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Do you have "great EC's"??

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by *fatmike*, Nov 18, 2002.

  1. *fatmike*

    *fatmike* Member
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    everyone here posts that they have great EC's, but what does that really mean? what are great EC's? I would like to get an idea of what SDNers think great EC's are by listing some of thier "best" ones, maybe thier top three with how long they committed to each in the form of:

    1. EC (time spent)
    2. EC (time spent)
    3. EC (time spent)

    This is not to see who is better than who, just to see what people are doing out there and how they view what a great EC is.

    Of course, I will start.

    1. Home Healthare Provider (3 years)
    2. Chemistry Teaching assistant (yougest ever hired by the department!) (3 years)
    3. Undergraduate research - biochemisty w/ thesis & pubs. (2 years)
     
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  3. Diogenes

    Diogenes Succat
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    Yeah, a lot of people on SDN claim to have great ECs. I wonder how many people actually have extraordinary ECs though, and how many people are just trying to make themselves feel better about the quality of their application. Because if everyone really has "great" ECs, then it isn't really an asset -- just a requirement to stay on par with everyone else.
     
  4. exigente chica

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    I think that this may be the only part of my application that is above average, everything else..is...:rolleyes:
     
  5. Zoobaby

    Zoobaby Monkey Wrench
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    I think some of my ec's are really good, but that I lack a bit in some of the more traditional med school candidate areas (research, clinical etc.)

    1) Fund raiser - Raised $4000 for a charity that serves people with disabiliies. Rode bicycle from SanFran to DC visiting centers serving the same people in about 60 cities. 5hs/wk fundraising, 24-7 for 2.5 months during the ride.

    2) Fund raiser - Raised $5000 for the National Leukeima and lymphoma society. Ran Anchorage marathon as a member of the Team in Training. 5 hrs/wk fundraising, 20 hrs/wk training.

    3) Presideint of my fraternity - Ran the show, won fraternity of the Year at U of Michigan. 15 hrs/wk for a year. Held another minor officership before that.

    4) Published - Patented and marketed invention (non medical related) 5 hrs/wk for a year.

    5) A hodgepodge of hospital volunteering during college. ~2 hrs/wk for 4 years.
     
  6. abw

    abw Senior Member
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    Hey!
    I don't know if these are good or not. I'm severely lacking in the med. experience dept. though bc of my commitments and bc my school is in a tiny rural town:

    Women's Varsity Soccer 4yrs - capt. 2 years
    Women's Varsity Softball 4 yrs - capt 1 yr.
    Women's Varsity Basketball 2yrs
    Class President 3 yrs
    Sorority Treas./VPAD (3yrs)
    Various philanthropy events
    1 semester internship @ public health center
     
  7. TeinVI

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    1) class president, 5 years (i was so good they let me start my presidency at senior year in high school)
    2) founded, set up, organized, and currently modifying health care systems for many underserved nations in Africa and South Asia.
    3) found cure for cancer (patent pending)
     
  8. uclachris

    uclachris Doctor Doctor Member
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    Stole patent from TeinVI and published it on the internet.
     
  9. TeinVI

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    blast!
     
  10. Zoobaby

    Zoobaby Monkey Wrench
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    I tried the recipe, but it just made me have to go to the bathroom. I don't think it worked.
     
  11. Dr. Wall$treet

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    My ECs suck ass, i spent time enjoyign college and having fun.. oh well, dont regret it for a second
     
  12. Tweetie_bird

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    I'd like to think my EC's are "good enough." I am sure there are tons of premeds who have done better than me, but I'd like to think my Ec's are definitely above average. I have worked too hard to build my application to have them be simply mediocre.

