Medical How are my ECs as a nontraditional student?

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Goro

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Hey thanks everyone for reading my post!

My question is regarding EC's as a non trad applicant. I work full-time at a large county teaching hospital as a Spanish Medical Interpreter (though I am not Hispanic and also classify as ORM) and additionally I work part-time as a Research Assistant at the affiliated medical school. Unfortunately, my volunteering hours are on the lower end (~80 hrs), are non-clinical, and are not very recent; they date back to roughly 3-4 years ago. However, the volunteer experience itself was something that I am very passionate about and I believe it ties in well with my over application and my values.

My paid clinical hours are, I think, pretty extensive though - EMT, mobile wound tech, rehab clinical assistant, and now my current job as Spanish Medical Interpreter. The last two were full-time jobs, and my total paid clinical hours are somewhere in the ballpark of 6,000 hrs. However, I have very little shadowing hours (<10 hrs) and they are from about 4-5 years ago (this is also the only clinical volunteering experience I've had). Even worse, they were from volunteering at a free clinic in Mexico where I helped interpret for medical students (with physician present), and so I also don't have their contact info for reference and am not even sure they count.

However, my current job as a Medical Interpreter, especially at a large county hospital, has given me the opportunity to work pretty intimately with and also observe physicians from a variety of specialties, including Emergency Medicine, Anesthesiology, Orthopedic Surgery, Psychiatry, Urology, Neurology, OBGYN, Palliative, etc. Likewise, I am present during every interaction the provider has with their patients. On my days in the ED, I'm there really from when the physician first makes contact with the patient up until they are discharged. So, I am fortunate enough to be a part of a lot of what goes on patient-side, such as getting a medical history, performing physical exams or procedures, or updating patients on lab results or diagnoses.

Do you guys think that my paid clinical hours as a Medical Interpreter might be considered sufficient exposure to what a physician's job entails in lieu of my depressingly low (and quite possibly non-existent) shadowing hours? The HPAC at my school just sent out an email saying adcom's in TX (I'm a TX resident) will now be accepting virtual shadowing hours due to Covid-19. Is virtual shadowing something that I should look into doing?

Also, given my dated and low clinical (<10 hrs) and nonclinical volunteering hours (~80 hrs), are my EC's as a whole sufficient enough for me to apply this coming cycle? I also have roughly 800-900 research hours, which have culminated a poster presentation/published abstract (which laid the groundwork for a pretty cool pilot study that we are running), and possibly one or two publications that I have been included in which are currently underway. Would my research + paid clinical experiences help offset low volunteer/shadowing hours? Are adcom's more forgiving with their extracurricular expectations when dealing with non-trad applicants?

Sorry, I know that was a long post. I'm just getting a little nervous as we inch closer to spring. Thanks again for taking the time to read through my post, I appreciate it a lot!
Medical interpreting is definitely clinical exposure. It MAY count as shadowing.

Would my research + paid clinical experiences help offset low volunteer/shadowing hours?

One doesn't need clinical volunteering...one needs clinical exposure. That can be voluntary or paid. The goal is to show Adcoms that you know what you're getting into and that you really want to be around sick people for the next 30-40 years.

Nonclinical volunteering is needed as Medicine is a service profession and you need to show off your altruism
 

Goro

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Thanks for the insight and quick response, Goro! If I started nonclinical volunteering now, do you think I run the risk of having it look rushed or disingenuous?

I plan to submit first week of June, since I have a late April MCAT date, so I'm going to get on that right now. If my basic arithmetic hasn't failed me, I think I can get some fresh nonclinical hours in before I submit. Thanks again.
What choice do you have??

No need to apply 6.1, either. August is fine.
 

TheBoneDoctah

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Awesome clinical experiences

You do need to get that more non-clinical volunteering. You gotta show your soft side. Volunteer at soup kitchens and with the disadvantaged.

Shadowing you may want to get more, preferably in FM/IM/ER.
 

Goro

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You're absolutely right.

I wanted to apply early because from what I've gathered (and please correct me if I'm wrong) the general consensus was "the earlier, the better." TMDSAS opens in May, so I was shooting for sometime June to still be considered early. Would August still be considered okay for Texas? Also, is August okay for AACOMAS too?
"earlier = better" is a pre-med myth. Apps are not processed in chronological order of receipt.
 
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