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EC Advice Appreciated

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by kypdurron5, Aug 8, 2006.

  1. kypdurron5

    10+ Year Member

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    I’ve seen quite a few EC threads recently but none that have yielded specific enough info, thus here is my situation. I applied last year with only a few hours of volunteering, a few honor societies, but nothing other than that. Since then, I’ve done quite a bit more volunteering, but still no shadowing. I’ve tried cold calling, emailing, just about everything I could to find a doctor to shadow. No dice yet. Presently I’ve just returned from a study abroad program and haven’t decided what I’m going to do for the next few months. I submitted my application to a hospital, but haven’t heard anything back yet. I could get a very well-paying position in a non-medically related field, but that’s not going to help my “medicine exposure.” Oh, I’m also done with school, so I really am completely free on what I can do now (including nothing ;). My question is, should I hold out for a hospital job (even though my chances are probably slim with no certifications), go for a better-paying non-medical job and continue volunteering, or something else? I was thinking I could also ask the volunteer office to switch me to another floor…that way I’d be exposed to new people/doctors/patients.

    Everyone thinks CNA and EMT certifications are good things to do; I completely agree, but it’s too late. I’ll be interviewing within the next 4 months, so there’s no possibility I could get a certification by then. Plus, it looks like the process is more lengthy in my state than other stories I’ve heard on SDN. I’m all up for shadowing, but I’m out of options in finding someone TO shadow. So anyway, given my present situation, what are your suggestions for where I should go from here to maximize my overall “exposure to medicine” that will give me things to talk about during interviews?


    PS: I’m not trying to do EC’s to make me look better, or to make it look like I’m suddenly altruistic. I’m simply trying to maximize my “exposure to medicine” factor that interviewers look for to make sure you know what you’re getting into. During the last application cycle I wasn’t nailed for not helping enough homeless people, I was docked for not having hands-on clinical exposure. And they were right…I honestly didn’t have any, which is why I’m trying to get as much as possible before my next set of interviews.
     
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  3. SpeakLittleB

    SpeakLittleB Member
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    did you see if any of the people you help out in volunteering have contacts or can introduce you to a doctor? shadowing is really not a big deal for doctors, but they just don't feel like it's part of their duties to schedule a time and talk to you etc. if you have any connections, even any of your friends w/ doctor parents or friends, they would probably agree to let you shadow.
     
  4. kypdurron5

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    I know I know I know >(. If only I had some connections...but I have none! I have no friends or friends of the family who are doctors, or who know someone who knows someone who is. I put "shadowing" in my personal statement, but all I've really done is "spot-shadowing"...or observing one little thing here and one little thing there, but not actually following someone around for a day or more. I'm also kind of shy, which doesn't really help when trying to cold-call/cold-approach a doctor about shadowing. That is really one area I'd like to beef up, but I just can't see any way that's going to happen. I did have one doctor who volunteered to let me observe a surgery, but then when I called his office to set it up it turned out he's moving to another city and not seeing anymore patients. The other wall I keep running into is patient confidentiality. It seems like everyone is paralyzed by this concept. Just to observe a surgery I need to get signed permission from the patient, the doctor, and the department manager. That's just not easy to arrange unless you happen to know everyone involved. I've even found nurses and technicians hesitant to let me observe anything without first obtaining verbal permission. "Hi, my name is Bob and I'm a pre-med student trying to profiteer from your illness, would you mind if I watch the nurse change your colostomy bag?" Ahhhh!
     
  5. Haemulon

    Haemulon Slippery When Wet
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    Post is too long. I fell asleep after "... thus here is my situation.". :sleep:
     
  6. uvce

    uvce Member
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    Have you tried to find any free clinics in your area? Volunteers there seem to get more direct exposure to patient care.
     
  7. Haemulon

    Haemulon Slippery When Wet
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    Ok. Most hospitals do look for orderlies, volunteer care partners, transport team members, and such. I would definitely pursue this with the local facilities in your area. Contact their volunteer and human resources offices.
     
  8. RedTAQ

    RedTAQ Junior Member
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    try to find a residency coordinator on the hospitals website... in whatever department you want.... then email that person and explain your situation. i've never had a problem doing that. or how about your family doctor?
     
  9. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    How exactly is that not trying to make yourself look better?
     
  10. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    No, not everyone thinks they are good things to do. If you love them, great. If not, they are not going to kick open any doors for you. They can be resume pads, just like anything, and that impresses no one.

    Get any kind of job and focus on volunteering. You do not need to shadow. This seems to be a big thing on SDN. You do need to have clinical experience with patient interaction and have a good handle on a doctor's duties.

    This does not need to be shadowing. There are many volunteer options like this. Try volunteering at a free clinic. You will have more exposure to patient care. You can oftentimes shadow doctors during your duties.
     
  11. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    I'd question how heavily a few months experience as an orderly is weigh in the minds of an adom.
     
  12. Haemulon

    Haemulon Slippery When Wet
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    Me too.
     
  13. Dr.TobiasFünke

    Physician 7+ Year Member

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    The only EC I did as an undergrad was Grilling for the Grilling Society...
    I somehow finagled my way into a top tier school...
    Do what makes you happy and stop trying to impress ADCOMs.
     
  14. jmurphy2005

    jmurphy2005 Junior Member
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    try calling your local health department. county health departments run clinics all over the place and are usually very open to shadowing. people forget that hospitals aren't the only place to find medicine....plus you get more experience seeing how the needs of typically underserved populations are met, and the mds in health departments are generally more interested in helping people than in $$ so they might be nicer and more helpful to you in general.
     
  15. RokChalkJayhawk

    RokChalkJayhawk Muck Fizzou
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    Almost every hospital has a need for volunteers. Generally not the most fun or exciting position, but at least its something, and it could lead to a physician shadowing experience.

    Also- if you don't have a job try and get a job at a hospital! I was a patient transporter and I got tons of patient contact and I thought it was a great experience.
     
  16. RokChalkJayhawk

    RokChalkJayhawk Muck Fizzou
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    Also- don't listen to the above. If you have little/no experience in a hospital it makes a couple things harder:

    1) A popular secondary question revolves around what EC "turned you on" to medicine. Leaving that question blank seems like a big no no.

    2) During interviews said EC is a good thing to talk about.

    3) You should check out the profession for yourself.

    It's true it is not a requirement, but every AD-COM member I have talked to has said that you should have at least some type of clinical experience if you are going to try and be a primary care physician.

    Also- doing something couldn't possibly hurt you (unless you are so busy it hurts your grades/application process).

    Find some type of clinical EC.
     

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