enviromed21

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Hi, I wanted to get some opinions. Is it ever okay to include significant accomplishments from highschool on your primary application (like shadowing, internships,health related volunteer positions)???
 

braluk

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I think the furthest back you'll want to go (and this is the absolute limit) is the summer before you start college. Otherwise, I would leave it out, unless its something truly significant that would make you stand out such as winning the Nobel- lol just kidding but you get the idea
 

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the general consensus is don't put anything before freshman year college unless you are very very proud of what you've done because it affected you positively and helped you decide on medicine (and this reinforced in your PS)

otherwise, no dont put it in there
 
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enviromed21

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I graduated from a four year math and science research program run by a government agency. Would it look stupid if I put it on there???

Thanks:)
 

LizzyM

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I graduated from a four year math and science research program run by a government agency. Would it look stupid if I put it on there???

Thanks:)

You graduated from a "research program"? Are you sure you didn't just graduate from a publicly funded high school that put an emphasis on the sciences?

Unless you won a major prize (Intel Science Prize, Oscar, Grammy, etc), leave it off.
 

Dookter

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I've heard of people putting things like being an Eagle Scout on the application [not saying I would do this.....it's up to you whether something you did in high school merits a spot on your application....just people who are in the scouts apparently feel like it's a gigantic lifetime accomplishment...so if you had an interviewer in the scouts it might be beneficial]. Remember, you can always sneak things into your personal statement without taking up much space at all. You won't have room to elaborate, but it might be a conversation starter.
 

chad5871

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I think it's good to put something on there that you started before college and continued throughout college. It shows a certain level of dedication and commitment that may help you stand out.
 

braluk

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I completed the program which had nothing to do wtih my highschool. The program happens to call its successful students who completed all four years "graduates", and yes there is a graduation. I meant what I wrote. Stop sipping on that haterade. I hear its bad for your health :).
LizzyM is an admissions committee member at a top medical school- I suggest you listen to her advice. Her advice is certainly not "haterade"
 

chad5871

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I completed the program which had nothing to do wtih my highschool. The program happens to call its successful students who completed all four years "graduates", and yes there is a graduation. I meant what I wrote. Stop sipping on that haterade. I hear its bad for your health :).


I saw nothing wrong with LizzyM's response - she was blunt but not harsh. I see you're new here, so I'll just give you some advice. The posters on here don't generally like to sugar coat things and let you down easy. If you ask for advice on something, you are going to get the cold, hard truth, whether you like it or not. That's why SDN is so much better than your local pre-med advisor!
 

enviromed21

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LizzyM is an admissions committee member at a top medical school- I suggest you listen to her advice. Her advice is certainly not "haterade"

I greatly appreciate the advice everyone has given me but I don't have a use for sarcasm.
 

LizzyM

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If you started something before college and continued through at least the first year of college, then it might be reasonable to include it. Most often, we see this with applicants who were involved in the performing arts or athletic activities (non-team stuff like playing tennis for fun) from an early age.

Eagle Scouts don't impress many adcom members-- some, in fact, tell me that it is a snooze (very common among applicants although it seems like an unusual and noteworthy accomplishment).

High school is a foundation on which to build your college resume. The AMCAS experience section should focus on the college resume. You need not fill all 15 spots. Don't pad the application with H.S. activities.

If something you did in H.S. was a watershed moment, it might be better to build it into your personal statement where activities prior to college are more acceptable than if included in the Experience section.

I am on an adcom. I reviewed >500 applications this year and read the reviews/evaluations of about 2 dozen adcom members who also read applications. I don't use sarcasm. I'm going to be to the point and I'm not going to sugarcoat it. You'll thank me later.

Good luck!
 
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nintendo

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I did a six week genetics research internship in Cyprus the summer after my senior year. It all sounds very impressive, but I didnt continue with the research and couldn't really support it with other things I did in college so I left it out. But some how it came up during two of my interviews and both interviewers seemed interested in talking about it.

So my two cents is that I would include it if it is something you have continued to show passion for in college. And if you can't really include it in the primary, you can always drop it in somewhere like an essay or mention it at an interview. For me, it added this 'oh well thats something interesting i didnt know about you' element to my interview.
 

