vitanuova

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I'm currently starting my second semester of an informal post bacc at a local but fairly well-known state school and I need some advice.
Due to my financial situation and difficulty enrolling in classes, I will only be taking 8 credits this semester (bio 2 and chem 2 with labs) and I want to know how I should spend my free time in order to remain competitive.
I am currently planning on spending a significant amount of time volunteering at local hospitals and perhaps finding a part time job in coffee shop or something along those lines.
As a non trad at a big state school I have no advisors and I have no idea how to find research opportunities or other extracurriculars that would boost my premed resume.

I have a BA from a top 20 school with 3.8 and a double major and special honors in both majors as well as an MA that was funded by a teaching fellowship. I am used to working and volunteering in addition to taking a full course load, but in my current situation I am lost as to how I can find work/research/volunteer opportunities that will be relevant to medicine. I am also worried that the fact that I will only be taking 8 credits will reflect poorly on my ability to handle a full science course load. Any advice would be appreciated.
 

NuttyEngDude

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As a non trad at a big state school I have no advisors and I have no idea how to find research opportunities or other extracurriculars that would boost my premed resume.

At a big state school surely there are premed advisors? For EC's, it does not matter much if you are a trad or a non-trad.

My pre-med advisor was for trads and it was glaringly obvious when she told me to do things that didn't fit my situation like take a bunch of difficult and reputedly weed-out classes all at the same time while trying to do GPA repair, not even the trads did this. But for volunteering, EC's etc, she was a great resource. She added me to the mailing list that periodically had advertisements of opportunities throughout the semester. If there is a premed advisor, utilize her. In this case, the only difference between you and a trad is you dont have to graduate :)

Ok now that THAT is out of the way, if there are truly no advisors or help, then you will have to hustle, check the web (I would have said yellow pages), google for "volunteer hospital premed *my current city*" This is for clinical (read you can smell your patients) experience. You only need some clinical experience, some leadership experience (which does not need to be an official title such as "secretary of the warthogs club," teaching is a good example of it), some shadowing (lots of cold calling). Best way to start is to find something you think you'd enjoy and just do it, then branch out from there.
 

vitanuova

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When I enrolled as a nontrad student, the school made it very clear that I would have no access to advisors. However, I guess I could try to set up appointments with a premed advisor and see if one will see me in spite of the fact that I am not an undergrad.

Another question: I already have some decent leadership experience from my undergrad and grad school ( I was a club officer of a large community service club during undergrad and I served as the "preceptor" of the foreign language instructors during grad school). Do I need to continue to find leadership experience or will my past experience be sufficient?
 
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NuttyEngDude

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When I enrolled as a nontrad student, the school made it very clear that I would have no access to advisors. However, I guess I could try to set up appointments with a premed advisor and see if one will see me in spite of the fact that I am not an undergrad.

That kind of sucks, I'm sorry to hear that constraint. See if they would at least add you to any mailing lists, etc. Maybe it just means you can't schedule for appointments rather than the more extreme "no contact" policy it appears. You could also see if you can join the pre-med club at the school.

Another question: I already have some decent leadership experience from my undergrad and grad school ( I was a club officer of a large community service club during undergrad and I served as the "preceptor" of the foreign language instructors during grad school). Do I need to continue to find leadership experience or will my past experience be sufficient?

I don't know, though intuitively I'd say you're fine. I just know you want some, and if you have continuity then great. Ideally you want to tie a whole story together from when you were a trad to now as to why and how you are where you currently are.

Good luck!
 

Chip N Sawbones

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course load, but in my current situation I am lost as to how I can find work/research/volunteer opportunities that will be relevant to medicine. I am also worried that the fact that I will only be taking 8 credits will reflect poorly on my ability to handle a full science course load. Any advice would be appreciated.

Talk to your professors to see if they are doing any research that you could help on. For the volunteer opportunities, your local hospital probably has a volunteer coordinator that will be able to set you up with some kind of volunteering in a clinical setting. When I went to volunteer at my hospital the application and paperwork process took three months, so you might want to start the process soon. I agree that your stats are excellent already. As long as you get some clinical experience in, you should be good to go. About a third of med school matriculates don't have any research experience at all, so while it might help you, it isn't absolutely necessary.

Don't worry about the lack of premed advisers. The nontrad forum has given me better advice than any adviser could. As someone else here put it, if premed advisers were smart they would be in medical school themselves, not telling you how to get there.
 
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