    That being said, everybody's version of what "great EC" means is going to be different! To an MD/PhD, it might be working in a lab that does some awesome research (that we don't know about and therefore don't think of as being great). To a person who wants to do only clinicals (like me), having the patient experience may be more important. I have done clinical research for 5 years and have been exposed to a lot of patients and done tons of procedures (or seen)--vitals / pap smears / H & P/ medication dispensing / looking at the adverse reaction effects on each patient / testing cognitive functioning / testing physiological functioning / interviewing patients and their families about lifestyle changes after the patient is diagnosed with a terminal disease. I have done statistics work on the research I did and got published with my research. Have an abstract, few publications as co-author and one as primary author on an ethics paper I wrote myself.

    On a "leadership" level I have done stuff like mediated medical ethics discussions at my school; also was president of a children's organization in my city that honored 900 youth for doing something great in our community. Helped build two memorial walls with the names of these children.

    Each of those activities above have lasted me for atleast 2 years (more like 3). The children's organization thing I did for 4.5 years.

    I think this is a great thread. I bet there are a few of us who have done much, much more. so let's hear it!! We all need to applaud ourselves and each other once in a while throughout this horrendous process.
     
  13. CaptainAmerica

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    Spent 7 years earning a living.
    Served as one half of a marriage (ongoing).
     
  14. aquaboy

    aquaboy Surfer, sailor, swimmer!
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    Great EC's are like icing on a cake. The sad fact is that even if someone has great EC's but a mediocre GPA and low MCAT scores then there chances of getting in aren't improved because of those EC's. On the other hand if a person has great EC's and competitive stats then the EC's are very likely to set that applicant apart and acceptances will roll in. Most of the time your stats (and sadly, not your EC's) are what get you interviews and that is a vital step in being accepted, don't you agree?:D
     
  15. jwin

    jwin Senior Member
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    i think that ECs are more important than you think. i think that they are 1/3 the app.

    1/3 gpa
    1/3 mcat
    1/3 ec's

    my ec's are pretty good, but i think if they were better i would be interviewing many more places. i have 4 interviews so far (15 schools complete 1st week of october) but i think that number would be much higher if i had some "great" ECs. mine are pretty typical, no immunizing africa or novel therapies.
     
  16. aquaboy

    aquaboy Surfer, sailor, swimmer!
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    They are 1/3 of your application usually after you interview because many schools only offer interviews based on the raw numbers. There are too many applicants and EC's to weed through. Really extraordinary EC's might do something for you but they won't get you in by themselves. I therefore go back to my original point that the interviews are usually offered based on numbers and not on EC's!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  17. streetdoc

    streetdoc Senior Member
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    At my last interview, the admissions people told us this:
    we've plugged your MCAT and GPA in to a magical formula to decide if you can handle medical school.
    All of you had the right numbers and now you are to go through the interviews.
    Interviews (3) will receive a number 1-10. they will be averaged together and used for admissions decisions.
    Two other things can happen. either you say or do something and your applications is flagged. a red flag means there is something wrong with you (this is rare but we have a few each year). or you can say or do something that is good and you are placed into a special file. red flags don't get accepted and those in the special folder get special consideration.
    good things are unique extracurriculars or life experiences...bad things are telling us you have a learning disability.

    sounds pretty straight forward to me. ECs aren't everything, but unique ones can certainly help...otherwise your numbers are going to decide if you are in or not.
    my friend applied last year. she had gone to latin america to do some medical missions. she was accepted and figueres it was her unique ECs that got her in inspite of her sub par MCAT
    i would consider that a great EC.
    each interviewer i had at the same school seemed impressed that i had started two national organizations on my campus...maybe that'll get me into that "special file"
    hope so, i really loved the school:love: :love:
    streetdoc
     
  18. *fatmike*

    *fatmike* Member
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    well, since we seem to have established the fact that EC's dont count for much, let's get back to the real topic of this post, which was:

    what do you think "great EC's" are using examples from your own application (if you think you have "great EC's").

    the original purpose of this topic was not to tell everyone that only GPA and MCAT matter, since that is the theme of about every third post on this board....
     
  19. SMW

    SMW Grand Member
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    I think my EC's got me into Columbia. My interviewer flat out told me "You know, Columbia loves musicians."