BloodySurgeon

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I saved a baby from a burning building while heroically tackling a bank robber who held 10 police officers hostage as I was paralyzed from the waist down. Furtunately, as I tackled the bank robber I've noticed that one of the police officers was having difficulty breathing and was quickly going into cardiac arrest. Luckily I had a sterile surgical room in the back of my truck, so I was able to place the patient into OR with high-flow O2 and preped him for AED. As he flat-linned me, I injected 6cc of adrenaline and as he gave a pulse I shocked him with the aed. He was barely making it, so I decided to do exploritory surgery. I was quick to find that blood was backing into the lungs due to a ruptured artery and my intuition for the necessary operation save this mans life. The president offered me an honorary medical degree, but I declined it, as I wanted to have a college experience and apply through the traditional path (especially since I was only 17).

*Should I mention this on my application?
 

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I put in a "Medical Summer Camp" thing I did during my junior year of Highschool, only because this was the start of a long series of activities that led to me wanting to be a doctor...every interview asked me about it, no one said anything it being in highschool.
 

move2west

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Would you recommend listing significant, long-term clinical experiences that happened only in high school on AMCAS and elsewhere (for those of us that got our CNA, EMT, Phlebotomy, etc certifications/experience)?
 

HumbleMD

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Would space-camp count?

Was there a paper publication or some sort of award associated with this research? It sounds like something perfect for your personal statement (you mentioned that it was influential in your decision to become a doctor). Most schools explicityly ask you not to include things from high school on your application (the summer before college may be the slight exception).

I've been reviewing applications for jobs at my school lately and I can't tell you how silly it is to look at a college sophomore with a 2 page resume and "color guard captain" is still on there...

Rather than losing the "haterade" I think you may want to check your pompous attitude at the door. All it takes is an interview (given that you receive one) at a top 5 school to realize you aren't as incredible as you believe you are.

And in some sort of defense for them out there, I had some pretty good pre-med advisors...
 

enviromed21

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Would space-camp count?

Was there a paper publication or some sort of award associated with this research? It sounds like something perfect for your personal statement (you mentioned that it was influential in your decision to become a doctor). Most schools explicityly ask you not to include things from high school on your application (the summer before college may be the slight exception).

I've been reviewing applications for jobs at my school lately and I can't tell you how silly it is to look at a college sophomore with a 2 page resume and "color guard captain" is still on there...

Rather than losing the "haterade" I think you may want to check your pompous attitude at the door. All it takes is an interview (given that you receive one) at a top 5 school to realize you aren't as incredible as you believe you are.

And in some sort of defense, I had some pretty good pre-med advisors...

Yes. There is a pending publication in relation to the research. My intention is not to come off as pompous, but I'm looking into opinions on my question. If a person choses to answer my question, then I greatly appreciate their advice. If not, I don't really see it as a problem of mine. :)
 

HumbleMD

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Yes. There is a pending publication in relation to the research. My intention is not to come off as pompous, but I'm looking into opinions on my question. If a person choses to answer my question, then I greatly appreciate their advice. If not, I don't really see it as a problem of mine. :)

If you're an author on the paper, and it does actually get published, include it. When you're filling out your AMCAS, I made a section of "paper publications" and another for "conference presentations" and just listed them rather than individually. Seriously though, you really are going to want to work on the self aggrandizing. The only thing worse than being a shy, unsociable interviewee is being an overconfident one. If you're not seeing it as a problem, then come back and talk to us the May after your application to school...;)
 
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enviromed21

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[quote/] If not, I don't really see it as a problem of mine. :)[/quote]


it- referencing to people not wanting to answer my question :D

the act of not answering is being referenced to, not the people
-Have a wonderful day
 

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Each activity you list asks for an end date and a start date - so if the start date was in high school - they'll see it on the application. Also since most things you do in high school are just stepping stones to things you can do in college...it'll be obvious your college activities aren't "the beginning" of your medical activities- there had to be something BEFORE your college activities for the college activities to be possible. For instance my daughters worked in doc offices as receptionists after school in highschool, which led to job as a clinical research assistant in college- no need to mention receptionist . One job led to the other. One daughter got her CNA and EMT classes done in high school - which allowed her to work and volunteer an EMT in college (and before). You can't just begin being an EMT you need that prior training and admissions people know that. She didn't have to list the high school training classes.
My disclaimer: I'm just a Mom of 2 daughters that applied.
 

