getAsordietrying

2+ Year Member
Jan 22, 2015
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Hi,

So I am an up-and-coming sophomore next year and I did well Freshman year alongside my extracurricular activities. My college runs on the quarter system and next year is considered to be the hardest year due to o-chem and bio classes. My goal would be to fit in a clinical volunteering activity alongside a research position for next year. I have good time-management skills but I tend to over study and I will be spending about 9 hours on a typical week for my leadership roles as well, 2 hours a week doing non-clinical volunteering and 5-6 hours a week doing sports, so I will have some free time for other activities. Thus, I want to do 3-4 hours of clinical volunteering and possibly start a research position next year. My worry is I will have to cut something out of my schedule junior year as I will be taking physics and upper division bio classes, so should I seek out my research position by the end of sophomore year or early in junior year so I am better acquainted with my capabilities

Thanks.
 
Nov 15, 2013
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Cut back on the studying unless you really need it to get A's. Or spread out some of your ECs to junior year. Also make sure to leave time for fun.
 

BurghMed

Shaka Bra!
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Feb 3, 2013
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Classes come first. I don't see why you need to do your leadership role for 9 hours a week, imo, unless its something volunteer related or personally valuable to you. If it's student council or something useless, then I would consider scrapping it, as 9 hours is one day basically gone from your life. Sports are a great physical outlet, and 2 hours a week non clinical volunteering is also something great to have. However, I would not fit in a clinical volunteering job alongside all this and on top of a research job, unless your class load next year is all yoga. Choose what's most important to you, or else everything will be sacrificed (grades, your mental state, and the quality of the work you do in all of these endeavors). You're a sophomore, and while everything is great to have on your record for 4 years, you don't need to continue doing clinical volunteering for more than 2. Just because others on SDN say "getting 500 or 1000 clinical volunteering hours is important," it's not more important in my opinion than getting consistently great grades, not feeling burned out, and being generally happy about yourself and the quality of work your putting out.
 
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Dandine

7+ Year Member
Apr 23, 2012
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IMO, if you are planning to start research in the fall it's best to start asking professors the semester before (so spring). That way you can get your schedule planned for that semester once you know where you are working.

As for everything else, it depends on your credit load and how much sci studying you have been able to handle from experience. Ochem takes a lot of time to master so I probably wouldn't do too many things while taking it.

Another thing to maybe consider is finding a volunteer position for summer to get some hours fulfilled.

Hope this helps but if not I'd be happy to clarify!

P.S. Basic consensus from my perspective would be classes > clinical (volunteer/shadow) > else. Oversimplifying here, so let me explain:

You want to do well in your classes for admission, and you want to show med schools your interest in healthcare settings. Leadership and research are great, but make sure you have the time to commit to them/have an actual interest in those aspects. And, of course, have time to recharge so you're not overwhelmed.

Long-term commitment is considered the most important thing in basically any activity, so consider that as you think about the things you'd like to look into or want to do.
 

md-2020

The Immaculate Catch
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Jun 29, 2015
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So I am an up-and-coming sophomore next year and I did well Freshman year alongside my extracurricular activities. My college runs on the quarter system and next year is considered to be the hardest year due to o-chem and bio classes.

My worry is I will have to cut something out of my schedule junior year as I will be taking physics and upper division bio classes
Hmmmm quarter system with soph o-chem+bio/jr phys....


Would you happen to be going to a school in Palo Alto or Evanston? :p
 
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getAsordietrying

getAsordietrying

2+ Year Member
Jan 22, 2015
44
12
Status
Pre-Medical
Classes come first. I don't see why you need to do your leadership role for 9 hours a week, imo, unless its something volunteer related or personally valuable to you. If it's student council or something useless, then I would consider scrapping it, as 9 hours is one day basically gone from your life. Sports are a great physical outlet, and 2 hours a week non clinical volunteering is also something great to have. However, I would not fit in a clinical volunteering job alongside all this and on top of a research job, unless your class load next year is all yoga. Choose what's most important to you, or else everything will be sacrificed (grades, your mental state, and the quality of the work you do in all of these endeavors). You're a sophomore, and while everything is great to have on your record for 4 years, you don't need to continue doing clinical volunteering for more than 2. Just because others on SDN say "getting 500 or 1000 clinical volunteering hours is important," it's not more important in my opinion than getting consistently great grades, not feeling burned out, and being generally happy about yourself and the quality of work your putting out.
I spend about 6 hours a week working for my pre-med club, and almost 3 per week as treasurer of a cultural club. I guess I could limit exercise and sports to 2 hours a week, and fit in a clinical volunteering position instead. Research I suppose I'll have to wait on.

@Dandine I emailed about 25 professors during freshman year and before summer asking for research positions despite having marine science research experience in high school, which resulted in a summer research internship where I did absolutely no work as the grad students "did not need me." I guess I'll try to email them again or visit them in person in mid-quarter. I do have a genuine interest in research and everything else I want to do.

Also I want to get at least 2 years of research under my belt as I plan on applying to top 50 research schools and possibly fit in a personal project within that time frame.

@md-2020 Nope.

Thanks for all your help, I suppose I'll see how first quarter goes, apply for clinical volunteering and possibly consider the research position for the following quarter. Until, then I will keep this thread updated.