    1) Music lessons from age 5 and solo & ensemble performance from high school through college with state-wide awards two years running
    2) Internship at an abused women's shelter
    3) Externship at an internal medicine MD's office for 10 weeks
    4) Tutoring/mentoring at-risk minority teenaged girls
    5) Study abroad (Spain) for a quarter

    Note that I had no research or publications, no leadership positions.

    My MCAT/GPA were average (30M/3.5).

    Hey, Zoobaby, my Mom and sister did that T 'n T fundraising marathon! What year did you run it?

    Tweetie, your EC's sound truly great!!
     
  20. Zoobaby

    Zoobaby Monkey Wrench
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    Hey SMW - I ran in Anchorage, Alaska in June of 2000. Where did your mom and sis run??
     
  21. scooter31

    scooter31 'Ello Guv'nah!
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    I invented the piano key necktie.

    I invented the question mark.

    I help cats across the street and get old ladies out of trees.


    I'm a shoo-in for med school!!!!! :p
     
  22. GoodMonkey

    GoodMonkey sproutmobile
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    you are from umich! so you're sure you don't want to marry me? ;) :D
    i'm training for a 1/2mary these days. but it's so COLD here!
     
  23. uclachris

    uclachris Doctor Doctor Member
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    A shoo-in for EVIL medical school?

    Did you accuse chestenuts of being lazy?

    Do you have the general malaise that only the genius posses and the insane lament?
     
  24. Al Pacino

    Al Pacino Senior Member
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    A great EC that me and a couple of my friends who got into medical school was participating in marathons.
     
  25. Dr Sum Day

    Dr Sum Day SDN Lifetime Donor
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    How about an EVIL petting zoo? :D
     
  26. MUN2005

    MUN2005 Miner?
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    1. Volunteer EMT (3 years)
    2. Volunteer at hospital (4 years)
    3. Part time lifeguard (5 years)
    4. Musical instrument, rock band (13 years, 5 years)
    5. Volunteer lifeguarding examiner (3 years)

    I like to think they are 'good enough' as someone else said.
     
  27. Joe Joe on da Radio

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    My EC's have gone over really well with my interviewers...i think they are solid, but not anything extraordinary.

    1) Study Coordinator/Research Associate for clinical research program in with lots of patient contact and responsibility- only student to review patient case-studies for benchmark-outcome research studies as a University Healthcare Consortium Committee member (3.5 years).

    2) Wide range of meaningful research experiences over the past 6 years- clinical and basic neurosci, epidemiology, access to quality care, drug addiction and brain imaging with 3 publications submitted and/or in press.

    3) Strong musical and art background.

    and in context with definite "challenges" per my personal statement.

    -joe joe
     
  28. Zoobaby

    Zoobaby Monkey Wrench
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    :clap: Yes, I went to Michigan. Loved loved LOVED it. (Graduated back in '98 tho, so if you're there now we probably never ran into eachother. :( ) I get back to AA once in a while, perhaps I'll bump into ya! ;) :D

    Good luck on the half!! Training up there in the winter is pretty nasty. Down here it's not as cold but we get SNOWW!!! Sticking to a training schedule when there are 3 feet on the ground SUCKS!!

    Going running right now, actually. Time to bundle up!!

    (PS, if you want to propose, I won't be put off. I don't want a ring, tho, a nice motorcycle will do!!! :D )
     
  29. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27
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    I like to think mine are pretty good, considering I graduated from college a semester early with dept. honors (req. an honors thesis) and began my MPH a semester early:

    1. Hospice volunteer, 6 years, 5-15 hours/week. I've also done bereavement work.

    2. Boy Scouts of America, 5 years, 5-15 hours/week - served as assistant scoutmaster, district-level unit commissioner, and as a council-level intern and recruitment chair

    3. Research, 7 years - many posters and abstracts, and 3 manuscripts in progress/in press


    I skipped all the little clubs at my college in favor of doing a few things long-term that I felt would really make a difference.
     
