Help - Jerry Springer Hell

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Jean Valjean, Aug 15, 2001.

  1. Jean Valjean

    Jean Valjean Member
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    From reading these posts decided to take an EMT-B class at the local community college. What specifically I read here somewhere is that if you volunteer in the ER and are an EMT they will let you do some minor clinical stuff and even start IV's / suture (which I know find out is ILLEGAL if you are only an EMT-B), and that residents and faculty would even teach you stuff knowing you are premed if they liked you. As the post went, if you don't have an EMT or phlem etc you will only stock shelves. So yesterday was first day of class. It was awful. The instructor was decent, but the other students were...how can I explain...let me say I'm certain that there are decent civilized EMT students out there, but they weren't in my class. Most of these people were in their early twenties with kids (plural). Some brought theirs and were told not to bring them to class anymore. I am NOT saying that twenty year olds with kids are not decent people, but these people filled two hours, TWO HOURS, of the class asking, "have you ever seen someone decapitated?, I heard that Charlotte has a higher incident rate than Atlanta?, have you ever thrown up?". They had nothing better to do. We could have been out of there in five minutes if we just did the paperwork. They would get giddy and start raising a "jerry springer"-like ruckus when then instructor would talk about bad hematomas. Awful. The typical job was grocery stocker/volunteer fireman. The biggest ambition was 1 PA, but most EMT or Paramedic (some had no life-plan, but just said it "seemed exciting"). I was the only other premed in the class. Now I've read another, albeit contoversial, post that stated nurses don't get accepted as much as bio grad students or something - something about the stigma or background of nurses. I'm early along in post bacc education and wouldn't want addcoms to think I was some grocery boy WWF dude who got a taste of medicine in EMT, learned how to take BP, and decided to become a doctor. Now I am thinking this will not only NOT help, but it may hurt me! As med students who have gotten in, what do you think? Could this actually hurt me??! :confused:, and if not how much could it realistically help??!
     
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  3. Benji Courtney

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    Your instructor should have told them this wasn't a field for blood thirsty kids to go into for some kind of cheap thrill. I will be taking the EMT-B class and have heard it will at least count as some medical related experience. I can't see how it could possibly hurt your application in any way.
     
  4. Stephen Ewen

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    Seems every pre-med and their brother goes the EMT route of gaining med experience. (Yawn. "Another EMT.") It may be too late for you, but for others I'd say, "Think creatively!" A freind of mine even assisted--hands in--with hernia repairs in Haiti for a while--with NO prior medical background.
     
  5. mcwmark

    mcwmark Senior Member
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    In terms of helping/hurting your application, I believe that having "EMT experience" is a non-factor.

    Take the class if you want to learn about BP, trauma, the ABCs, splinting, and history taking. If your only motivation is to pad your application, I'd say, there are better ways to spend your time (i.e. studying for the MCAT, which ultimately has a 100 fold importance in your acceptance). Good luck.
     
  6. dido

    dido New Member

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    i thought that emt offers a chance to REALLY experience medicine (as opposed to er volunteers talking to patients). if you do the emt thing and do it for a long time, that is, through out your post-bac and your med school application, i think it will be a credit to you that you sought something other than the typical pre-med experience, such as the er volunteer. plus, you'll really see cases of patients and will be able to help them in a substantial way.

    the other option for an extracurricular activity would be to go to a foreign country, as suggested by stephen. but given that you are pursuing your post-bac degree, it may not be feasible. plus, doing something long-term like an emt position is equally impressive.

    i wouldnt worry about your classmates resembling the jerry springer audience/interviewees. most of them will drop out when they realize what they're in for. and i think you were just unlucky in this case. i took an emt class some while ago and my classmates were bright and caring individuals. so it just depends! but ultimately, i think the experience of an emt, especially if you can do a ride-along with a paramedic, would be a great opportunity to experience medicine first hand. furthermore, you will be exposed to a side of medicine you may never see again - that is, the care of the patient before hospital care commences. you would be the first health care professional to come into contact with someone in dire need of care. now perhaps jaded adcoms may think that this is not so impressive, but i still find that pretty exciting!

    furthermore, if you can translate your passion for the emt job into your application, you will automatically stand out. i am a bit incredulous as to the number of "creative" activities pre-meds can think up to make their application stand out. it's not what you do, but what you take away from it.
     
  7. tonem

    tonem Senior Member
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    The "jaded" adcoms that I know about are very impressed by EMT experience. There are several former EMTs and paramedics in my class. They are also very impressed by candidates that have done "creative" things like international medical (or non-medical)volunteering. As far as my own experience goes, not one of the applicants I've interviewed has had either one of those experiences and just about every one of them volunteered (yawn) in an emergency room.
     
  8. doughboy

    doughboy Senior Member
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    I think not having any "EMT" experience doesn't hurt you at all. I would rather spend my time doing a research project and trying to get published in a future interest in medicine. When you start your rotations and you're applying to residencies it looks nice to show dedication to your field. Plus, MD schools are big into research and academia which will help you in getting in. I think gaining clinical skills as an EMT is great for yourself but board scores and grades are more of a factor. I have friends in my class that were EMT's and you know what, you have to learn the basic sciences first before you start working in the clinics.
     
