nate2973

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Here is my problem. I am a stay at home dad, on top of trying to finish my undergrad, and do not have time to volunteer anywhere. How important are extracurriculars to the admissions bunch? I worked three years in Hemodialysis and got to do everything while I was there. So at least I can say I show a strong interest in medicine. What sort of things could I do to help boost this area?
 

DireWolf

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I personally feel that EC's are overrated in the admissions process for your run-of-the-mill applicant. If you have done something above and beyond, like Peace Corps for example, it might make a difference. Other than those special situations, every applicant is going to have fairly similar EC's.

I didn't decide I wanted to go to medical school until right after I graduated from college. I took about 1.5 years off and worked as a research technician at a medical school. While working, I would volunteer a couple nights a week at the university ER.

That was really about it. In college I didn't do a whole lot except eat, sleep, get loaded, and study a little. No school paper, clubs, honor societies, fraternities, leadership stuff, etc. And I was single with no kids.

I think EC's are more important to applicants who don't have strong "stats". For those who may be on the borderline of gaining acceptance, some really impressive or unique EC's might make the difference.

btw, volunteering at an ER (preferably a university one) one or two nights a week is a great way to prepare for medical school. You can pick the brains of the residents and attendings about medicine and medical school, you get to see a lot of cool stuff, you get to "shadow" docs, and it counts as volunteer experience.
 

raptor5

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About as important as they were last year. Use the Search feature.

Just Kidding. I really think it depends on the applicant how important they are. I had 0 EC'a, an OK GPA, low MCAT, but I worked fulltime during undergrad at a major telecom company doing laser and optics research. Still got accepted to my number #1 choice quite early.

Good Luck
 
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mamaMD

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Hey Nate, I am on OKC :) I am a SAHM and am in school full time, so I understand trying to find time to do "extras", my kids are 2 and 5 years old. The only thing I plan on doing is some volunteer work in the ER or free clinic (4 hrs a week) for the next 2 years. My grades are pretty good so my main focus is on keeping them that way :)

I know a guy who is a first year student at OU and all he did was *very* little volunteer work at a nursing home (he took his whole family in with him...wife and kids), he had a great GPA and good MCAT score and was one of the first 5 to be intereviewed at OU, he got accepted at OSU as well.

Anyways, no one really knows why they pick one person and not the next. Good luck!

MamaMD
 

jen21

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Nate,

Hey, I really think it depends. I mean you are a nontraditional student and have a family I'm sure they will take that into consideration. I personally think my extracurricular activites helped me b/c my mcat score was not so hot. If you have good grades and strong recommendation letters i think you will be fine. Once you get an interview you can explain to them why you didn't have time for ECs. I hope this helps and good luck! :luck:

-Jen
 

jen21

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nate2973 said:
What sort of things could I do to help boost this area?
sorry one more thing. if you go to your local hospital they are really flexible with volunteers (well the one i volunteered at was). I volunteered once a week for a couple of hours over a period of time. It was all I had time for with work and school. So even if you volunteer once a week that will help your application a lot. :)

-Jen
 

Amy B

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They are quite important to the application process, especially the clinically related ECs that give you direct patient contact. Schools want to see that you have been around sick people and still want to become a doctor.

Check out your area's free health clinics. They are open in the evenings and during the day which may work for your schedule.

Here is a link to all free clinics in the USA.
It takes a few minutes to load.
http://www.medkind.com/Scripts/Modules/Module6/A3.idc

The next places to check out of course are your area hospitals, cancer centers, hospices, nursing homes, etc..... SOme of them may even have weekend jobs for you.

Oh and your 3 years in your job will look GREAT on your application. How long ago was that and do you have anything recent?

I know it is hard with a family to get these ECs in, but schools expect them. I also had to find time to go to school fulltime, take care of my kids, spend time with my husband, run the school office's I was elected to, etc. I know it is rough, but for your sake try to find at least a few hours per week to go and volunteer your time. Good luck.
 
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