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how much extracurricular activities you guys do

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Raja, Oct 25, 2001.

  1. Raja

    Raja Member

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    or have done...

    I'm a second year and am involved in three clubs.. I write for the school paper, am Vice President of Amnesty International, and a member of Society of the Muses (we put on plays for terminally ill children).. just wondering how much other people have done and how it relates to getting into top med schools.. I also tutor college students chemistry at our Learning Center, just six hours per week.

    I want to get involved in research and I know I must do hospital work.. but other than that, how much more should I be doing? my gpa isn't the highest it should be, mainly because of my first year.. right now it's just 3.5

    I actually plan on applying to med school next year (so my third year instead of my fourth).. one of the main reasons is because I'm in a 3 year program right now..
     
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  3. rpames

    rpames Optometrist

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    I'm not as involved as some, pretty much similar to you, in numbers any way. I'm involved in Student's Activity Board, Students Organized to Serve (community service stuff), and volunteer at a hospital. Next semester I'll be doing research. Would do more but I'm just not that smart ;)
     
  4. Trek

    Trek Grand Uranium Member

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    Dude! You didn't hear? The AMA did a survey of physicians and found that over 70% of physicians that participated in 5 or more "significant" extracurricular activites got their first choice of residency and had a much higher average score on the boards. Those with less than 5, only 40% got their first choice and a full 30% failed the boards! Get on some ECs, and FAST!!! --Trek
     
  5. audeo

    audeo Senior Member

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    Does Military Service count :(
     
  6. dustinspeer

    dustinspeer Who's your daddy?

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    HAHAH! Trek! I love that. Does it hurt after pulling those fake stats out of your ass?

    I only do minimal EC's. I work at the hospital, not volunteer, they pay me a little. I work at a doc's office too. I am doing research. I volunteer at a free clinic for Hispanics. I think that keeps me with NO free time so you guys who are afraid you need more, don't worry. My hair is falling out with all I have on my plate!
     
  7. efs

    efs SDN Advisor
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    You may be looking at it backwards. It doesn't matter how many activities you are involved in. Residency directors and committees do not look at applicants and say, "this one only has 4 activities" or "wow, this person had six activities". Etc. (Sarcasm intended.)

    Rather, the people whose records are likely to make an impression are also the people who were likely to be active in various ways.

    I also think it is probably more important to be very active and make an impact in a couple areas than to spread yourself too think. That is, it looks better if you are the club president and led the club through some notable activity or event, rather than being a "member " of 5 clubs taht did nothing.
     
  8. Coalboy

    Coalboy Senior Member

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    I volunteer as an EMT with the fire department (30-60 hours a month). Occasionally I do something with Habitat for Humanity or some other service organization. Quality, not quantity, I guess.
     
  9. audeo

    audeo Senior Member

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    Does Military Service count :(
     
  10. TiBore

    TiBore Member

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    If your doing EC's to impress a medical school then your doing them for the wrong reason
     
  11. Trek

    Trek Grand Uranium Member

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    That post was in respect to md2be who probably got more people going with his physics stats than anyone in the history of SDN. --Trek
     
  12. DNALadder2002

    DNALadder2002 Senior Member

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    I don't think med schools really care about activitie(s) per se. I think they prefer seeing a student involved in one activity for a long period of time rather than 5 activities for a span of two weeks. Volunteering at hospitals are not mandatory. Try something innovative like working at your local Department of Social Services where abused and neglected children need adults to hear them out. I hope this helps.
     
  13. newfocus

    newfocus Senior Member

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    I dont think its so much the EC activity itself, its more the position you hold. Any one can join a club, but its alot more impressive if you become president of the club. Pick one or two and shoot for a leadership position. Things out side of school like voluntteering at a free health clinic or helping with habitat for humanity are also god ideas.

    newfocus out~
     
  14. leorl

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved

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    I agree with some of the above posts. Who really cares about the number of activities you were involved in? Leadership positions show a certain level of passion and committment. I myself didn't even start out thinking of looking good for med schools (cuz I was ignorant of everything schools look at :)), so everything I've done was because I was really interested/passionate about it. It is more than 5 though. Crew, newpaper, research, classics society, tutoring, other societies. Good positions. I may also start volunteering in a hospital but that's just for personal premed benefit/familiarity. My grades are falling. But I'm not giving anything up :).

    Do what you enjoy. Maybe for resesarch, instead of starting now, you could apply for a summer researh internship (paid) instead of spending time now working. Volunteering might be possible if you could spend just a few hours during the weekend.
     
