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Can showing early interest in dermatology during undergrad be detrimental in med school admissions?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Allopathic [ MD ]' started by Beccabeth741, 05.19.14.

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  1. Beccabeth741

    Beccabeth741

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    Hello everyone,
    I'm currently a premed student going into my sophomore year. Although I'm interested in all aspects in medicine, I'm particularly interested in pursuing dermatology as a specialty. I realize this may change once I have a chance to rotate through med school, which I'm open to, but for now it's my favorite.

    I've read that it's not wise to express an interest in dermatology too early because it can come across that I'm only interested in the money and lifestyle that derm provides, or that it is a "superficial" speciality (which is ridiculous, but that seems to be a stigma). Does this attitude hold true for med school adcoms as well? I have an opportunity to get involved in derm research at my school, am shadowing a dermatologist, and am thinking about getting involved in other derm centered ECs. I'm also a neuroscience major, so I'm also involved in neuro research, and most of my ECs are well rounded.

    I guess my question is, will showing an early interest in derm hurt my chances of getting into medical schools? Is it okay to mention this interest in interviews, as long as I have good reasons for it?

    Sorry if I come off as a neurotic premed, but I appreciate any advice, especially from those on admission committees! Thanks! =)
     
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  3. chenzt

    chenzt 2+ Year Member

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  4. Beccabeth741

    Beccabeth741

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  5. chenzt

    chenzt 2+ Year Member

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    If you have a good reason, I wouldn't care about mentioning it. Plus, pretending you have an interest in primary care in your application/during interview just make you sound like every other tens of thousands of robotic applicants who "loves" PC. At least you add a level genuine-ness if your "good reason" is up to snuff.
     
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  6. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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  7. Beccabeth741

    Beccabeth741

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    Thanks! Yeah, I definitely don't want to lie. I'm not set on mentioning it in my PS, but if I did I don't think I would center my PS on it, more "why medicine?" in general.
     
  8. OneTwoThreeFour

    OneTwoThreeFour 2+ Year Member

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    I think that any interest in medicine is favorable, as long as there's substance behind it. How do you know seem is your favorite? Done any shadowing/volunteering? Interested in boils or spent time with burn victims?
    Without more depth in your interest, it could seem that you're interested in the high-paying, soft on-call schedule, private practice specialty.
     
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  9. DoctorWhoo

    DoctorWhoo 2+ Year Member

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    As others have mentioned, if you show legitimate interest it will come off positively. If you show unsubstantiated interest it will come off as superficial (pun intended). Best of luck
     
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  10. NickNaylor

    NickNaylor Daisy the Dog Lifetime Donor 7+ Year Member

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    Just... no. You're worrying about step 20 while still on step 0. You haven't even taken the MCAT yet. Do these sorts of things if you find them interesting, but it is way, way too early to be even thinking about this kind of stuff.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  11. WhippleWhileWeWork

    WhippleWhileWeWork 2+ Year Member

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    It's your choice, either you take your perceived interest in dermatology less serious or let the adcoms do it. In other words, no one takes these pre-pre-med interests seriously and neither should you.
     
  12. Goro

    Goro 5+ Year Member

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    Worry about getting into medical school before thinking about lucrative rotations.

    Yes. I'm thinking you're not interested because of a profound interest in psoriasis.

    I've read that it's not wise to express an interest in dermatology too early because it can come across that I'm only interested in the money and lifestyle that derm provides, or that it is a "superficial" speciality (which is ridiculous, but that seems to be a stigma). Does this attitude hold true for med school adcoms as well?

    Yes and no
    I guess my question is, will showing an early interest in derm hurt my chances of getting into medical schools? Is it okay to mention this interest in interviews, as long as I have good reasons for it?
     
  13. gonnif

    gonnif Only 1425 Days Until Next Presidential Election Lifetime Donor 7+ Year Member

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    "The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you've got it made." Jean Giraudoux

    The primary thing I look for in a PS is sincerity. Does it feel real? is there a real person behind this? If your motivation and commitment to medicine is derm and you can show it, then write. Trying to edit it out may remove the soul of what you are writing and it will come across bland
     
  14. type12

    type12 2+ Year Member

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    I agree with the rest that you will sound more arrogant/ignorant if you share what you want to do without being exposed to the diversity med school shares with you.
     
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  15. Beccabeth741

    Beccabeth741

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    Thanks guys, I appreciate the feedback! For what it's worth, I actually am interested in psoriasis, among other immune-mediated and inflammatory disorders. My sister had erythrodermic psoriasis, so I'm aware of how devastating the disease can be.