  30. Sonya

    Sonya Senior Member
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    I don't know if my EC's are great. but they are reasonable plus (well, they aren't perfunctory, and i never tried to make great, i just did what I wanted when I had time). Of course, i'll make them sound good in my essays and such, but i'm sure there are people with better.

    Also, i don't know whether research and physcisian shadowing would count as ECs, because i did (sometimes) get course credit for them. that said, i'm listing them here, interpret as you please.

    Academic tutoring (different organizations): '96 - '00 ~ 5 hrs/week (really, 3-10)

    Hospital/ER/Clinic volunteering/shadowing: '98 - '01

    Medical explorers (it's sortof like a pre-med club, only in the community, not school, and honestly better than most): '96 - '99
    Explorer's president: 98-99 year.
    ~2 hrs/week.
    Domestic Violence counselor: ~ 4 hrs /week. '01 - '02
    Mentor for teens at Detention Center: ' 02 - current. ~ 3 hrs/week.
    AMSA pre-med president/founder: '01 - '02 academic year. ~` 5 - 15 hrs/week.

    Research: ~ 10 hrs/ week. '99 - '02
    but, usually i got credit for that. if not, i was paid. so it doesn't really count.. does it?

    I ran a webpage counseling other about home-education.
    Should i even mention that??? I can't really say hours / week (I guess i could come up with a number if pushed), but it would be sortof unique.

    those are the relevant/important/recent ones. I could list a bunch of other clubs i've been halfway involved with (helped the pre-med club and other health clubs, so they helped AMSA, went to BioEng proffesional meetings, sometimes went to Japaneses/ceramics club events). but, i think there isn't a point.

    why i think they are good, is that, a)i 've done a lot of hospital work/experience.
    b) Working as the DV counselor,and now at the detention center has taught me a LOT about others and communication, and has been t he best experience. (PS, if you spend the efforts to look, most large cities have such volunteer programs open students like us).

    c). they surely would consider AMSA president as good, and it taught me about managing people. (and networking, definetly).

    The best thing i did with ECs was to realize i was getting extremely bored volunteering in the ER (nohting wrong with it, but it wasn't for me), and that A: i should do what interests me WHILE considering what would look good/ be a beneficial experience. and B: spending the time at teh begenning of the year/semester to thourougly search resources to find the best possible activities. It's worth the time.

    You can find some great experiences, that you will both enjoy and learn a lot from, and if it so happens, impress a medical school.

    Seriously, if you grow from it, then it's good. regardless. and i'm sure a school will appreciate it.

    sonya
     
  31. DR. UCSB

    DR. UCSB New Member

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    aqua,

    EC's are very important! every pre-med is going to have some form of competitive gpa and MCAT, that is why they are applying. nonetheless, EC's either make u or break u..well not really, but stats don't define what kinda doc you will be, but your medical expericance will.

    good luck :clap:
     
  32. GoodMonkey

    GoodMonkey sproutmobile
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    zoobaby, i pm'ed ya. ;)
     
  33. Saluki

    Saluki 1K Member
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    Hmmm... My EC's are nowhere up with the rest of y'alls, but by the time I'm ready to apply I should have like a year and a half research for Biochem thesis, study abroad in Morocco, volunteer working teaching the Bible to the mentally handicapped on Saturday mornings (2 yrs) and perhaps a summer volunteering at an inner city health clinic(depends on whether I do that or work as a camp counselor again), and have run a few half-marathons. I won't have a whole lot of health related experience or clubs, but I'm doing two majors, I don't have a car, and I live on the ugly side of the poverty line so I'm not going to spend one hard earned cent on those little honor societies whose major purpose is to serve as a nice add on for resumes and grad school applications.
     
  34. pAkhtmAn

    pAkhtmAn pAkht mEmbEr
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    My EC's really really really suck...

