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How do i proceed with these MDs at my job? premed student

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by ProspectiveKidd, Sep 22, 2014.

  1. ProspectiveKidd

    ProspectiveKidd Banned Banned Account on Hold Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

    Jul 9, 2014
    So I work at a nursing home and have been there for 6 years now. I do building maintenance for them. I never gave much thought to a career in medicine in my younger years (I'm 25) but I found myself wanting to be more involved with direct patient care and learning about medicine is fascinating. Its really the only thing I have become passionate about in quite a long time. I was interested in dentistry but it wasn't really what i thought it was upon shadowing. Right now I'm just starting undergrad.

    I see docs pretty frequently at work, never really spoken to any of them before..I mean, I'm a maintenance worker. I'm in great standing with the company and well liked. My mother is a therapist for the company so she has interactions with some of the docs. I am in good with everyone including the nursing staff and admin so I have that going as well.

    I know the owner and see him from time to time. His brother is a physician who frequents the nursing home with med students. Never spoken to him before because he's usually with them or patients. I don't ever see him talking to anyone. I'm not sure how to proceed with him. I feel like it would be super awkward having seen him for years and never spoken to all of the sudden talking with him.

    Another doc who is a psychiatrist is there quite often and he is a pretty awkward guy. Looks at the ground when he walks past, doesn't talk much to anyone except patients or nursing/therapy. His mother was a resident and when she passed i took some of her things to his house and helped him get them inside. I think he gave me 40 or 50 bucks for it, we exchanged a few words and never really spoke again. I see him in passing from time to time. I am interested in psych as well so I think he would be a great person for me to get some input from.

    I don't expect for these guys to acknowledge me anyways, considering my job. I have no idea how they perceive me, or what they would think if I told them I was interested in med school. There are several others who frequent but I don't have any history with them. I don't know how to build a rapport with these guys without it being obvious that i'm trying to network. I feel like it would be obvious since it would be so random for me to show interest in them. I don't have a lot of time to waste, I need to start networking and shadowing, volunteering. I need some connections...thanks for any help.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2014
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  3. tymont12

    tymont12 But it can't be two illnesses! 5+ Year Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    First things first...becoming a doctor is not like business; you cannot 'swing' things because of certain connections and/or people you know. Being chummy with some doctor's you coincidentally were around during your non-medically related job does not matter. This is not contracting either; you do not find an apprenticeship or work under the 'tutelage' of someone based on a verbal agreement. What these guys think of you has no bearing. They are a couple docs at one nursing home out of how many thousands/tens of thousands?

    The bigger question is, can you maintain the grades & MCAT in order to get in?
    ndafife and G_Marker like this.
  4. ProspectiveKidd

    ProspectiveKidd Banned Banned Account on Hold Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

    Jul 9, 2014
    Thanks for your response...I know in the big scheme of things these docs aren't important, but I figured I would work with anything I have. Because right now I have nothing to build off of and I need something to start an application. I figure I would use any possible connection I have to get started. What do you suggest?

    As far as the academics go, Ill see what happens when I start taking upper level courses. I am willing to study hard and do what I have to do to maintain the necessary credentials. Thats really all I can say at this point...I'm just not there yet. If for some reason I just can't hack it GPA wise, I guess id better start exploring other options. I know that GPA and MCAT are often regarded as the biggest factor in applicants so that's my priority.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2014
  5. tymont12

    tymont12 But it can't be two illnesses! 5+ Year Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    I am in the application process so I am not a successful matriculant yet (hopefully) but my biggest impression from the schools and my advisors is that they frequently ask what spurred my interest in medicine and/or the patient encounter that got me 'hooked.' You could really go to any physician and ask to shadow them. At least in my area, the Hospital's are even pretty lax about letting people into surgery.

    You are more intimately familiar with your situation at the nursing home than anyone here can ever be, but if I was you, I would maybe try getting their email addresses. Cold blank confrontations, especially about asking to shadow, could end poorly. Also, it doesn't sound like either doc is super congenial or outwardly welcoming. Maybe it would be better approaching a physician within a larger practice and/or hospital setting?

    Why not drop the maintenance job? Become a CNA or something more clinically focused?
  6. Goro

    Goro Faculty 7+ Year Member

    Jun 10, 2010
    Somewhere west of St. Louis
    Go talk and just say "Dr X, I'm interested in a career in Medicine. Do you have any advice for me?"
  7. ProspectiveKidd

    ProspectiveKidd Banned Banned Account on Hold Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

    Jul 9, 2014
    I have an appointment with my GP in a few days and he is a great doctor going to talk to him about everything, see what he recommends, and see if there are any opportunities there. I definitely want to explore all the other types of clinical settings and physician specialties as well.

    My back up plan is PA which requires several years of direct patient care to apply, so yes I am going to switch jobs. I know that a hospital CNA would be preferred to a nursing home one...I could always go to a hospital but id be making literally half of what I am right now. I just feel like a nursing home CNA is garbage clinical experience to be applying to med schools and is still on the bottom end of what is preferred as a PA applicant. But its really the only choice I have right now i guess. Between work and undergrad I dont have time for any other program/training. Im already planning on going part time and just taking the hit financially so i can get all of my ECs and things happening.

    What are you doing for work right now?
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2014
  8. Ventric

    Ventric Physician 7+ Year Member

    Mar 17, 2008
    If the docs are around medical students at all then they will be used to this. It's intimidating at first but you have nothing to lose by striking up a conversation. Say to them you're now in undergrad, you're interested in being a doctor now, ask if you can spend a day or morning in the office with them so you can see what the day-to-day of being a doctor is like.
  9. dirigo

    dirigo 2+ Year Member

    Apr 28, 2010

    I completely understand why you feel the way you do. If you succeed, you're probably going to be the first doctor in your family correct? You have to realize that they're just people...who happen to have an MD. That's it, nothing more, nothing less. Putting them on a pedestal will just make you come off awkwardly eager. You're going to come across some who hate your guts, some you'll wonder why the hell are they still a doctor, some great ones who you'll admire and want to emulate...etc.

    Eh...just picture them in your underwear whenever you get nervous.
  10. Styrene

    Styrene medical student 2+ Year Member

    Aug 2, 2013
    New York
    In my experience, hooking up with random docs to shadow was not that useful. I would recommend volunteering at a hospital. And when I say volunteering, I mean in the ED for at least 300 hours, doing anything and everything that is asked of you without question and always with a smile. That was the start of it all for me. My view may be different, because I am near NYC where the EDs are legit out of control.
  11. Gregor Wiesmann

    Gregor Wiesmann 2+ Year Member

    Nov 13, 2013
    Remember, Physicians are human too.......well, most of them that is. Anyways, I'm 18 and a local Dentist just let me job shadow him twice. All you have to do is ask. If they say no, just ask someone else.
    tiedyeddog likes this.

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