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When applying to college, did you fill your application with accomplishments from middle school? Of course not. Hopefully by the time you applied to college you had grown as a person and had done something with yourself in the last 3-4 years to make those middle school "accomplishments" irrelevant or in the very least redundant.

The same applies for applying to medical school--if after 3 years of college the highlight of your life was something you did in high school, then you have much greater problems than whether or not you should pad your application with HS activities. Unless you cured cancer while in high school, any "accomplishment" you had during high school probably won't be able to complete with the college-level awards, papers, publications, etc. other applicants have in their resumes (read: you're at a disadvantage). And even if you had some significant achievement from high school and haven't been able to build upon that to do something even more amazing during college, then you're probably at an even bigger disadvantage because you failed to live up to your own potential.
 

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Being an Eagle Scout is a huge accomplishment, I'm 27 and I say I am an Eagle Scout. Anyone who's been involved in scouting knows how much work and leadership that award takes to achieve. Anyone who says it's a snooze has no idea what that award means. Also, earning your Eagle Scout is not something you say you got when you were 17. If you earn your Eagle Scout award, you are an Eagle Scout, no matter what age you are. I included two pre-college activities on my application because I feel they show who I am, not for the level of prestige other applicants think they have. One was Eagle Scout, the other was a European music tour I was part of. To me they are important, so I included them.
 

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Being an Eagle Scout is a huge accomplishment, I'm 27 and I say I am an Eagle Scout. Anyone who's been involved in scouting knows how much work and leadership that award takes to achieve. Anyone who says it's a snooze has no idea what that award means. Also, earning your Eagle Scout is not something you say you got when you were 17. If you earn your Eagle Scout award, you are an Eagle Scout, no matter what age you are. I included two pre-college activities on my application because I feel they show who I am, not for the level of prestige other applicants think they have. One was Eagle Scout, the other was a European music tour I was part of. To me they are important, so I included them.


That's why I listed being an Eagle Scout as something people will often list even though they usually become one before they even enter college. To you, it's a huge accomplishment. To basically everyone outside of scouts, it might not be such a huge deal....it depends on whether or not they know other people in scouts. The fact that becoming an Eagle Scout takes a lot of hard work and leadership also showcases the real question here. Does something accomplished before college that takes a lot of hard work and leadership merit a spot on a primary application? That's the question we're trying to answer. Plenty of other things require a lot of hard work and leadership, but they are not listed on primary applications. I did insane amounts of volunteer stuff through various organizations that required a ton of hard work and leadership, but I did not mention these things anywhere in my med school application b/c these things were done before college. I chose to list the same sorts of things that I did while actually in college. Here's what I would say about these things: It does not matter whether it is listing being an Eagle Scout, being involved in an organization, etc. etc. etc. If you are still active in these things, definitely mention them. If not, I would be sure they really measure up before mentioning them. For an Eagle Scout, some of the guys I knew were still very involved with Scouts. Others did basically nothing. So although being an Eagle Scout or [insert name of activity here] might mean a lot to you, it might not mean a lot to an admissions committee. You might be an Eagle Scout for life, but I'm probably still a member of middle school organizations that I got a lifetime membership to with my first dues. In the end, just be prepared to back up anything you list in an interview....
 

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Being an Eagle Scout is a huge accomplishment, I'm 27 and I say I am an Eagle Scout. Anyone who's been involved in scouting knows how much work and leadership that award takes to achieve. Anyone who says it's a snooze has no idea what that award means. Also, earning your Eagle Scout is not something you say you got when you were 17. If you earn your Eagle Scout award, you are an Eagle Scout, no matter what age you are. I included two pre-college activities on my application because I feel they show who I am, not for the level of prestige other applicants think they have. One was Eagle Scout, the other was a European music tour I was part of. To me they are important, so I included them.

Absolutely. Its not like the cub scouts...they dont just hand you awards for trying, you work your ass off to achieve that goal. And yes, at least in scouting, it is considered a lifetime achievement. I will continue to include that on my CV for every position/job that I apply to. Maybe it wont help you that much if the person thinks its a "snooze" but it certainly cant hurt. And in some cases the admissions board/interviewer will have/be eagle scout members, such as what happened at 2 of my med school interviews, and i would say it helped enhance my application considerably in their eyes.
 

