Sep 20, 2017
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I'm a freshman in college and plan to eventually apply to Med School. My school of choice is currently Johns Hopkins School of Medicine for ophthalmology. What do I need to have done by the time I apply?

I know the highest possible GPA and MCAT scores is a must, but what about everything else?
Would working in the Walmart Vision Center be more or less beneficial as working as a nursing assistant?
Is 2 4-week mission trips enough or should I plan for more?
Will two semesters abroad (one in Ireland, the other in Spain) help at all?
Should I shadow just ophthalmologists or should I go beyond that?

Any advice is welcome
 

chemdoctor

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Oct 20, 2016
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I'm a freshman in college and plan to eventually apply to Med School. My school of choice is currently Johns Hopkins School of Medicine for ophthalmology. What do I need to have done by the time I apply?

I know the highest possible GPA and MCAT scores is a must, but what about everything else?
Would working in the Walmart Vision Center be more or less beneficial as working as a nursing assistant?
Is 2 4-week mission trips enough or should I plan for more?
Will two semesters abroad (one in Ireland, the other in Spain) help at all?
Should I shadow just ophthalmologists or should I go beyond that?

Any advice is welcome
So, obviously highest GPA and MCAT score. That's a given. The higher the better. Mission trips are okay, but med schools will see it as medical tourism I believe.

Abroad is good, but try to get involved there. Join clubs, maybe teach, help out in the communities abroad instead of just going there.

Join some clubs, try to get some leadership roles. Get some clinical experience. Not just shadowing but maybe hospice, hospital volunteering, working with Alzheimer's, rehab clinic etc. where you are ACTIVELY INTERACTING with patients. I would recommend not to shadow just ophthalmologists. Shadow different fields but make sure you like it.

Try to get some non clinical experience? So maybe, at a children's village, orphanage, soup kitchen, etc.

And of course,'some stuff you like to do. Doesn't have to be clinical, but you need clinical experience but try to get some non clinical. Maybe try to tutor or help some children? I think nurse assistant would be more conducive than the Walmart vision center but idk if that really matters.

Don't stress and relax. Work hard
 
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gonnif

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All premeds should review the survey of medical schools on this topic, particularly the wariness schools have on foreign clinical work
So, when I do mission trips, I should make sure I don't perform invasive procedures?
 

gonnif

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So, when I do mission trips, I should make sure I don't perform invasive procedures?
Just be aware that foreign medical mussion trips all can be suspect so be careful how you describe them on an application
 

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Here's a framework that you should adapt and explore and tailor to your personal interests:

1. Have at least 2 shadowing experiences in different specialties. One should be in internal med, pediatrics, family medicine, or emergency medicine (yes I know EM is not primary care, that's not the point). The other should be in a different field that you might be interested in.

2. Have at least 1 substantial active clinical experience within the US. Some people volunteer in an ED or hospice, some people scribe, some people work as a CNA, some people volunteer in other parts of the hospital, but as long as you are contributing to the care of sick people in a way that allows you to (as @LizzyM puts it) smell them, you're fine.

3. Have at least 1 research experience. More if you're interested, but you shouldn't go to medical school without being in a real lab once.

4. Have at least 1 activity outside of medicine that's meaningful to you. Doesn't matter what it is, but bonus points if you can figure out a way to help people with it

I'm glad that your first choice is Johns Hopkins. You also need to be okay with not going to Johns Hopkins if you want to retain your sanity.
 
OP
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Sep 20, 2017
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Here's a framework that you should adapt and explore and tailor to your personal interests:

1. Have at least 2 shadowing experiences in different specialties. One should be in internal med, pediatrics, family medicine, or emergency medicine (yes I know EM is not primary care, that's not the point). The other should be in a different field that you might be interested in.

2. Have at least 1 substantial active clinical experience within the US. Some people volunteer in an ED or hospice, some people scribe, some people work as a CNA, some people volunteer in other parts of the hospital, but as long as you are contributing to the care of sick people in a way that allows you to (as @LizzyM puts it) smell them, you're fine.

3. Have at least 1 research experience. More if you're interested, but you shouldn't go to medical school without being in a real lab once.

4. Have at least 1 activity outside of medicine that's meaningful to you. Doesn't matter what it is, but bonus points if you can figure out a way to help people with it

I'm glad that your first choice is Johns Hopkins. You also need to be okay with not going to Johns Hopkins if you want to retain your sanity.
How do I go about getting research experience in a lab? I know it's important to have your name on a publication and do more than just touch glassware, but in terms of actually finding opportunities, I don't know where to start.
 

WedgeDawg

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How do I go about getting research experience in a lab? I know it's important to have your name on a publication and do more than just touch glassware, but in terms of actually finding opportunities, I don't know where to start.
In undergrad, it's not important to have your name on a publication, even for top schools. What is important is developing your skills and getting something out of the experience. It's about increasing your level of responsibility and discovering how much you actually like research, or at least understanding what goes into it and why it's important.

To find opportunities, look at your school faculty's research interests in a department that looks cool. See if they have current undergrads or recently graduated non-grad students in their lab. Then shoot them an email introducing yourself, what your goals are, why you're interested in their work, and ask if they have time to meet with you about working in the lab. You'll get a lot of science and "sorry, we aren't taking more students right now" but hey you're eventually applying to med school, so that's a good thing to get used to.
 
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Volunteering with an underserved population has been brought up at several of my interviews so far, as in they asked me if I had done this. The mission trip counts, but I would recommend doing something more long-term (once a week for 3 hours every week is good, for at least a year). For example, I volunteered at an elementary after-school program in a rough neighborhood near my college.
 
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