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Medical How should I categorize these shadowing and volunteering experiences?

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Catalystik

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  1. Attending Physician
    1) I've shadowed over 5 doctors with over 100 hours total, but one of them was my mom. Is that ok?

    2) Also, is volunteering only restricted to Hospital hours? I volunteered a lot with an organization I founded that worked with the hospital, but wasn't directly within the hospital program. I wanted to do more than just restock shelves and make a larger impact.

    3) I also volunteered abroad with helping build latrines and stoves and aided in water potability testing. Does that count? I can get a reference for the abroad volunteering, but

    4) I led the organization I volunteered for that worked with the hospital and tracked the hours. Do I just put myself as the reference? I worked directly with patients, so I would say it was clinical.
    My responses assume you are referring to a med school application, though you did not specify:
    1) Yes. Shadowing a relative and including the hours on an application is fine. Getting an LOR from one is not.

    2) Are you referring to clinical volunteer hours? No, one is not restricted to hospital venues when interacting with current patients. Home hospice, clinics, skilled-level nursing homes are other examples of places where active clinical experience can be sought.

    3) Yes, it "counts," meaning it is acceptable to list such activities on an application under a Non-Medical Community Service tag.

    4) For the strongest validation of an activity essential to the success of your application, you'd do best to find a more objective Contact than yourself to list.
     

    Catalystik

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    1. Attending Physician
      Thanks for the response, I appreciate your time. If you don't mind, I have some followup questions. Also, I am referring to medical school applications, sorry for not clarifying that.

      1) Can I list my mom as a contact then for shadowed hours? Will these hours look bad because they were from my mom as opposed to someone else? I did shadow 4 other doctors as well throughout undergrad, ranging from specialties in hematology to oncology to neurosurgery to cardiothoracic surgery to pm&r. I would assume I would list all of these under one entry in the activities section, but who would I choose as the contact? I shadowed them all pretty much for about 15-20 hours each, and my mom for 30 hours.

      2) My volunteering was with brain-injured patients with the organization that I founded. What exactly would constitute volunteer hours? I know managing and planning events for the patients doesn't count, but I am assuming spending time at support meetings and 1-1 emotional and social support do count.

      3) This is good to hear. Would this be listed as non-clinical only? Much of the work has a public health spin, but I guess it's not directly with patients and a physician/healthcare expert.

      4) I was the one who founded the organization, was the president, and was the person who tracked hours volunteered for the whole organization. I could list my successor for the organization, as they should have the available records as well. Would that work? The faculty advisor we had doesn't know the exact hours but knows I was very involved.

      5) Also, just more generally, if I was the president/member of a student organization, who would I list as the contact then? Would it be just the successor of the organization or the faculty mentor or the current president? What about if I had a middle-level role, not necessarily known to the president or the faculty advisor (i.e. being a LGBTQ peer advisor)? Would it just be a friend that I worked with? Also, do the email addresses need to be from official university emails? I'm not sure how receptive members of the organizations who graduated would be to their old university accounts as opposed to their current work email or personal emails. I stopped checking my old university email months ago.

      6) One more question. I founded a company where I charge local college students for tutoring, but then use the funds I get from tutoring people who can pay high amounts to fund low-income underprivileged students who can't afford tutoring. I basically manage 2 other tutors, and they get paid, but collectively we tutor double the people, half poorer and half richer, where one funds the other (gas fees, and minimal compensation for the tutors). All of my profits get donated to charity, where I have donated over $5,000 to fund education and medicine in underfunded communities. Does this count as volunteering, and if not, what category does it belong under? The company is incorporated and is filing for non-profit status. Who would I list as the contact for this also? I lead everything, but I guess I could list one of my employees.
      1) It is typical to list all shadowing in one Physician Shadowing/Clinical Observation space and to list a Contact for each one (after the first one they are included in the narrative portion). If they won't all fit, then pick the three with the most hours and list them first. While you could list your mom as a Contact (especially as you have many additional shadowing hours for which you have contacts), it would be more objective to include her office manager or lead nurse to attest to your hours.

      2) Clinical hours would be those where you interacted with patients, as you specified. Organizational time is still volunteer time, but non-clinical community service. You can list them in separate spaces, with the separate hours of involvement. Or since you were the founder, you might pick Leadership-Not Listed Elsewhere as a tag for the organizational and planning time.

      3) Yes, Community Service/Volunteer- Not Medical/Clinical.

      4) I suggest using the faculty advisor after showing him/her your log of hours and asking if they would attest to them. Your succssor would be a reasonable choice as well if option #1 isn't possible.

      5) Current or successor president, faculty advisor, or co-member. Personal email is fine.

      6) I suggest a choice of listing it under Leadership, Teaching (if you regularly acted as a tutor), or Other (since it has multiple sub-components). Listing an employee as Contact would be fine.
       

      Catalystik

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      1. Attending Physician
        1) Are the medical schools going down the contacts list and calling everyone?
        2) If they do, are they just going to ask if the student did the action or not, say, for example, "Did XYZ volunteer for 200 hours here?" Is it just more of a yes or no question? Or are they going to fully interview the person and ask them to bring up the hours they think I did / my involvement? I'm just wondering this in case I should forewarn all of the people listed as contacts that I put them down as so, so they can be prepared to talk about what I did with them rather than just answering yes or no.

        3) Also, if I wrote a book that I published with an ebook service that has an ISBN, how would I list that in the application?
        1) Some med schools get in touch with the Contact with every activity relevant to your candidacy. Most only make a contact if the activity seems fishy or too good to be true. A few rarely make a contact except for random spot checks.

        2) Contacts are not made to get a recommendation, but just to confirm timeframe and total hours. Open-ended questions are more likely.

        It's always best to forewarn your contacts, but be aware it could be up to years before they get around to checking on you.

        3) Sounds like an Artistic Endeavor, but if the book was meant to educate, Teaching is another possibility. I suggest NOT using Publications unless it was based on your original hypothesis-based research.
         
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