works), enroll in a one-year master's program (i included the expected coursework on my amcas--otherwise they wouldn't have cared if i'd sent them extra stuff talking about it...so i made sure they saw it on the amcas).

    so whatever you do, make sure you can do it in time to include it in your app in some significant way. good luck (i might be in your shoes too). if i end up applying again (i might go caribbean instead..i'll have my completed grad gpa to add to the amcas, and i'll mention in my PS how i'm teaching biology at a highschool for a year (a job i probably would not have when i actually Write the PS, but hey...details....
     
  6. Elysium

    Elysium Not Really An Old Beaver

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    Dr. Foxy, are we living dual lives? When I was in Boston I became certified as a personal trainer. I think it's a cool experience and you can make some decent money if you enjoy the work. I went through FRA (Fitness Resource Associates) which is based out of Braintree (I think...damn, I actually don't remember) but they have a website. They actually certify you through AFAA, which is a nationally recognized fitness association. Also check AFAA's website.

    Sorry, everyone, for the digression.

    I think that doing something abroad would be a great idea if you could fit it in. I'm planning on (I hope) doing a program through MSU that allows you to study in the UK and study comparitive health policy. You get to shadow docs and NPs in various clinics around London. If you're interested go to msu.edu and go to their study abroad page and look for thier summer programs.
     
  7. Forensic Chick

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    Hey Procrastinator,

    I am graduating a year early and I too will have an entire year off before beginning medical school - without worrying about undergrad courses. I'm in the Bay Area, so I'm sure that most opportunities will be similar for us. I am currently in an EMT course, with normally spans over a semester. With the community colleges here, it cost me about $70 for a 6.5 unit class - which is well worth it. For the EMT curriculum, with your pre-med classes out of the way, you will be more than set and I'm currently bored to tears. We spent two weeks going over cells, bones and muscles - things that I've had memorized for many years but those classes caused problems with my fire-fighter hopeful classmates - so the teacher went over it multiple times. Overall, it is a very basic class that will help you obtain a technician job or work on an ambulance, which are both very rewarding in the terms of the experience and the ability to help people. With the EMT certification - you can also become an emergency room technician - which pays more than the EMT field position and you are entrusted with much more responsibility.

    Depending on your undergrad institution, you can also obtain (or start on) your master's degree. My school has a couple of certifications (20-30 units) - one of which is a biotechnology certification which can help you out if you want to also work in a clinical setting someday.

    Shadowing a doctor is also an unpaid option where you will learn about the trials and tribulations in the daily life of a doctor.

    If you'll have your BS, there are many jobs available for Research Assistants (Genetec, Kelly, etc) in various areas of science.

    Best of luck to you and I hope you enjoy your year off! :)

    -Michelle-
     
  8. Doctora Foxy

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    In response to Caveman: You're right about re-applying immediately that med schools won't see what we do in the meantime. I just started a new EC last week (hanging out w/ ESL kids to boost their self esteem in learning English), which is really fun, and I honestly think the only reason that I haven't gotten in yet is my MCAT score, so if I fix that, I hope that's all I need, and they'll see my latest EC.

    If I start my classes for personal training in early June, I will be able to include that on my amcas, as well as the volunteering, since I'm going back to the same clinic I have already volunteered at. Do you guys think this is ok, or will I need to take 2 years off after graduating?

    Do I need to do postbac? I don't think so, I have a 3.67 gpa, 3.51 science, and 9,9,9,P on the mcats first time.

    p.s. TEDillard, thanks for the info :) I'll probably be living in Florida next year so I'll most likely do the class there...but if I move in with my bf in Boston, I'll do that Boston class.
     
  9. no foxy, you don't need a postbac program. if you do those additional things (esp improve mcat to 30) you'll get multiple acceptances! still, i think you'll get in this year, so you won't need it..but it's good to prepare.
     
  10. oldman

    oldman Senior Citizen
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    I sort of knew I would have a year off. I did several things. I took an EMT-b course. I got a job as a rehabilitation technician, then I got a job as a phlebotomist. I also got letters of recommendation ahead of time (a whopping 6 of them). I turned in my app as early as I could. I also got some sleep cause I'll need that when classes actually start.
     
  11. sandflea

    sandflea Senior Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by A. Caveman:
    <strong>yeah but guys..you'll be applying again in june if you end up having too right? so there's no time to do all that stuff and include a nice chunk of it in your application. whatever you do will end up on extra stuff you send them, which doesn't get as much weight as the amcas app. so you gotta do immediate things. </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">....or you take a year off to take care of things, like i did. it made the most sense to me. but i agree with everything else caveman says here. i entered a masters program and crammed as many courses as i could reasonably handle in that single year (while working full-time) so that i would have as many courses and new grades (which is most important) to list on my AMCAS app. i totally agree with caveman that you want to put as many things on your AMCAS app as you can, because many schools don't care what new stuff you send them throughout the year. some explicitly state that they make decisions off AMCAS, others ask you not to send in additional materials. so you need to have it all on your AMCAS app for it to really count.

    in regards to listing the courses you 'plan' to take in the upcoming year, adcoms don't care--they want to see the actual grades that result from these courses, because the bottom line is that they only care about your GPA right now, not what it may be in the future. it's still a very numbers-driven process and if you can't make the initial numbers cuts, no one will ever have a chance to look at your app thoroughly enough to see what you might be accomplishing in the next year. it has to all be there already, up-front. that's why i waited a year before reapplying, and i had an acceptance in hand by october. it seems like a long time, but in the whole scheme of life, a year is definitely not a long time and if it can make a difference in where you wind up for med school (or if you even wind up there at all), it's worth taking the time.
     
  12. Zulq

    Zulq Senior Member

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    So how important is an update letter then? Will they consider any new ECs you put on it? :)
     
  13. Zulq

    Zulq Senior Member

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    I guess its different for those already invited to interview? :confused:
     
  14. ckent

    ckent Banned
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    I would do research with a clinically relevant project. If you get a publication, not only might this help you get into med school, it also might help with your residency apps too.
     
  15. Procrastinator

    Procrastinator Senior Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions everyone (esp Michelle :) ). Hey Michelle, just out of curiousity, what schools around here offer the biotech certification?
     

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