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EC's - Long Enough?


Full Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 5, 2009
  1. Other Health Professions Student
    So, I have a had a bit of a conundrum lately about length of participation in EC's. From what I have heard, short term experiences are like "checking boxes off" to adcoms, correct?

    Here is my EC's, to start:
    2.5 years research (undergrad)
    Co-author publication
    Presentation at national conference
    TA for graduate (600-level) science class
    Volunteer piano teacher - ~4 months (used to be serious classical pianist)
    Respite care provider - ~4 months
    Volunteer tutor - ~2 months
    Shadowing - ~150 hrs
    EMT-I - ~6 months, as attending provider in highly progressive system
    EMS classes - ~12 months
    Many ER/ICU/OB/Gyn shifts for EMS clinicals

    Now, I am concerned that many of them will seem "short-term" or "insignificant" because they aren't 6 months. However, the reason I ended them was I moved to a different state, and couldn't find similar opportunities again. Is this a problem? Will I have explaining to do regarding it? I am having to put my EMS career on hold because I will be attending an SMP this Aug, and I am concerned this will further give this impression, even in spite of spending 600+ hrs doing it during those 6 months. I just read a few threads with some LizzyM contributions, and they have got me a bit scared!


    Full Member
    10+ Year Member
    Mar 24, 2009
      You have an number of activities that show your dedication and perseverence. All of them don't have to be that way.

      LizzyM is a proponent of showing an interest in pursuing medicine through your ECs for at least a year's time (though one and a half years seems average for applicants). So if you start testing a medical vocation six months before you apply, it will look 'last minute." If you were to list your EMS classes as an Experience, well, you've got a year of interest right there. You have another six months of pertinent activities besides that. Strictly speaking, one would not list EMT classes, as they are already on the transcript. It's not a job and not a volunteer postion (except for the last 6 months, I assume one of those. The shadowing and the respite care help beef up your clinical experience. And so will whatever you start doing in your new location, which you will report in update letters. This better include some community service since that is really sparse from what you've told us. You can combine the two with clinical volunteering.

      Consider listing the EMT stuff under "Other" and name it EMT activities since it is a mix of types, listing first date of classes until present. Under the narrative area, list by dates your time as a student, detailing the number of hours and brief highlights of what you did, and a contact person. Then the date of your current EMT position, institution, hours per week, description, and contact person.

      I would list all the piano stuff under one heading, namely Artistic Endeavors. The highlight will be that you were a classical pianist. At the end add the volunteer teaching, rather than making a separate entry, as you have something else for that heading.

      The respite care should have its own space.

      The tutoring could be left out, tacked onto something else, or included if it entailed a decent number of hours. You might need to include it since you don't seem to have much community service otherwise.
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