Ive 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, Ive done quite a bit more volunteering, but still no shadowing. Ive tried cold calling, emailing, just about everything I could to find a doctor to shadow. No dice yet. Presently Ive just returned from a study abroad program and havent decided what Im going to do for the next few months. I submitted my application to a hospital, but havent heard anything back yet. I could get a very well-paying position in a non-medically related field, but thats not going to help my medicine exposure. Oh, Im 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 Id be exposed to new people/doctors/patients. Everyone thinks CNA and EMT certifications are good things to do; I completely agree, but its too late. Ill be interviewing within the next 4 months, so theres no possibility I could get a certification by then. Plus, it looks like the process is more lengthy in my state than other stories Ive heard on SDN. Im all up for shadowing, but Im 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: Im not trying to do ECs to make me look better, or to make it look like Im suddenly altruistic. Im simply trying to maximize my exposure to medicine factor that interviewers look for to make sure you know what youre getting into. During the last application cycle I wasnt nailed for not helping enough homeless people, I was docked for not having hands-on clinical exposure. And they were right I honestly didnt have any, which is why Im trying to get as much as possible before my next set of interviews.