    I'll try not to worry too much about it for now and just concentrate on getting into med school!
     
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  16. DrCharlemagne

    DrCharlemagne Old Maid in Training 5+ Year Member

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    You seem genuine enough here, so my only caveat would be that attending medical school with a specialty in mind is a lot like applying to UG with your major all planned out. It's a nice thought, sometimes it even works out that way, but there may be factors beyond your control which would preclude your pursuing any specific specialty. To that end, pursue derm if it's your passion, but make sure you're aware of other avenues within medicine where you could be happy and expose yourself to a few other specialties along the way. That way, when an adcom asks about your experience in derm, you can really assure them you're actually a well-rounded applicant with many interests in healthcare, but that the derm research is just near and dear to your heart.
     
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  17. NickNaylor

    NickNaylor Daisy the Dog Lifetime Donor 7+ Year Member

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    Exactly. There's nothing wrong with this whole plan in and of itself, but the reality is that more likely than not it will not end how you expect. It's important not to pigeon hole yourself - or present yourself as if you are pigeon-holing yourself - in the event that happens.


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  18. AsclepiusMD

    AsclepiusMD

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    If your medical school application essays are too 'specialty-centric', it can hurt your application, especially since we are now in an admissions era that seeks applicants with some stated burning desire to go into primary care medicine. I would advise you to stay away from getting too specific about your long term career goals in medicine on your application essays. That was the advice given to me when I applied to medical school, and I would encourage anyone else with specific career targets in mind to do the same. I am very interested in a non-primary care specialty that also happens to be quite lucrative, and I knew mentioning this specialty would hurt my chances of admission. Likewise, derm, as a lucrative/lifestyle field, should receive only passing mention, if any.


    May the odds be ever in your favor...
     
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  19. Beccabeth741

    Beccabeth741

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    I appreciate the advice, guys. I definitely have other compelling reasons for wanting to go into medicine (specifically relating to why i chose neuroscience as a major), so I will heed the warnings not to put all my eggs in one basket and be sure to explore other specialties.

    Thanks :)
     
  20. EMDO2018

    EMDO2018 Banned Banned

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    As a freshman in college you should be having fun and chasing girls ( or boys if you're a girl). You still need to do your work and make A's, but have fun, worry about your personal statement when you get ready to apply a couple of years from now.
     
    Last edited: 05.20.14
  21. peudamour

    peudamour "[I pledge] my life to the service of humanity" 2+ Year Member

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    Or chasing boys and/or girls whether you are a boy and/or girl

    ;)
     
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  22. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

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    I'm going to go counter to the prevailing wisdom and recommend that you do something a bit out of the ordinary.... by this time next year, get yourself a summer position in an immunology research lab or a lab working with fibroblasts or in some other way dealing with the underlying basic science of the subspecialty that interests you. This can be at your undergraduate institution, at a med school campus closer to home, or at the NIH. Also no later than this fall, get involved with some community service aimed at service to young kids or senior citizens, this need not be in a medical setting but just becoming comfortable with people, learning to communicate effectively with them and so forth. Also start shadowing as many different physicians as you can. You might start by asking your sister's dermatologist and a pediatrician and then snowballing -- asking each physician you shadow to refer you to someone they know in another specialty or a different region. When it comes time to write your PS, you can point to your research experience and your volunteer experience as ways in which you tested your desire to pursue a career that combines science and caring for people and your experience observing physicians of different specialties and your experience as the sister of a girl with __ to perhaps pursue a career in a specialty that encompasses immunology such as rheumatology, allergy or dermatology. That shows that you are keeping your options open while tying what you have done with what you want to do.
     
  23. touchpause13

    touchpause13 nolite te bastardes carborundorum 2+ Year Member

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    You took the words right out of my mouth!
     
    Last edited: 05.25.14
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  24. peudamour

    peudamour "[I pledge] my life to the service of humanity" 2+ Year Member

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    Wow...that's a really great idea!
     
  25. Beccabeth741

    Beccabeth741

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    Wow, what great advice. Thanks for your input! The lab that I am interested in actually studies the immunology of melanoma, which I think is fascinating. I would love study in an NIH lab one day as well! I to have shadowed a few physicians thus far, including the dermatologist my sister sees, so I'll be sure to ask her if she knows any other physicians (perhaps an allergist) who I could shadow as well. I've also started volunteering (hospital and the local boys and girls club), so I'll be sure to stick with that!

    Thank you!
     

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