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I visited India one summer in college to visit my family, and a distant relative is actually a pediatric doctor. Since I was there for a month and a half, i thought i'd do something productive with my time and shadow him. I know its not US healthcare, but it was still very cool and interesting to see how he handles his patients. Since I was technically on vacation for a month and a half that summer, i shadowed him almost every day.

My question is, is international shadowing looked down upon? Concepts like "volunteering" are kind of hard to find in India, so shadowing was the best I could do. I had about 35-40 hours from this, can I still count it as shadowing on my apps? Is this viewed any differently?
 

gyngyn

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It's not the type of shadowing that tells you what your life as physician might be like in the US. Thus it does not substitute.
Having fun on vacation is a perfectly good use of your time, though.
 
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EdgeTrimmer

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It's not the type of shadowing that tells you what your life as physician might be like in the US. Thus it does not substitute.
Having fun on vacation is a perfectly good use of your time, though.
Can OP show it as an activity not shadowing?
 
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Can OP show it as an activity not shadowing?
You can show ANYTHING as an activity!! :cool:

The question is whether an adcom would care that you spent time shadowing a physician relative in a foreign country while on vacation visiting family. It would probably help as much as me listing the time I spent at the infirmary at Disney World after I hurt myself at Blizzard Beach! :cool:

TL;DR -- Great you spent some time seeing how pediatric medicine is practiced by a relative while visiting family in India. Exactly how is this supposed to enhance an application to a US medical school?
 
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It's not the type of shadowing that tells you what your life as physician might be like in the US. Thus it does not substitute.
Having fun on vacation is a perfectly good use of your time, though.

Oh dear...so the 210 hours I spent shadowing three different specialties in Prague was for nothing? Haha

I wasn't planning on using that experience to substitute for any US shadowing, but I was going to put those hours under my "shadowing" slot (I don't have space to give it its own slot).

I'm Czech, so I wanted to learn about Czech culture and spend time in the place where my grandfather grew up. Should I just include those hours in my "shadowing" activity slot and mention that I wanted to learn about different healthcare systems?
 

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Oh dear...so the 210 hours I spent shadowing three different specialties in Prague was for nothing? Haha

I wasn't planning on using that experience to substitute for any US shadowing, but I was going to put those hours under my "shadowing" slot (I don't have space to give it its own slot).

I'm Czech, so I wanted to learn about Czech culture and spend time in the place where my grandfather grew up. Should I just include those hours in my "shadowing" activity slot and mention that I wanted to learn about different healthcare systems?
You can, but it won't count for anything
 
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EdgeTrimmer

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Oh dear...so the 210 hours I spent shadowing three different specialties in Prague was for nothing? Haha

I wasn't planning on using that experience to substitute for any US shadowing, but I was going to put those hours under my "shadowing" slot (I don't have space to give it its own slot).

I'm Czech, so I wanted to learn about Czech culture and spend time in the place where my grandfather grew up. Should I just include those hours in my "shadowing" activity slot and mention that I wanted to learn about different healthcare systems?
Don't put it as shadowing, but as other as suggested for OP and it will count for something.
 

EdgeTrimmer

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Actually, two adcoms have said it won't count for anything!! :laugh:
Actually, most knowledgeable faculty on activities suggested using the Other or hobby and focus on cultural aspect and I concur with that :laugh: After being on 3/4 years on SDN you should know how to pick and choose :cool: BTW, as you know I ask these questions to help others since my kid already applied.
 
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Don't put it as shadowing, but as other as suggested for OP and it will count for something.

Yeah uh...I literally have no space in my application for something like that lol. I'm not even including my year-long study abroad experience.

These hours aren't incredibly important to me or anything, they just explain a very early semester-long gap in my transcript (after my first semester of college, I needed time to figure out if being pre-med/honors was for me).

I don't mind if they don't count for anything, as long as those hours don't hurt me (if that makes sense). I've done a ton of shadowing in the US, so I'm good on hours.
 
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Catalystik

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Oh dear...so the 210 hours I spent shadowing three different specialties in Prague was for nothing? Haha

I wasn't planning on using that experience to substitute for any US shadowing, but I was going to put those hours under my "shadowing" slot (I don't have space to give it its own slot).