    I don't think I have more than six months of anything and all my EC's don't include any significant accomplishments or research papers or any academic awards or any good stuff like that.

    That said, I do have very good numbers (3.9GPA, 35MCAT) and thats what seems to be carrying me through this application process.

    I got two interview invites so far, the rest of my apps (13) are still being considered (I completed most of them in mid-October).

    So how much do EC's matter? Well, I'll tell you at the end of this process. If I don't get in anywhere, I'll definitely know why.

    thE pAkht
     
  35. STi555

    STi555 Senior Member
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    I'm right there. Reading this post was getting me down a bit because all these people have so many ECs and I have so few. Hopefully, my good scores will pull me through.
     
  36. Dr. Wall$treet

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    This is actually pure B.S.. you want a dumb person with a low gpa and low mcat rather than someone iwht high scores? personaly i could care less how much my doc wanted to participate in the ocmmunity and volunteer etc.. as long as he freakin knows his stuff, performs his taks and diagnoses me correctly or treats me correctly.. or if it is surgeon.. is a very good sugeon.. i wnat someone SMART... not someone motivated but dumb..
     
  37. Street Philosopher

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    i really don't know why people would say they have GREAT EC's. nobody says they have a GREAT GPA or a GREAT MCAT score. but many people have GREAT EC's.
     
  38. Tweetie_bird

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    I don't wanna pick on you wally, but let me just speak my mind and have my peace with ya.

    Nobody that takes the MCAT, does the premed load, and applies to medical school is "dumb." There are shades of "dumbness." Surely, a 4.0 GPA and 40 MCAT person would be dumb compared to Einstein. But does that mean you wouldn't want that person to be your doc?

    My stats are not solid, but I would like to think my ECs will carry me through. AMEN! And if they don't, well I know I have a few things to work on. But atleast I can say that while I was achieving my low stats and low MCATs, I was learning to live life and grow as a person. I am not sure I would want a doc who is like a machine, spewing out info as I want him to on any differential diagnosis. I want one who has simply been accepted to medical school and matriculated. Whether he was at the top of his class, or bottom, would not matter to me. What would matter is how I am treated while I am with him in his office. Chances are (and I am generalizing here) that the one who has lived more experiences (perrsonal and professional/medical) will have more to offer to me as a HUMANE physician rather than just a physician. Healing the person is as important as healing the disease.

    I think we overestimate the need for "smarts" in medical school. A lot of my friends tell me that medical school is not jsut about being SMART. IT's about being hard working. It's about having to constantly cram all the time because there is so much information being thrown at you. Yes, intelligence is required but so are things like motivation and dedication. A smart person could absorb all the material they want, but if they don't the dedication and motivation (which are dispensable according to you) to keep pursuing medicine, they will not be a well-informed physician. Learning, is part of medicine. One who is motivated will keep learning throughout his life as a physician, and there is a lot of learning involved even while you are in practise. eg: you have to constantly keep on on medical news through journals, conferences etc.

    Anyway, I got no probs with you. I just wanted to speak on behalf of the "low number people" and wanted to make sure your post was politically correct. :D
     
  39. Street Philosopher

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    gpa and mcat measures effort too.
     
  40. Dr Chooch

    Dr Chooch will row for toast
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    Wait, we were supposed to do something OUTSIDE of classes and studying in college??? Oh SH!T!!! :mad:
     
  41. SouthernGirl

    SouthernGirl Senior Member
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    Well said, Tweetie. :clap:

    Remember that the academic portion of medicine is basically a memorization/recall issue. It really isn't anything requiring only superior intellects. I realize that there is problem solving and analysis and data organization and such, but what it really comes down to is memorization. And anyone can memorize. There is really nothing elite about being a good memorizer. It comes easy to some and more difficulty to others, but it doesn't matter as long as you learn it. It's the other stuff--the personal communication--that makes a great physician.
     
