Aug 21, 2016
178
144
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Hey everybody. I'm new to all of this, and I really don't have anyone to go to for help with my application process. Using what I have gathered on this forum, I am getting most of it figured out. I would like a little input from others, though.

I'm 30+ years in age, cgpa~3.5 sgpa~3.4, MCAT=504 (126,126,125,127). I have 2 years research experience with multiple presentations, 10+ years of full-time experience as a paramedic, and around 40 hours of direct shadowing that I'm in the process of adding to.

Between work, school, and my three children, I have had no time to do any volunteering. I've coached baseball and soccer, but both were for my sons' teams. Will this have a detrimental effect on my application process? I have applied very broadly to DO schools, and applied to the only MD school in my state. Thank you all for your time.
 

cyang55

2+ Year Member
May 16, 2015
241
178
Status
Medical Student
Put down that you volunteered to coach your sons' baseball and soccer teams. The whole point of volunteering is to show that you can handle a lot of things on your plate, and maybe expose you to the medical profession if you volunteered at a hospital or something. Since you do have shadowing hours and 10+ years as a paramedic, it won't hurt you too much. Working, being in school, and taking care of your kids helps too show that you can handle having a lot of things at once, even if you didn't volunteer per say.
 

darknecrosforte

Masculine-presenting transgendered lesbian
Lifetime Donor
2+ Year Member
May 8, 2015
506
725
Status
Medical Student
You're completely fine for the schools you've applied to. Some people will volunteer for hundreds of hours, and for whatever reason, not be able to talk about such experiences with great enthusiasm. Your interviews will probably be very focused on your coaching experience and parenting, maybe asking about the switch from being paramedic to wanting to be a physician. Nearly every DO school will be happy to have a person who can probably be a mentor to his matriculating class instead of being concerned about insufficient support systems, time management, and life priorities.
 
OP
movinonup
Aug 21, 2016
178
144
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Thank you for your replies! I'm relieved to hear that it shouldn't be a major problem.
 

Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
53,668
78,981
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
Lacking the ECs will keep you out of medical school.

Here's the deal: You need to show AdComs that you know what you're getting into, and show off your altruistic, humanistic side. We need to know that you're going to like being around sick or injured people for the next 40 years.

Here's another way of looking at it: would you buy a new car without test driving it? Buy a new suit or dress without trying it on??

We're also not looking for merely for good medical students, we're looking for people who will make good doctors, and 4.0 GPA robots are a dime-a-dozen.

I've seen plenty of posts here from high GPA/high MCAT candidates who were rejected because they had little patient contact experience.

Not all volunteering needs to be in a hospital. Think hospice, Planned Parenthood, nursing homes, rehab facilities, crisis hotlines, camps for sick children, or clinics.

Some types of volunteer activities are more appealing than others. Volunteering in a nice suburban hospital is all very well and good and all, but doesn't show that you're willing to dig in and get your hands dirty in the same way that working with the developmentally disabled (or homeless, the dying, or Alzheimers or mentally ill or elderly or ESL or domestic, rural impoverished) does. The uncomfortable situations are the ones that really demonstrate your altruism and get you 'brownie points'. Plus, they frankly teach you more -- they develop your compassion and humanity in ways comfortable situations can't.


Service need not be "unique". If you can alleviate suffering in your community through service to the poor, homeless, illiterate, fatherless, etc, you are meeting an otherwise unmet need and learning more about the lives of the people (or types of people) who will someday be your patients. Check out your local houses of worship for volunteer opportunities. The key thing is service to others less fortunate than you. And get off campus and out of your comfort zone!

Examples include: Habitat for Humanity, Ronald McDonald House, Humane Society, crisis hotlines, soup kitchen, food pantry, homeless or women’s shelter, after-school tutoring for students or coaching a sport in a poor school district, teaching ESL to adults at a community center, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, or Meals on Wheels.


What are you going to say when asked how you know you are suited for a life of caring for the sick and suffering? “That you just know”? Imagine how that will go over!


Hey everybody. I'm new to all of this, and I really don't have anyone to go to for help with my application process. Using what I have gathered on this forum, I am getting most of it figured out. I would like a little input from others, though.

I'm 30+ years in age, cgpa~3.5 sgpa~3.4, MCAT=504 (126,126,125,127). I have 2 years research experience with multiple presentations, 10+ years of full-time experience as a paramedic, and around 40 hours of direct shadowing that I'm in the process of adding to.

Between work, school, and my three children, I have had no time to do any volunteering. I've coached baseball and soccer, but both were for my sons' teams. Will this have a detrimental effect on my application process? I have applied very broadly to DO schools, and applied to the only MD school in my state. Thank you all for your time.
 
OP
movinonup
Aug 21, 2016
178
144
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Lacking the ECs will keep you out of medical school.

Here's the deal: You need to show AdComs that you know what you're getting into, and show off your altruistic, humanistic side. We need to know that you're going to like being around sick or injured people for the next 40 years.

Here's another way of looking at it: would you buy a new car without test driving it? Buy a new suit or dress without trying it on??

We're also not looking for merely for good medical students, we're looking for people who will make good doctors, and 4.0 GPA robots are a dime-a-dozen.

I've seen plenty of posts here from high GPA/high MCAT candidates who were rejected because they had little patient contact experience.

Not all volunteering needs to be in a hospital. Think hospice, Planned Parenthood, nursing homes, rehab facilities, crisis hotlines, camps for sick children, or clinics.