I'm Czech, so I wanted to learn about Czech culture and spend time in the place where my grandfather grew up. Should I just include those hours in my "shadowing" activity slot and mention that I wanted to learn about different healthcare systems?
As long as you have adequate US physician shadowing, you can mention the international shadowing in the same space as an aside (separate the hours), but if you do, be well prepared for a "Compare and contrast the two healthcare systems" sort of interview question. Alternatively, include it in the PS as part of your path to medicine if you won't have an incredibly graceful and succinct answer to that question.
 
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EdgeTrimmer

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Yeah uh...I literally have no space in my application for something like that lol. I'm not even including my year-long study abroad experience.

These hours aren't incredibly important to me or anything, they just explain a very early semester-long gap in my transcript (after my first semester of college, I needed time to figure out if being pre-med/honors was for me).

I don't mind if they don't count for anything, as long as those hours don't hurt me (if that makes sense). I've done a ton of shadowing in the US, so I'm good on hours.
Glad to know that you have 15+ activities :)
 
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As long as you have adequate US physician shadowing, you can mention the international shadowing in the same space as an aside (separate the hours), but if you do, be well prepared for a "Compare and contrast the two healthcare systems" sort of interview question. Alternatively, include it in the PS as part of your path to medicine if you won't have an incredibly graceful and succinct answer to that question.

I do have enough US physician shadowing! And I honestly would love it if an interviewer asked me that question. I found the differences between the two healthcare systems fascinating.

I considered mentioning it in my PS, but I didn't want to draw too much attention to it since international shadowing isn't particularly well-regarded. There were other reasons why I decided to take a semester-long break. Also, mentioning that I went to Europe to "find myself" just seems...incredibly cliche (even if that's exactly what I did haha. I was an impulsive 18-year-old).
 
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Actually, most knowledgeable faculty on activities suggested using the Other or hobby and focus on cultural aspect and I concur with that :laugh: After being on 3/4 years on SDN you should know how to pick and choose :cool: BTW, as you know I ask these questions to help others since my kid already applied.
Exactly who are "most knowledgeable faculty"?
 
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Glad to know that you have 15+ activities :)

Wasn't trying to brag, my dude. The idea of making my international shadowing hours a separate activity was just funny to me. I don't even care if I include the hours or not, so I can't imagine adcom will care haha.

Also, Catalystik, Goro, and gyngyn have been helping students for years. Please don't downplay their knowledge of how college admissions work.
 
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Wasn't trying to brag, my dude. The idea of making my international shadowing hours a separate activity was just funny to me. I don't even care if I include the hours or not, so I can't imagine adcom will care haha.

Also, Catalystik, Goro, and gyngyn have been helping students for years. Please don't downplay their knowledge of how college admissions work.
You brought up your international experience and I was trying to help you by mentioning what @Catalystik advised OP. Again it's all about how you describe your experience and what you learned. As per adcoms I am not downplaying anyone's knowledge. I was answering my favorite premed @KnightDoc jab about two adcoms response by pointing to the 3rd opinion. Also, you don't know what adcoms care or not care.
 
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You brought up your international experience and I was trying to help you by mentioning what @Catalystik advised OP. Again it's all about how you describe your experience and what you learned. As per adcoms I am not downplaying anyone's knowledge. I was answering my favorite premed @KnightDoc jab about two adcoms response by point to the 3rd opinion and he loves to extend these discussions :). Also, you don't know what adcoms care or not care.

Lol huh? I'm not entirely sure if Catalystik was necessarily advising OP to put that. You asked Catalystik if it's possible to include it using a different category, and they said that it might be possible if you put it as "exploring other cultures" or "international travel." Which I agree with!

I was specifically talking about international shadowing hours lol. International shadowing hours as a separate activity is most likely not going to help anyone much haha. As for my overall trip to Prague, I personally feel uncomfortable about including a 2.5-week trip as an entire activity. I'm not sure how much cultural immersion one could get from 2.5 weeks in another country (as opposed to an entire summer), but that's just me.

I never said that I know how adcoms think :D Just going off of what I've read
 
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Even if it wasn’t international, I wouldn’t include shadowing a relative.
 
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gyngyn

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Oh dear...so the 210 hours I spent shadowing three different specialties in Prague was for nothing? Haha

I wasn't planning on using that experience to substitute for any US shadowing, but I was going to put those hours under my "shadowing" slot (I don't have space to give it its own slot).

I'm Czech, so I wanted to learn about Czech culture and spend time in the place where my grandfather grew up. Should I just include those hours in my "shadowing" activity slot and mention that I wanted to learn about different healthcare systems?
I wouldn't include it in shadowing at all, maybe cultural immersion (or having fun on vacation). Travel is illuminating. You can't use it for shadowing, though.
 
