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EC's question

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by EVIL06, Nov 28, 2005.

  1. EVIL06

    EVIL06 Junior Member
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    im only a freshman and I was wondering if avg med matriculants have more or less EC's than they did when they applied undergrad. Also wondering what EC's you guys may have. Thanks
     
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  3. odrade1

    odrade1 UASOM alum
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    As you may already know, being a successful medical school applicant is a matter of jumping through a number of subjective and objective hoops, followed by a weeding out process to make sure you aren't a freak (the interview). ECs largely fall under the "subjective" hoop realm, though in my case the lines are blurred somewhat. To make it through, you must have volunteered, and you must have shadowed physicians or explored medicine sufficiently. I tend to think of these activities as EC's, though I admit I may not be in the majority opinion on that one.

    I made it into med school (on my first try), and I had:
    *a 2.9 my freshman year, with ever increasing grades thereafter, cumulating in a 3.72 overall gpa and two honors degrees.
    *a 33 MCAT
    *strong rec letters
    *mediocre volunteer quantity
    *good volunteer quality (I could articulate clearly how the volunteering affected me & how it contributed to my awareness of the correctness of my career choice in medicine.)
    *terrible shadowing quantity
    *decent shadowing quality
    *zero clubs/ECs
    *a handful of honor societies
    *3 good research experiences

    I help out with my school's pre-meds every now & then, and one of the most frequent questions that comes up is: 'how many ECs do I need?" My view is that you should have a small number (1-3) things that you are interested in and that you do well in. Being involved in 11 campus organizations isn't as impressive as being involved (deeply) with several. Attend the pre-med club stuff regularly, then pick one or two clubs that you are really interested in, and stick with them for several years. I want to work with people who have diverse interests, but not if that means that they don't know what they want. Many high-schoolers are over-extended in terms of clubs, sports, church, etc. The truth is, any @sshole with a pulse can attend the minimum number of meetings for 12 different clubs. Don't be a club-slut. Also, in college, you will probably find that there is too much to do and not enough time to do it in. I *never* studied in HS, studied rarely my first two years of college, a little more my third, and a hell of a lot the last two. Add that to 50-30 hrs/week of work + a social life, and the days just aren't long enough. Stick to a handful of organizations, and do more than just show up for meetings. Pick one (or two, if you have a lot of energy and are ambitious) clubs & take leadership roles in that club. If you come from a wealthy family, don't have to work while in school, and find your classes easy, then you can do more. However, being a solid student while being involved in only a couple of ECs is fine, as long as your volunteer & shadowing stuff is covered.

    Best of luck!

    ps: remember to enjoy your time in college! my partner rushed through school to be a dentist & now that he is a DMD, he wishes he had taken more time to kick back & enjoy undergrad more. Just don't get bad grades, don't get alcohol poisoning, and don't get any STDs or make any babies. :D
     
  4. EVIL06

    EVIL06 Junior Member
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    thanks for the great reply. anyone else?
     
  5. chandelantern

    chandelantern MSI at Mayo in August!
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    I pretty much agree with the above post, there's no formula that equals an acceptance. Although i'm sure it depends on which undergrad you are attending, it is more difficult to get into med school than undergrad, and I would probably say EC's play a larger role (although I don't know if it's fair to compare.)

    Overall, you should do what you are passionate about, being sure to show diversity in your experiences yet committment as well. Key areas to consider are

    A) Clinical experience. I feel this is necessary to best answer the #1 question: why do you want to be a doctor. If you haven't shadowed a physician, worked with patients, been exposed to the clinic/hospital setting, how do you know you want to spend the rest of your life as a physician?
    B) Community Service. A physician takes an oath to serve humanity, and if you haven't demonstrated this in your past, how can you convince med schools you will commit your life to service? Note that volunteering doesn't have to be in the med field or even with people...anything you're passionate about will do.
    C) Leadership. This can be demonstrated through a number of different activities...employment, clubs, volunteering, etc.
    D) Research. Obviously depends on the schools in which you are applying, some are more focused on research than others. Again, I would say it matters more what you are getting out of the experience (ie how involved you are) rather than what kind of research you are doing.

    Every applicant will have their strengths and weaknesses, and hopefully every applicant will have some unique experiences that set them apart. Quality is definitely key, but don't be afraid to explore your options as well...undergrad is definitely a time to find your passion!
     

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