God Osiris

5+ Year Member
Aug 11, 2015
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Hello!

I am on my 6th year of college (I switched to the pre-med route after 2 years of nursing pre-requisites). Unfortunately, I apply to medical schools in 2021 next year, and I do not have any volunteering experiences. I spent way too much time on my grades.

Stats:
  • 4.0 GPA (could change this semester from Organic Chemistry 2)
    • (I graduate in December of 2020)
  • MCAT: will take it January of 2021
EC: 2.5 years of cancer research (no publications)
100 hours of shadowing different specialties
NO volunteering


Currently, I am training for a volunteer position at a crisis hotline, but I am wondering if I should volunteer at several more organizations like hospice. I am not sure if I should focus on getting many hours at 2 organizations or if I should get into more organizations with less time dedicated to each.

Another problem is that I am not sure if I should become a scribe or if volunteering at organizations looks better.

For the Fall, I will only be taking Biochemistry.
 

camboo10

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May 27, 2017
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You should probably do both non-clinical (e.g. crisis-hotline) and probably something more clinical as well (hospice would be good for this) especially if haven't actually worked as a nurse and just did the pre-reqs. You are looking at having about 150ish hours of clinical experience and about the same for non-clinical. FWIW I used crisis hotline as non-clinical example and I think most people would agree but I have seen threads before where it is listed as clinical so YMMV. GL.
 
Nov 26, 2019
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I would recommend dedicating your time to a few organizations that you feel strongly about rather than spending a little time on many things.

From what I've seen long-term commitment is valued more than having a lot of things to say you were involved in transiently. Quality over quantity of activities. But yeah, meet the baseline 150 hours each for non-clinical and clinical volunteering.

And when you say "unfortunately" you're applying in 2021...there is no exact requirement that you apply then, if you need more time. It doesn't necessarily seem like it from the limited info provided, and I don't know what your situation is, but if you happen to need more time to be in the best position to apply to programs of your choice, it might be worth waiting an extra year to do so.
 
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Cornfed101

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Aug 10, 2017
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The main thing is you need to get started right now. Don't wait until you graduate. You only need to volunteer a few hours a week. As the above posters have said you need both clinical and non-clinical experience. The non-clinical should be volunteering. The clinical experience could be either volunteer or something like scribing. Both are viewed equally if you already have other volunteering.
 
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God Osiris

5+ Year Member
Aug 11, 2015
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You should probably do both non-clinical (e.g. crisis-hotline) and probably something more clinical as well (hospice would be good for this) especially if haven't actually worked as a nurse and just did the pre-reqs. You are looking at having about 150ish hours of clinical experience and about the same for non-clinical. FWIW I used crisis hotline as non-clinical example and I think most people would agree but I have seen threads before where it is listed as clinical so YMMV. GL.

Thanks. My friend who applied this cycle over exaggerated all of her hours. (Over 8,000 total) from combining all the organizations she supposedly was at. About half of her app was straight lies, but she got accepted at one of the DO schools in Texas (with a lot of rejections from everywhere else). She told me there's no contact information on the application, so I'm wondering if medical schools actually call those places or not. She had a 3.97 GPA and a 505 MCAT. I'm just hoping my honesty on the application gives me more interviews XD.
 

God Osiris

5+ Year Member
Aug 11, 2015
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I would recommend dedicating your time to a few organizations that you feel strongly about rather than spending a little time on many things.

From what I've seen long-term commitment is valued more than having a lot of things to say you were involved in transiently. Quality over quantity of activities. But yeah, meet the baseline 150 hours each for non-clinical and clinical volunteering.

And when you say "unfortunately" you're applying in 2021...there is no exact requirement that you apply then, if you need more time. It doesn't necessarily seem like it from the limited info provided, and I don't know what your situation is, but if you happen to need more time to be in the best position to apply to programs of your choice, it might be worth waiting an extra year to do so.

Thanks for all of your replies. I say "unfortunately" mainly because I am just trying to cram these activities in 1 year when I should have started sooner. I'm about to be 24 and would start medical school at 26 if everything goes well. I have seen older students, but all the people I've tutored and given advice are graduated / starting medical school lol.
 

KnightDoc

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Mar 14, 2019
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Thanks. My friend who applied this cycle over exaggerated all of her hours. (Over 8,000 total) from combining all the organizations she supposedly was at. About half of her app was straight lies, but she got accepted at one of the DO schools in Texas (with a lot of rejections from everywhere else). She told me there's no contact information on the application, so I'm wondering if medical schools actually call those places or not. She had a 3.97 GPA and a 505 MCAT. I'm just hoping my honesty on the application gives me more interviews XD.
Honesty is not going to get you any interviews, because it is 100% expected. Getting caught lying can blow you up anywhere along the way, from not receiving an interview to not receiving a license to practice after completing school. Of course, the sanction will always depend on the lie, but exaggerating EC hours seems like one of the dumbest things to lie about because after a certain point nobody cares (like 4,000 hours vs. 8,000), and because it's pretty easy to get caught if anyone ever actually cares enough to check.
 