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Oh dear...so the 210 hours I spent shadowing three different specialties in Prague was for nothing? Haha

I wasn't planning on using that experience to substitute for any US shadowing, but I was going to put those hours under my "shadowing" slot (I don't have space to give it its own slot).

I'm Czech, so I wanted to learn about Czech culture and spend time in the place where my grandfather grew up. Should I just include those hours in my "shadowing" activity slot and mention that I wanted to learn about different healthcare systems?

n=1 but half of my shadowing was abroad (granted I had a high overall amount of shadowing) and I've had a strong cycle so far. Adcoms treated it the same in my interviews so far and were very interested in learning more about the culture/my family. One of them had practiced abroad in a neighboring country and it led to a wonderful discussion about healthcare systems! You can PM me about how I talked about it / the hours if you'd like.
 
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n=1 but half of my shadowing was abroad (granted I had a high overall amount of shadowing) and I've had a strong cycle so far. Adcoms treated it the same in my interviews so far and were very interested in learning more about the culture/my family. One of them had practiced abroad in a neighboring country and it led to a wonderful discussion about healthcare systems! You can PM me about how I talked about it / the hours if you'd like.

Im afraid to ask but, what is n=1 thing ive been seeing LOL.
 
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Im afraid to ask but, what is n=1 thing ive been seeing LOL.
n=1 means anecdotal ( not necessarily true or reliable, because based on personal accounts rather than facts or research). I have lot of n=1 examples but people quickly dismiss them :)
 
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n=1 means anecdotal ( not necessarily true or reliable, because based on personal accounts rather than facts or research). I have lot of n=1 examples but people quickly dismiss them :)

Yep, this! While it's fair to pretty much dismiss at times, ie when people argue Caribbean isn't that risky or that clinical exp isn't necessary, I strongly believe a lot is also personal taste for adcoms. SDN doesn't represent all or even most schools, and unless you're talking red flags, there is a tactful and compelling way to describe different experiences. Like I said, mine stood out to several interviewers and was discussed not only in my primary, but some secondaries as well. I do think having a connection to the country matters, and not picking a underdeveloped region to do voluntourism at, but advice on here isn't one size fits all.

I'd be happy to PM the specific schools if anyone's curious too!
 
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Yep, this! While it's fair to pretty much dismiss at times, ie when people argue Caribbean isn't that risky or that clinical exp isn't necessary, I strongly believe a lot is also personal taste for adcoms. SDN doesn't represent all or even most schools, and unless you're talking red flags, there is a tactful and compelling way to describe different experiences. Like I said, mine stood out to several interviewers and was discussed not only in my primary, but some secondaries as well. I do think having a connection to the country matters, and not picking a underdeveloped region to do voluntourism at, but advice on here isn't one size fits all.

I'd be happy to PM the specific schools if anyone's curious too!

Hi! I'd love to get to know more, do you mind if i PM you?
 
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It would not be helpful to list it as an activity, but you might be able to use it in your PS or a secondary when you are discussing your experiences in medicine.
 
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Actually, most knowledgeable faculty on activities suggested using the Other or hobby and focus on cultural aspect and I concur with that :laugh: After being on 3/4 years on SDN you should know how to pick and choose :cool: BTW, as you know I ask these questions to help others since my kid already applied.

it's so cool when parents come on here tbh
 
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I wouldn't include it in shadowing at all, maybe cultural immersion (or having fun on vacation). Travel is illuminating. You can't use it for shadowing, though.

Gahhh. Several Harvard and Oxford students have shadowed at the same hospital, which is why I thought it would be okay for medical schools :laugh: whelp!

I'm leaning towards not including it, but It seems like a waste of 210 shadowing hours in really interesting specialties, though. I see your point, however.

n=1 but half of my shadowing was abroad (granted I had a high overall amount of shadowing) and I've had a strong cycle so far. Adcoms treated it the same in my interviews so far and were very interested in learning more about the culture/my family. One of them had practiced abroad in a neighboring country and it led to a wonderful discussion about healthcare systems! You can PM me about how I talked about it / the hours if you'd like.

That's super interesting! I'm really glad it worked out for you :) I'm aiming for Yale though (lol), and I feel like they simply are not going to care haha. I could be wrong, though!
 
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