EMT or work with people with mental disabilities?

Ixacex

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Which will be better before starting med school? I already am doing clinical volunteering in a hospital.
Not interested in psychiatric medicine but I like working and helping these population. I would also need to obtain a EMT license (10 week). But I can start the disabled job asap.
 

Dox4lyfe

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Working with those who are less fortunate would be much more valuable.
 
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Ixacex

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As an EMT you will interact with plenty of psychiatric patients
Would an EMT be better for med schools tho. Like I said, I would need to take classes while working nights while I can start the other job asap and still interact with psych patients in my hospital.
 

Planes2Doc

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Would an EMT be better for med schools tho. Like I said, I would need to take classes while working nights while I can start the other job asap and still interact with psych patients in my hospital.

In what way? How your application will look? Or skills?

EMT is dime a dozen, and a lot of people now unfortunately see it as being a glorified taxi driver. I have never done it, so I can't comment on it. Working with disabled would likely look better on your app, and starting ten weeks earlier is good. If you're concerned about not learning specific "skills" for medical school, then relax. Don't worry. Schools start you at step zero. No specific skill sets are necessary. The former EMTs in my class really had no advantage once we started medical school versus those that only volunteered.
 
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Lannister

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I would enjoy any job that is in the health field. But What would help my cause for med school more.

The job working with the mentally disabled. A huge percentage of applicants are EMTs, it's nothing unique and I don't consider it particularly impressive.
 
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Ixacex

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In what way? How your application will look? Or skills?

EMT is dime a dozen, and a lot of people now unfortunately see it as being a glorified taxi driver. I have never done it, so I can't comment on it. Working with disabled would likely look better on your app, and starting ten weeks earlier is good. If you're concerned about not learning specific "skills" for medical school, then relax. Don't worry. Schools start you at step zero. No specific skill sets are necessary. The former EMTs in my class really had no advantage once we started medical school versus those that only volunteered.
Good points. That was the concern. The skills and exposure. But I can get those exposure at the hospital as well.
 
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Ixacex

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The job working with the mentally disabled. A huge percentage of applicants are EMTs, it's nothing unique and I don't consider it particularly impressive.
I assumed many appcliants worked with the disabled as well. Guess it's not the norm
 

Planes2Doc

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Good points. That was the concern. The skills and exposure. But I can get those exposure at the hospital as well.

Please don't sweat it either way. The skills you learn in these jobs are specific to these jobs, not to being a physician. On our first clinical medicine course during my first year, we learned how to take blood pressure and check vital signs. Then everything was a gradual step-wise process. There was never any moment that I wished I had an entry-level clinical job in medical school. In fact, I was grateful I never had one. If you ever feel that whatever job you pick starts conflicting with your grades and MCAT, drop it as soon as possible. All you need really is volunteering and shadowing. That's it.
 
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Ixacex

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Please don't sweat it either way. The skills you learn in these jobs are specific to these jobs, not to being a physician. On our first clinical medicine course during my first year, we learned how to take blood pressure and check vital signs. Then everything was a gradual step-wise process. There was never any moment that I wished I had an entry-level clinical job in medical school. In fact, I was grateful I never had one. If you ever feel that whatever job you pick starts conflicting with your grades and MCAT, drop it as soon as possible. All you need really is volunteering and shadowing. That's it.
I have my grades and MCAT. Just need that cash flow. How many hours of shadowing is sufficient? I have around 50
 

Ixacex

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Okay makes sense. I would shoot for over 100 with different specialties.
Jeez lol that is a bunch. Isn't shadowing just to make sure you know what you're getting into? Or just what docs do in general?
 

Welshman

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I wouldn't say EMTs a dime a dozen... people who volunteer in hospitals are a dime a dozen or volunteer with the underserved maybe. Don't get me wrong, many people get the EMT cert, but much few actually use it which is the most important part. Having the cert won't give you any props but the experience you gain from it (actually working in healthcare, taking care of patients etc.) might give you some insight into different sides of healthcare that you haven't had previously. At least that's been true for me..

It was hard to balance working night shifts and school for me, so scheduling is something you'll have to consider when looking into ambulance companies.

Also, just so you know, as an EMT you'll mainly be interacting with section 12 patients, patients with schizophrenia, dementia etc who often are very agitated and don't want to be wherever they are not patients with learning disabilities if that's what you were looking for.

Ultimately, I wouldnt say that either option is anything that would make an adcom lose their minds for you rather it's what will give you the best experience to write about/talk about in your apps
 

Welshman

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Jeez lol that is a bunch. Isn't shadowing just to make sure you know what you're getting into? Or just what docs do in general?