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Mar 7, 2019
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Yes exactly! i think you should definitely look towards the "focus on getting many hours at 2 organizations" route you suggested. 100 hours really dedicating yourself to one organization or activity if better than 1 hour at 100 different organizations. It's like one horse sized duck or 100 duck sized horses. sort of.
 

Styrene

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Aug 2, 2013
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Hello!

I am on my 6th year of college (I switched to the pre-med route after 2 years of nursing pre-requisites). Unfortunately, I apply to medical schools in 2021 next year, and I do not have any volunteering experiences. I spent way too much time on my grades.

Stats:
  • 4.0 GPA (could change this semester from Organic Chemistry 2)
    • (I graduate in December of 2020)
  • MCAT: will take it January of 2021
EC: 2.5 years of cancer research (no publications)
100 hours of shadowing different specialties
NO volunteering


Currently, I am training for a volunteer position at a crisis hotline, but I am wondering if I should volunteer at several more organizations like hospice. I am not sure if I should focus on getting many hours at 2 organizations or if I should get into more organizations with less time dedicated to each.

Another problem is that I am not sure if I should become a scribe or if volunteering at organizations looks better.

For the Fall, I will only be taking Biochemistry.
One longitudinal volunteer experience and a year of scribing seems both reasonable and beneficial.
 
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God Osiris

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Aug 11, 2015
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God Osiris

5+ Year Member
Aug 11, 2015
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Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
One longitudinal volunteer experience and a year of scribing seems both reasonable and beneficial.
Thank you for the suggestion! I will probably start scribing as soon as summer starts.
 
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Aug 20, 2019
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Hello!

I am on my 6th year of college (I switched to the pre-med route after 2 years of nursing pre-requisites). Unfortunately, I apply to medical schools in 2021 next year, and I do not have any volunteering experiences. I spent way too much time on my grades.

Stats:
  • 4.0 GPA (could change this semester from Organic Chemistry 2)
    • (I graduate in December of 2020)
  • MCAT: will take it January of 2021
EC: 2.5 years of cancer research (no publications)
100 hours of shadowing different specialties
NO volunteering


Currently, I am training for a volunteer position at a crisis hotline, but I am wondering if I should volunteer at several more organizations like hospice. I am not sure if I should focus on getting many hours at 2 organizations or if I should get into more organizations with less time dedicated to each.

Another problem is that I am not sure if I should become a scribe or if volunteering at organizations looks better.

For the Fall, I will only be taking Biochemistry.

Your clinical experience and volunteering looks limited. Right now I would focus on the MCAT and then consider taking a GAP year to build up your ECs. Add ~250 hours of nonclinical volunteering and scribe full time for 6 months to a year.
 
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Thanks. My friend who applied this cycle over exaggerated all of her hours. (Over 8,000 total) from combining all the organizations she supposedly was at. About half of her app was straight lies, but she got accepted at one of the DO schools in Texas (with a lot of rejections from everywhere else). She told me there's no contact information on the application, so I'm wondering if medical schools actually call those places or not. She had a 3.97 GPA and a 505 MCAT. I'm just hoping my honesty on the application gives me more interviews XD.
Wow are you serious?? I mean I've heard of people stretching their app, but half of the app was straight lies?? I feel some type of way about this! I did not lie on my app and have close to 10,000 hours of work experience (multiple clinical and non-clinical things, most were 1-3 years), mostly cause I had to work in order to pay for more classes. To put into context, one year of full time work is 2000 hours already. These hours aren't including my volunteer and research and other extracurricular stuff. Only 1-2 of my 15 amcas activity slots were from college. I'm not trying to sound pretentious or anything but I have worked really hard to offset my low stats, and did diy post bacc and a masters, so it's kinda a blow to see that people be lying that much on their apps.

Sooo with all that said.... I have had tons of rejections this cycle cause my stats are low. But I do believe my extracurriculars opened the doors for love from some schools. In your case, since you already have a high gpa and if you score high on mcat, a well-balanced app with varying ECs can get you noticed too! I've learned the MOST about healthcare and found my passion within the industry through my work experiences. At first I was just trying to find a random healthcare job to pay the bills and as the years went on I found what I wanted to do. Scribing is really great, especially in fast-paced settings like ER. And yes, definitely get more clinical hours, hands-on preferably. For non clinical, find something you're really actually interested in and browse volunteer opportunities from there. e.g. If you're interested in healthcare tech, volunteer to teach kids something tech-related; if you're interested in policy, volunteer for a campaign; if you're interested in mental health, volunteer somewhere where you can support mental health patients. Obviously these are just examples, but I found that by finding my passion first rather than going off of a pre med checklist, it was much easier to form a cohesive story for when you're writing your personal statement and writing about why you pursued something/what you learned for the amcas activities section and your secondaries. Even easier to talk about them during interviews. Hope my half venting, half advice is helpful! :)
 
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