  42. Diogenes

    Diogenes Succat
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    Yeah, you can memorize 2+2=4, but if you understand why then you can figure out that 2+4=6 without having to memorize it first. Understanding complex processes is more than just memorizing, and it requires some form of intellect beyond the ability to memorize. I don't want a compassionate memorizer for a doc -- I want someone really bright who can clearly think his/her way through complex problems.
     
  43. relatively prime

    relatively prime post happy member
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    No shlt! I added up the hours I studied for the MCAT and it came out to that of a full-time job for 6 weeks!! I can tell you... my MCAT score is most likely NOT just a measure of my intelligence... if I were all that smart I wouldn't have had to study my arse off as much as I did.

    I have no idea how my ECs would measure up.... b/c I don't know how adcom's judge an EC. Do they judge it on uniqueness, time commitment, difficulty? I don't know...
     
  44. SouthernGirl

    SouthernGirl Senior Member
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    My point is summed up in the last sentence - that it is the "other stuff" that makes a physician great. Of course there is a basic intelligence required. No one would have made it to and through medical school without being really academically gifted. I'm not one of those people who goes around saying that 35+ MCAT people are automatically evil, and sub-25 MCAT people are wonderful and compassionate. I'm just saying that the "book" part can be learned, for the most part. Next time someone tells a story about a doctor who inspired or really helped him/her out, listen carefully, because what he/she says sure won't involve how well the doctor could understand complex problems.
     
  45. lotanna

    lotanna Child of God
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    Ok I have a lot of EC;s, but my most important ones include volunteering at a large teaching hospital in a West African country (IV), and delivering polio vaccines with a missionary doctor. It was a gr8 experience, and of course I discussed it in detail in my personal statement. If there is anythin that sets me apart in my application, i think its this, cause my MCAT scores are sure not goin to do it for me :laugh:
     
  46. Premed2003

    Premed2003 Senior Member
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    I'm entirely surprised that you are all underestimating the importance of solving complex problems. If you have a disease, you'd want the smartest doctor who could figure out what was wrong with you. Sure, you want compassionate people too. That's why med schools accept people with good numbers and great extracurriculars. They don't go for the low numbers and great ECs because there are enouogh with great numbers and great ECs.

    I think people should step back from their self-interests in this process and think about what makes a good doctor. You can be as compassionate as Mother Theresa, but you need someone to cure you, not just have compassion in a 20 minute doctor's visit.
     
  47. nitemagi

    nitemagi Senior Member
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    My EC's are the strongest part of my app.

    Theatre Director/Producer/Writer/Technician during college (4+years)
    Chemistry Tutor(8 mos)
    MCAT Teacher(1 year)
    Hypnotherapist with part-time practice(2+years)
    Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Counselor (2.5 years)
    Facilitator of theatre board(2.5 years)
    Director of EPEC(school educational org)(1.5 years)
    Volunteer in UCSF med center(3 mos so far)
    Hospice Caregiver(2 mos so far)
    Yoga/Meditation Teacher/Practitioner(9+ years)

    But I'm a weird candidate, very non-traditional(my undergrad had no grades and no credits-- just written evaluations)
     
  48. Megalofyia

    Megalofyia 425 lbs and growing
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    nitemagi - Where did you go to undergrad?
     
  49. nitemagi

    nitemagi Senior Member
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    Hampshire College-- it's a small liberal arts college in amherst, ma. It's a really cool place- very interdisciplinary. You advance in the curriculum through work above and beyond classwork, based on projects you design and carry-out in cooperation with a committee of professors you choose with expertise in the field you're interested in. Mine was psychology and theatre.
     
  50. tkim

    tkim 10 cc's cordrazine
    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    The school with the round degrees ...

    I worked with a guy who went there. He incorporated a one-year paramedic program into his degree. That place sounds tres cool, but too unstructured for moi.

    - Tae
     
  51. Lebesgue

    Lebesgue Senior Member
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    I can cook 30 minute brownies in 20 minutes... :laugh:
     

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