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Chances and med schools to apply to

Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by emttim, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. emttim

    emttim Addicted to SCUBA
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    Alright, so I'm trying to figure out what med schools I'll have the best shot at given my circumstances and the fact that me and my gf are not willing to go to any of the 48 states in the continental U.S. for med school. We've looked at the list of all of them and I'd be ok with Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, California (obviously), Florida and Texas. We'd be willing to tolerate Michigan, Wisconsin, New Hampshire and Maryland...that's about all I can think of right now.

    Anyway, my situation is rather unique since I'm doing paramedic school and undergrad at the same time, so my schedule may be bizarre in the sense that I'm not taking ochem, physics, etc. back to back but sometimes with a quarter gap inbetween for scheduling reasons although I will be consistently at 15 units per quarter. I don't know how that will be interpreted.

    My overall and science GPA are like 3.86 or something like that right now. I plan to maintain them above 3.7; that's my goal anyway. I haven't taken the MCAT yet since I haven't finished the pre-med reqs but I'm shooting for 30+.

    As far as shadowing goes, I haven't done any because I haven't found any doctor who isn't terrified of getting sued since this is California. I question the value of shadowing anyway since I'll spend 160 hours around surgeons, ER doctors and anesthesiologists during my paramedic clinical rotations and I'll have plenty of time to ask questions. Clinical experience I should be more than fine on...I've been an EMT for over a year and will work as a paramedic for a minimum of a year or two before I matriculate. Leadership likewise I should be fine on since a paramedic is the highest ranking pre-hospital health care provider on any call and I'm also a Divemaster which includes leading and teaching students so that's considered leadership as well as far as I'm concerned.

    The other parts of my app that may not be so hot would be ECs and volunteering. I despise hospital volunteering and I find most hospital volunteering jobs to be a complete waste of time for pre-meds. Folding sheets teaches you nothing except how to jump through hoops. I did volunteer at a hospital for 8 months however (hence why I know the aforementioned) and I'll have been volunteering my time as a Divemaster (we don't get paid) for several years by the time I apply. ECs are great in quality but few in quantity...all I really do (or have money for) is scuba diving which I'm extremely involved in. I've achieved more in scuba diving in one year than most do in a lifetime. However, that is just one EC. I'll probably also list reading, sky diving, horseback riding (getting into that) and maybe something else if I get into it but all of those will be secondary to scuba diving due to money constraints so eh. I don't belong to any clubs...joined a couple scuba clubs, they were more into social gatherings than diving so I stopped going to meetings. Don't belong to any college clubs either because I don't have the time for that since I'm doing 2 schools at once.

    As far as timeline goes, I'm going to graduate in Davis after finishing up this academic year and two more years. I'll take the MCAT the summer immediately after I graduate and then probably relax for a year before applying the following June of the next year. For LORs, since there will be a gap of a year or two inbetween when I graduate and when I apply, I plan to get 3 LORs from UCD professors and then just keep in touch and update them as necessary and I'll also get LORs from my scuba instructor and my current supervisor where I work. LORs from the UCD professors will probably not be the highest quality because I'll only be taking classes from them and not doing any research or anything but I'll obviously do what I can to get good letters.

    Anyway, I think I've covered all the parts of the app process as well as what I'm going to put down for each. Let me know what you guys think, what may use improvement, etc. I'm very interested to see what medical schools I should apply to, however, I have no interest in research just to make sure that I don't forget to say that so I likewise will have little to no interest in applying to a research powerhouse. I go to a research powerhouse for undergrad, and quite frankly, I'm not impressed with the quality of the education or lack thereof. I want to go to a school with a great reputation for producing excellent clinicians. Anyhow, thanks for your input in advance!
     
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  2. Mobius1985

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    I think your clinical experience will be sufficient and I agree with you that "shadowing is pretty much covered by what you'll do for your classes. Teaching diving is a good leadership experience, and unique. You don't need clubs. But most schools, especially those in California, want to see a lot of community service listed. Your months volunteering in the hospital help with that, but you'll need more. It need not be clinically relevant, since you have that area well covered; other examples would be Habitat for Humanity, Humane Society, soup kitchen, homeless shelter, etc. As long as you have some type of regular involvement, you'd be fine. Were you to find something along these lines that you loved enough to take a leadership role, I expect that the lack of a research experience wouldn't hold you back at the schools you're aiming for.
     
  3. emttim

    emttim Addicted to SCUBA
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    Thanks for the input. I was considering doing either search and rescue work on a volunteer basis or public safety diver. Do you think either of those would be considered community service by adcoms?
     
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  4. Mobius1985

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    You'd have to explain the duties of a "Public Safety Diver" to me, and likely to adcomms. Search and Rescue definitely sounds like community service, but how often is this duty available?
     
  5. emttim

    emttim Addicted to SCUBA
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    PSDs do sort of the same thing as search and rescue except underwater. They'll retrieve crime scene evidence from the bottom of rivers and lakes, they'll effect rescues for missing swimmers, kids, etc., retrieve bodies, that sort of thing...either search and rescue or search and recovery basically.

    Both PSD and S&R would probably be on a per-call basis, however, the training is ongoing so I don't know if that would be the best bet. I don't have much interest in any of the comm. service stuff that you listed and I just think it'd be a disservice to do something I wouldn't want to do if I wasn't applying to med school since I'd be taking the spot of someone who wants to do it a lot more.

    I looked up the S&R unit for the county I'd probably do that in and actually it looks like they run a significant amount of calls, events, standbys, etc. so I could probably average 4 hours/wk if I wanted to. I wouldn't have time to do it until I was done with Davis anyway since I'm going to be working part-time as a medic while finishing up at UCD full-time, but afterwards, I'd probably be available on call on my days off since I'd just be working full-time as a paramedic.
     
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    #5 emttim, Jan 2, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2009
  6. Mobius1985

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    That would be enough to satisfy adcomm expectations for community service, if it occurs over a period of time. Either option would be a unique experience to list, and it's obvious you're passionate about the work, which is a quality med schools prefer to see.
     

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