From what I've read on here ~50 checks the box

Shadowing is a very passive activity, more active experience is preferred
 
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twentyeightmiles

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I wouldn't say EMTs a dime a dozen... people who volunteer in hospitals are a dime a dozen or volunteer with the underserved maybe. Don't get me wrong, many people get the EMT cert, but much few actually use it which is the most important part. Having the cert won't give you any props but the experience you gain from it (actually working in healthcare, taking care of patients etc.) might give you some insight into different sides of healthcare that you haven't had previously. At least that's been true for me..

It was hard to balance working night shifts and school for me, so scheduling is something you'll have to consider when looking into ambulance companies.

Also, just so you know, as an EMT you'll mainly be interacting with section 12 patients, patients with schizophrenia, dementia etc who often are very agitated and don't want to be wherever they are not patients with learning disabilities if that's what you were looking for.

Ultimately, I wouldnt say that either option is anything that would make an adcom lose their minds for you rather it's what will give you the best experience to write about/talk about in your apps
Totally agree that it's about which you feel you can talk about the best. Personally, I think working with the disabled is more unique.

Unfortunately in my town, EMTs just ferry blackout drunk students or the elderly back and forth from the hospital -- not that it's easy, but my friends who've done it have found it pretty dull just because of our setting.
 
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Welshman

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I worked in a large NE city, most of my calls were inter-facility transports with like 1 in 10 being emergency calls. Definitely gets repetitive but what entry level job doesn't (repetitive in the same way volunteering or research would be repetitive I think). Honestly, I really valued the repetition. In medicine you're going to get patients day after day with the same problems, often lifestyle related, so you might as well get used to it now or realize that its not what you want to do.

In my experience you see a lot of tough stuff doing transports, not gruesome injuries but how people actually live and the places they get treatment. You take really sick people back home from the hospital and its heart wrenching to see how some of these people live, the state of their apartments, their isolation, etc. Its sometimes even worse when you take elderly patients to nursing homes, they can be the most depressing places in the world i think.

Seeing the rest of the healthcare system can be a real eye-opener especially if all you're used to is a big city or university hospital..
 

Lannister

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From what I've read on here ~50 checks the box

Shadowing is a very passive activity, more active experience is preferred

Agreed, anything over 50 hours is overkill (but I might be biased because I hate shadowing with a passion).
 
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Goro

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Which will be better before starting med school? I already am doing clinical volunteering in a hospital.
Not interested in psychiatric medicine but I like working and helping these population. I would also need to obtain a EMT license (10 week). But I can start the disabled job asap.
To me, EMT = glorified taxi driver.
Working with the mentally disabled exposes you to one of the most vulnerable demographics of our society, and one that most people are uncomfortable in dealing with. Hence, I would have a very high regard for you if you did the latter service.
 
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workaholic181

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Which will be better before starting med school? I already am doing clinical volunteering in a hospital.
Not interested in psychiatric medicine but I like working and helping these population. I would also need to obtain a EMT license (10 week). But I can start the disabled job asap.

I would personally pick the disabled job because I used to do similar volunteering and it's really, really rewarding work. But ultimately pick what you like more. Neither will help your app more than the other.
 
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USERX

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I would enjoy any job that is in the health field. But What would help my cause for med school more.
Pick experiences that are meaningful to you and ones that you can build on. Medical schools look at your overall journey rather than experience A is better than B or how many hours you have in each. The experience has to be meaningful. So yes, pick one that you like better.
 
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Ixacex

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thanks yall for the solid advice. I will be starting the disabled job tomorrow! My experiences with pursuing med school is related to working with these populations and the underserved (i dont know if disabled is considered underserved) so i can def use it for interviews
 
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number9

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Congrats on the new job! I've done a lot of work with people with disabilities and it has come up in every interview I've attended so far this cycle :)

Just wanted to suggest that you spend a second acquainting yourself with people first language. Many members of the disability community bristle at language like "the disabled" (as opposed to "people with disabilities"). They may sound the same to you, but you can quickly isolate yourself by using outdated/offensive language. The Arc has a really good page about people first language that highlights the way the language we use to talk about disability profoundly shapes our attitudes and perceptions--I strongly recommend giving it a read!
 
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teenyfish

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I vote for working with the developmentally disabled. I've worked with this population for about 6 years now and it is hands down the most rewarding thing I've done. I've grown so much as a person. I would say that school/shadowing/etc made me realize I had interest in being a physician, but in working with that population I knew I also had the resolve/temperament to be one.
 
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Ixacex

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Congrats on the new job! I've done a lot of work with people with disabilities and it has come up in every interview I've attended so far this cycle :)

Just wanted to suggest that you spend a second acquainting yourself with people first language. Many members of the disability community bristle at language like "the disabled" (as opposed to "people with disabilities"). They may sound the same to you, but you can quickly isolate yourself by using outdated/offensive language. The Arc has a really good page about people first language that highlights the way the language we use to talk about disability profoundly shapes our attitudes and perceptions--I strongly recommend giving it a read!
I usually say people with disabilities but I just said disabled here because it was too long to type haha but I will def check it out!
 
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