Dookter

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And in some cases the admissions board/interviewer will have/be eagle scout members, such as what happened at 2 of my med school interviews, and i would say it helped enhance my application considerably in their eyes.

I think this is definitely true. To be honest, people outside of Scouts probably won't care either way. But if someone is also an Eagle scout, I'd say you're golden...
 

enviromed21

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Being an Eagle Scout is a huge accomplishment, I'm 27 and I say I am an Eagle Scout. Anyone who's been involved in scouting knows how much work and leadership that award takes to achieve. Anyone who says it's a snooze has no idea what that award means. Also, earning your Eagle Scout is not something you say you got when you were 17. If you earn your Eagle Scout award, you are an Eagle Scout, no matter what age you are. I included two pre-college activities on my application because I feel they show who I am, not for the level of prestige other applicants think they have. One was Eagle Scout, the other was a European music tour I was part of. To me they are important, so I included them.

Hey Steiner,
How did schools look at those activities when you applied? Did you get a chance to talk about them in your interviews?

Thanks,
enviromed21
 

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Being an Eagle Scout is a huge accomplishment.

I think people understand that achieving Eagle Scout is very difficult, and requires a great deal of dedication and perseverence.

On the other hand, it is also a formulaic achievement. As in, you follow a relatively set path (with a few creative projects along the way), and you get Eagle Scout.

As a result, there are many people who are Eagle Scouts in the world. In my troupe alone, there were seven.

Additionally, being an Eagle Scout isn't entirely predictive of the rest of your life. One of those Eagle Scouts now works at Taco Bell and has been for the last 5 years after high school.

It's kind of like getting a black belt in karate. Unless you do something with your acquired skill or compete, the black belt itself is relatively insignificant to top universities (where they likely get 500-600 black belt applicants each year).
 
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My feeling is that high school stuff (related to your actual school) are totally irrelevant.

Stuff outside of school and totally independent, especially stuff you continued with in college, should go in. For example, junior olympic athletics that you continued into college...etc.
 

enviromed21

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Does something accomplished before college that takes a lot of hard work and leadership merit a spot on a primary application? That's the question we're trying to answer. Plenty of other things require a lot of hard work and leadership, but they are not listed on primary applications. I did insane amounts of volunteer stuff through various organizations that required a ton of hard work and leadership, but I did not mention these things anywhere in my med school application b/c these things were done before college. I chose to list the same sorts of things that I did while actually in college. Here's what I would say about these things: It does not matter whether it is listing being an Eagle Scout, being involved in an organization, etc. etc. etc. If you are still active in these things, definitely mention them. If not, I would be sure they really measure up before mentioning them. In the end, just be prepared to back up anything you list in an interview....

Thanks for the great advice Dookter
 

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The last line of my post is all you need to read, the rest is my personal view. If you think something is an important part of who you are and why you are heading into medicine than get it into your application some way.
 

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If you think something is an important part of who you are and why you are heading into medicine than get it into your application some way.

Great point. Just make sure that is who you really are and that it shows in future endeavors. In other words, have something to back up your awesomeness that is current.....otherwise, you might not be seen as "currently awesome" by an ADCOM. And I think they want current awesomeness and not high school awesomeness.....Hopefully that makes sense...
 

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Steiner- I got news for you, bub, your avatar has the Boy Scout hand signal all wrong...
 

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That's why a college degree alone won't get you into medical school.... They want to see more.....

An MD is pretty formulaic as well, so is residency, so is life. I'm sure most of the people on here say (unknowingly) getting into med school is formulaic. Get a Bio degree, do research, volunteer, show community service, get a good MCAT score, know med. ethics and don't bomb the interview---You're in! Pretty individualistic.
 

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An MD is pretty formulaic as well, so is residency, so is life.

This is why, although being a doctor is more impressive than many other formulaic achievements, it still is not as impressive (at least in my mind) as starting a company like Google or Microsoft.

A doctor can change someone's life, but there are other individuals (Bill Gates, Larry/Sergei) who have changed the world.
 

pyrois

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The last line of my post is all you need to read, the rest is my personal view. If you think something is an important part of who you are and why you are heading into medicine than get it into your application some way.

In the sophomore year of high school, I did a summer internship at the NIH.

I put that on my app, and have no regrets. In fact, a number of interviewers specifically brought that up and were impressed at the length and continuity of my involvement with research.
 
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