  15. Raja

    Raja Member

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    thanks everyone for the replies.

    DNALadder, the Department of Social Services idea sounds interesting.. is that what you did? I think I would like to do that. Do you help children cope with their problems?

    leorl, I would do a summer internship but I'm taking the MCATs this summer.. do you know if I could do it past August?
     
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  17. MorningLight2100

    MorningLight2100 Senior Member

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    I honestly believe that my extracurriculars have been the component of my application that has caught the most attention from adcom committees. I have a pretty good GPA, but my MCAT is only decent, yet I've had interviews at Columbia, Cornell, & Yale, & I've been accepted to my state school! With the heavy focus on numbers, I was not expecting these AT ALL. At each interview they've asked me questions almost entirely related to my experiences.

    One thing I'd urge, however, is to make sure that if you become involved, do so in an activity that you absolutely love. I'm involved in a lot simply because that's a part of who I am. .. I wouldn't be happy doing anything otherwise, and at interviews I always inquire about the level of community service in which students at the med school engage. It's one of the most important factors to me in looking at med schools, actually.

    So there if is a subject about which you're passionate, by all means pursue it, in depth if possible...it sounds like you're already doing this! On the same note, please do not do so simply to build a resume. If you have genuine commitment to an activity, med schools will love this...and, more importantly, you'll find fulfillment as well!

    Hope this helps!
     
  18. md2be06

    md2be06 Senior Member

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    Trek, u da man. I see I've trained you well.
     
  19. hopefulMD

    hopefulMD Junior Member

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    hi everyone,

    Related to ECs, I just wanted to know whether I am making good use of my time as a freshman undergrad. I have definately decided on medicine in my future but I would like to know whether I am headed in the right direction.

    This is my first quarter at at competitive UC school and I came with AP and transfer units in excess of 58 credits. I don't have a clear understanding of the timeline as to when i should be doing everything. What would be a logical 'timeline' for a first year freshman (i just grad. high school). I have all those units, taken calculus, stats, and have a goal of getting into med school and getting there without taking useless class like "under-water basket weaving" :)

    For example, I am going to be taking Intro Bio, Physics, and P-Chem for the remainder of this year (i only had physics this first quarter) but i dont know if i should also attempt a 5 unit emt course. (basically 3 labs, 20 units, and a 40 minute commute to school)

    What do you think? Do you think this is a good direction to take or am I doing too much and trying to do it too fast? Thanks.
     
  20. Jalby

    Jalby I fight crime at day when Batman are sleeping.

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    Post that as a new topic. You'll get a lot more responses that way.
     
  21. sunflower79

    sunflower79 Plays well with knives

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    hey Morninglight, could you please elaborate on the ECs you did?
     
  22. Trek

    Trek Grand Uranium Member

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    I'm almost positive that what works for one person in terms of ECs will not work for another. Find something YOU like, not something that got a random joe on the internet called "Soon2BeMegaBoyMD" into medical school somewhere. Although this is just my opinion. --Trek
     
  23. Trek

    Trek Grand Uranium Member

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    MD2Be- I bow to the master

    --Trek
     
  24. csgirl

    csgirl Senior Member

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    To answer Raja's question: I volunteer for Habitat for HUmanity about once a week... for a children's rehabilitation hospital about 2-3 times a month, and I'm president and founder of the school Origami Club (we have our first meeting today... I'm hoping we'll be able to make enough figures to take to elderly homes and hospitals). I'm also a tutor for one highschool student and a few college students... on an on-demand basis.
    I did research one summer and an internship in medical imaging another summer.

    Raja, if you're really worried about your ECs(which I don't think you should be)... you're in a three-year program! You could always take that 4th year and do peacecore or research or something. ;)

    Tibore: Before you even say it... I'm NOT bragging. Most of these activities I didn't even start until this past June. And the poster asked for info on what EC people were doing... and compared to his, mine look pretty shabby.
     
  25. DNALadder2002

    DNALadder2002 Senior Member

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    Raja,

    If you are interested in working for your local Department of Social Services, you should also think about volunteering for CASA which is a non-for-profit organization that allows you to take an active role in a child's life. CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate and you have to undergo 35+ hours of training before being appointed by a judge to be a CASA. The only prereq is you have to be at least 21 years old. Once you finish the training, you are appointed a case. You work with social workers, physicians, lawyers, judges, foster family members, etc. It's rewarding and the children need our help. I think the website is "www.casa.org" but I can be wrong. Try a search with the heading: "CASA, Inc." or "child advocate." I hope this helps. Good luck.
     

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