  9. tonem

    tonem Senior Member
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    Which goes to show there are many roads to medical school.
     
  10. 12R34Y

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    I know that this topic has been revisited over and over with the whole EMT thing, but I would like to make a few comments.

    First of all, I think getting your EMT-B is a great idea, but NOT just to have it on your AMCAS post-sec experiences. You MUST actually USE it in practice. Either work in an ER or work on an ambulance. You will be in charge of the patient and have an immense amount of direct patient care. Every premed has ER volunteering and extra's up the ying-yang, but few can actually say that they cared for patients directly and worked under pressure unless coming from an other health profession.

    I agree that a killer MCAT score will blow away most things, but I don't agree with the research is better than clinical statement unless you are applying MD/PHD or to some large academic centers..

    It's kind of hard to explain to an ADCOM about your passion for medicine if you've only spent time in a lab and haven't actually been around sick people.

    The ideal thing would be to go on to become a paramedic but that is much more time consuming and more difficult. However once you are a paramedic you do start IV's, splint, extricate, intubate, defibrillate, give meds etc......YOU are responsible for a patient as a care giver. INvaluable experience for medical school.

    Just getting your EMT or paramedic and not using it is probably useless, but if you USE it then it can be a huge assett. How many 20-21 y/o college juniors (large applicant pool popoulation) can say that they've shown up on the scene of a critically ill patient and stabilized them. interacted with the family under stressful times etc..........

    using your certification also provides you with great stories anectdotes for your personal statement and interviews!

    good luck,

    later
     
  11. Krazed_Medic

    Krazed_Medic Registered Banned User
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    I am all for people doing the EMT. Its a great experience! However, do it ONLY if you want to do it. DOn't do it because you think it will look good. Don't do it because such and such did it. If you don't have the desire to do the EMTing and do it anyways, you'll never get anything out of the class/experience. My own experience with EMS is, I love it! I work with great people, and I get to meet some really wonderful people on top of that. So, if you decide it's not for you, then great, hope you find something that you'd enjoy. If you do decide to do it, great, I hope you enjoy it as much as I have! Good luck!
     
  12. Just a quick question for all of you who are or have been EMT's...

    I will be taking the class next semester for the basic EMT-I and was wondering which schedule anyone would recommend. The schedule's vary from tues. nights 3 hours a night for a semester, to 8 hour sat. sessions which are proportionally less to a two week-all day course during winter break.

    Should I plan on the tuesday night schedule so that I could have a good amount of time studying? Can I take the course in two weeks and learn all of the material that I need to know? Thank you in advance for any insight.

    Also wanted to wish all you MCAT'ers luck this sat, I am sure you have all worked hard and I am looking forward to the day when I can sit in that hot seat and ace that sucka.
    Best of luck.
     
  13. Jeff698

    Jeff698 EM/EMS nerd
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    Howdy!

    I've been a paramedic for 13 years now and am just starting my MS-I year. While you probably just made a typo, I wanted to be sure you were enrolling in the correct course. A basic EMT (EMT-B) is, in most states, the entry level course. EMT-I is an intermediate course that requires EMT-B certification as a prerequisite. Unfortunately, many colleges have A&R departments that have no clue about this and will allow anyone to enroll in any course. I used to be the department chair for an EMS program at a college and constantly had to deal with unhappy (justifiably) students who registered for the first course in our paramedic program with no previous experience. Just be sure which one you are looking for.

    As for the schedule, while I doubt you'll find much academically challenging about a basic EMT course, I also doubt you'll be able to truly learn much in two weeks. Most of this course is geared toward developing a skills set and that's just hard to do without putting in time.

    Good luck!

    Take care,
    Jeff
     
  14. Arch Guillotti

    Arch Guillotti Senior Member
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    I still think research can do you more good than clinical experience when applying, though it is debatable and admissions is a crapshoot and all of that. However, if you are a clinician you can be a total yo-yo or bad tech or whatever and adcoms might never know it. Or you may be a great tech or clinician with weak grades or MCATS. Whatever the case, I think having your name on a few publications (you may still be a yo-yo) is more impressive than clinical work.

    This is coming from a three time applicant (current MS2) with 10 years of clinical experience) and zilch research.
     
  15. doughboy

    doughboy Senior Member
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    It seems to me that admissions people are more interested in how well you will do in med school with the tough class load and exams rather than about how you will "perform" in the clinical years. Being in my fourth year of med school, I've noticed that prior clinical experience can help but its not necessary in order to be a good clinician. Having a solid foundation in the "material" will get you farther. Also, when you're applying for residencies, a lot of them ask more about research and publications over whether or not you had prior clinical experiences. That's basically what your 3rd and 4th years of med school are for, to see how well you can work in the hospital setting, you're never going to have time to do research and get published if you don't work on it now...trust me, you'll be getting clinical experience for the rest of your life so why worry about it now.
     

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