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How does teaching for a few years first look to the adcom?

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LearnedHand

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I am considering med school - but want to teach for a few years in an area of the country that really needs good public school teachers (New Orleans). Would this look good or bad (lack of direction?) on my apps for med school?

I think that Teach for America would look good, but I'd rather just get the teaching license myself and have more choice in where I'd be placed.

Thanks in advance for responses.
 

msundi83

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it certainly wouldn't look bad
 

vmc303

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I am considering med school - but want to teach for a few years in an area of the country that really needs good public school teachers (New Orleans). Would this look good or bad (lack of direction?) on my apps for med school?

I think that Teach for America would look good, but I'd rather just get the teaching license myself and have more choice in where I'd be placed.

Thanks in advance for responses.

Absolutely bad. Medical schools abhor teaching of any sort. You'd be a complete fool to consider to do anything between graduating college and beginning med school that isn't strictly medicine-related. These guys need to see commitment and dedication. Teaching for a few years, especially in a notorious party city like New Orleans (like they won't see right through that!), does not demonstrate those things.
 

excalibur

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I graduated from LSU and didn't make it into med school on my first try. I made appointments with the deans of both LSU-NO and Tulane med schools to see why I didn't get in, and what could I do. I particularly did not want to take more classes, and I suggested to the dean of LSU-NO that I was thinking about teaching high school for one year b/c of my love for teaching, and on my down time doing more volunteer work. He said he "would have absolutely no problem with that. Becoming a teacher is a great service to the community". Based on his approval for my endeavor and my desire to make some money, I moved from Baton Rouge to New Orleans in 2001 and taught algebra and physical science to 9th graders in a private school down here. So I applied a second go around and got an interview to LSU-NO, which I did not get on my first cycle. I got rejected by Tulane and LSU-NO a second time. So despite the dean telling me what he did, I did not get in. My third try was the charm as I got into Tulane after completing their Anatomy Certification Program. LSU-NO rejected me for a third time. Take that for what it's worth. I am glad I was a teacher for a year, b/c it is a wonderful chapter in my life, however, I don't think it really helped my application and my chances of getting in. I believe doing the Tulane anatomy certification program, the Tulane pharm program, getting a masters in something, research, or working in some clinical capacity are all better options if you want to do something to improve your chances of getting an acceptance.
 

LearnedHand

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Thanks for the input, excalibur. Very helpful!! Weird that you got rejected by LSU-NO but accepted by Tulane!

VMC - I already live in New Orleans, and attended Tulane. I don't 'party', and don't think that LSU-NO or Tulane would look down on my choice to, um, stay in their city.

Let me rephrase - TFA probably wouldn't work because I pretty much CANNOT move out of the greater New Orleans area.
 

searun

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why aren't you applying to law school. Learned Hand was a great appellate judge who wrote wonderful decisions.
 

IckeyShuffle

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Absolutely bad. Medical schools abhor teaching of any sort. You'd be a complete fool to consider to do anything between graduating college and beginning med school that isn't strictly medicine-related. These guys need to see commitment and dedication. Teaching for a few years, especially in a notorious party city like New Orleans (like they won't see right through that!), does not demonstrate those things.

:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
 

pipedream812

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Ive been teaching High School science for the year off, and I feel that it has been very rewarding. You get to improve your interpersonal skills and patience, as well as learn how to inform and educate people about complex concepts in creative ways, much like a physician would a patient.
 

QuantumMechanic

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Let me rephrase - TFA probably wouldn't work because I pretty much CANNOT move out of the greater New Orleans area.

there's a good chance that you'd be able to get a TFA assignment in New Orleans.
 

LMarie_MD2b

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Another point worthy of note, that I don't think anyone has mentioned:

Many medical schools actually have partnership deferral programs for people who are accepted to their MD programs who decide to participate in TFA. The medical school I'm likely attending next fall (SLU) just added a partnership, and I'm seriously considering applying for next year.

www.teachforamerica.org
 

Karina 07

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TFA isn't the best thing out there. :p Just pursue the best bet, OP.

Any teaching will look really good.
 

pretenda

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I love teaching...Ive been doing it for two years and love it...Im not sure how much it has "helped" me get into medical school since I havent gotten in anywhere yet but it has definitely given me a lot of skills I will need to succeed as a doctor...If you want to take a year or two off before diving into med school teaching is great! GO COLTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SUPER BOWL CHAMPS!!!!!! Hopefully we get to play the Saints next year cuz the Bears had no business being on that field Sunday. Even Bears fans would have to agree.
 

eagleeye

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...Becoming a teacher is a great service to the community". Based on his approval for my endeavor and my desire to make some money, I moved from Baton Rouge to New Orleans in 2001 and taught algebra and physical science to 9th graders in a private school down here...I am glad I was a teacher for a year, b/c it is a wonderful chapter in my life, however, I don't think it really helped my application and my chances of getting in.

There is a reason why applicants to TFA are scrutinized so heavily. Teaching at an inner city public school is much more challenging than teaching in a private school. It takes a certain kind of person that looks beyond the indifference and lack of motivation most public school students exhibit on a daily basis. When you are able to break through that indifference and apathy, you get the feeling that you can do anything. Alot of TFA participants are successful and their students are better as a result. Some TFA participants do not succeed and their students remain the same or are worse. I would think that medical school admission commitees look favorably on those applicants that have had successful teaching experiences. BTW, I'm not a past TFA participant. I am an alternative high school science teacher.

Regards,
eagleeye
 

beenthere2

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This is an interesting, educational, non-confrontational thread! It is a pleasure to read about people's thoughts on this subject.
 

Stolenspatulas

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I think TFA has finished its application season. It may be too late. Not sure though.
 

braluk

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It probably depends on what your grades/mcat is like. If your grades are suffering, then pursuing any extracurricular activity is probably an unwise one when you should instead be directly addressing your grades either by going through a postbac/SMP route or a masters. Continuing your education seems to be the best method for students, high or low GPA alike, to get into medical school, reason being is that medical school is going to essentially be an extention of upper level education and thus continuing your education would be a wise way for adcoms to predict how well you might do if you attend. Teaching has its merits, but its place is not found in medical school until you are well into your career. I've yet to really see any applicants on SDN who got into medical school who havnt the first pass because of a new extracurricular activity (unless of course if the reason why they did not get in was because lack of clinical/volunteer experience). TFA is a great program, yes, but I would only suggest doing this if the rest of your application is solid enough.
 

facewait

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Your best option would be to get into medical school first and then defer to teach or do TFA (best bet). One of my friends had a good GPA, 30MCAT and did TFA for 2 yrs and when he applied to medical school got rejected by about 25 schools and had to go out of the country. Most adcomms do like you do to non-medical type stuff during your years off. Its dumb but thats how many think. good luck
 
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