Some types of volunteer activities are more appealing than others. Volunteering in a nice suburban hospital is all very well and good and all, but doesn't show that you're willing to dig in and get your hands dirty in the same way that working with the developmentally disabled (or homeless, the dying, or Alzheimers or mentally ill or elderly or ESL or domestic, rural impoverished) does. The uncomfortable situations are the ones that really demonstrate your altruism and get you 'brownie points'. Plus, they frankly teach you more -- they develop your compassion and humanity in ways comfortable situations can't.


Service need not be "unique". If you can alleviate suffering in your community through service to the poor, homeless, illiterate, fatherless, etc, you are meeting an otherwise unmet need and learning more about the lives of the people (or types of people) who will someday be your patients. Check out your local houses of worship for volunteer opportunities. The key thing is service to others less fortunate than you. And get off campus and out of your comfort zone!

Examples include: Habitat for Humanity, Ronald McDonald House, Humane Society, crisis hotlines, soup kitchen, food pantry, homeless or women’s shelter, after-school tutoring for students or coaching a sport in a poor school district, teaching ESL to adults at a community center, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, or Meals on Wheels.


What are you going to say when asked how you know you are suited for a life of caring for the sick and suffering? “That you just know”? Imagine how that will go over!
Thank you for you response. I can understand exactly what you are saying. Simply saying, "I'm smart so I want to be a doctor," probably won't impress many schools. Luckily, when asked how I know that I'm suited for the profession, I can back up my decision by citing my 11 years of full-time EMS experience. Heck, In the past 24 hours I've been involved with a search for a drowning victim and worked a fairly serious overdose. Still, I know the lack of volunteer time is a mark against me. I'm just hoping that more marks end up on the the pro side than on the con side when they review my application. If not, I'll just get the opportunity to enjoy a year with my family while fattening up my stats for next year.
 

Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
53,668
78,981
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
Ahh, I should have read more carefully. The EMS work will go a long way.

Thank you for you response. I can understand exactly what you are saying. Simply saying, "I'm smart so I want to be a doctor," probably won't impress many schools. Luckily, when asked how I know that I'm suited for the profession, I can back up my decision by citing my 11 years of full-time EMS experience. Heck, In the past 24 hours I've been involved with a search for a drowning victim and worked a fairly serious overdose. Still, I know the lack of volunteer time is a mark against me. I'm just hoping that more marks end up on the the pro side than on the con side when they review my application. If not, I'll just get the opportunity to enjoy a year with my family while fattening up my stats for next year.
 
OP
movinonup
Aug 21, 2016
178
144
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Ahh, I should have read more carefully. The EMS work will go a long way.
Thank you for your time and your assistance. Your posts in other threads have been very helpful throughout this process.
 

Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
53,668
78,981
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
I think you'll be a lock at any DO school. If you live in a lucky state, then the MD school as well.
Thank you for your time and your assistance. Your posts in other threads have been very helpful throughout this process.
 

kelminak

7+ Year Member
Jan 16, 2012
1,004
861
Status
Medical Student
Lacking the ECs will keep you out of medical school.

Here's the deal: You need to show AdComs that you know what you're getting into, and show off your altruistic, humanistic side. We need to know that you're going to like being around sick or injured people for the next 40 years.

Here's another way of looking at it: would you buy a new car without test driving it? Buy a new suit or dress without trying it on??

We're also not looking for merely for good medical students, we're looking for people who will make good doctors, and 4.0 GPA robots are a dime-a-dozen.

I've seen plenty of posts here from high GPA/high MCAT candidates who were rejected because they had little patient contact experience.

Not all volunteering needs to be in a hospital. Think hospice, Planned Parenthood, nursing homes, rehab facilities, crisis hotlines, camps for sick children, or clinics.

Some types of volunteer activities are more appealing than others. Volunteering in a nice suburban hospital is all very well and good and all, but doesn't show that you're willing to dig in and get your hands dirty in the same way that working with the developmentally disabled (or homeless, the dying, or Alzheimers or mentally ill or elderly or ESL or domestic, rural impoverished) does. The uncomfortable situations are the ones that really demonstrate your altruism and get you 'brownie points'. Plus, they frankly teach you more -- they develop your compassion and humanity in ways comfortable situations can't.


Service need not be "unique". If you can alleviate suffering in your community through service to the poor, homeless, illiterate, fatherless, etc, you are meeting an otherwise unmet need and learning more about the lives of the people (or types of people) who will someday be your patients. Check out your local houses of worship for volunteer opportunities. The key thing is service to others less fortunate than you. And get off campus and out of your comfort zone!

Examples include: Habitat for Humanity, Ronald McDonald House, Humane Society, crisis hotlines, soup kitchen, food pantry, homeless or women’s shelter, after-school tutoring for students or coaching a sport in a poor school district, teaching ESL to adults at a community center, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, or Meals on Wheels.


What are you going to say when asked how you know you are suited for a life of caring for the sick and suffering? “That you just know”? Imagine how that will go over!
Oh wow, now I'm wondering if my volunteering is even valuable. I have 300 hours (will be 500 when I apply) in surgery waiting. I don't really feel like this is "getting my hands dirty" as I escort patients and families (primarily) through the surgery process. It's my main EC beyond shadowing too, so I'm wondering if I should start looking elsewhere for something "more valuable"? I like what I do here, but I don't want it to seem like I'm just sticking to a cush position and not willing to do harder work.
 

Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
53,668
78,981
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
You're 100% fine!!

Oh wow, now I'm wondering if my volunteering is even valuable. I have 300 hours (will be 500 when I apply) in surgery waiting. I don't really feel like this is "getting my hands dirty" as I escort patients and families (primarily) through the surgery process. It's my main EC beyond shadowing too, so I'm wondering if I should start looking elsewhere for something "more valuable"? I like what I do here, but I don't want it to seem like I'm just sticking to a cush position and not willing to do harder work.
 
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