Is there a prayer without volunteer?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by florisio, Aug 11, 2001.

  1. florisio

    florisio Member

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    Sorry to be trite but this is pretty much a "Can I get in" question. Actually, I'm pretty much convinced I can get in, but I want to go to a top school, probably NYU if I can. I went to a fairly decent Ivy league university and did ok like 3.75ish. MCATs were decent but not wonderful, like 32. Only problem is I never did any community service, never volunteered, and never worked in a hospital. I did do two summers of research, but no publication is in sight, although I will probably get a rec from the postdoc. I did a bit of orchestra stuff in college, which helped me get in at the time. Do you think that will help for med school? So do you think I can get in. I am still deciding whether or not to apply this year. I pretty much need to be in New York for personal reasons, so Cornell, Columbia, or Sinai would be ok too.

    Thanks,

    Florisio.
     
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  3. docuw

    docuw Senior Member

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    I'll tell you this: We just had our white coat ceremony at Creighton yesterday. As each person got their coat and copy of the oath, they said a brief synopsis about each person. Every single person had volunteer and community service (most people had it 4x fold), plus other experiences.

    Schools are not looking for book smart people in general... they are looking for well rounded individuals that are going to be humanitarians in medicine.
     
  4. tonem

    tonem Senior Member

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    Florisio, it is really hard to generalize what all medical schools are looking for in an applicant. Orchestra experience is good because it shows that you are a well rounded person. I would suggest that you talk to people at the schools you are interested in. If they say your lack of volunteer experience is a problem, then apply next year after spending time volunteering or working in a clinical setting. I'm sure New York City has many options for you in that regard. Good luck.
     
  5. moo

    moo 1K Member

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    The only stumbling block for you is going to be the interview. You will inevitably be asked the question, "Why do you want to be a doctor?" And if you can somehow BS an answer without referring to the fact that you haven't done any clinical work in hospitals, then you'll probably be fine.
     
  6. Intrepidation

    Intrepidation I wear PASG underwear

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    To start, biology majors have the lowest rates of acceptance into medical school, check any source. Next, Many people including myself take offense at the notion that undergraduate clinical work does nothing to help the world. To imply that nursing and being a med. tech. is arbitrary to the goals of your preconcieved medicine shows that maybe you should go for a phd instead of an M.D. Nurses are needed, in some cases, more than doctors. Their services are different but equally as needed.

    Thank You,

    Intrepidation
     
  7. Medic171

    Medic171 Senior Member

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    So, clinical experience does not make a difference in the world? As an undergrad, it is total bull**** huh? Last night I cardioverted a man in pulseless svt, which revived him. Without intervention he was on his way out. Last night, I also gave glucose and thiamine to a diabetic with a bs of 28; gave morphine and nitro while screening for tpa to a gal with an anteriolateral wall MI, and I stopped a seizure with 5mg IM Versed.

    But, i guess this is"nothing like medicine at all", "total bull****", and I would have impacted the world more doing research.

    BTW, I do not know about pharmacists and nurses, but did you know that paramedics have a very high acceptance rate and most med schools look very highly upon it? Anyway, I do not see how nusing, techs, and pharmacist experiences are unrelated to medicine??? :confused:
     
  8. proffit

    proffit ovary mcnugget

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  9. Medic171

    Medic171 Senior Member

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    Quote "From what I heard talking to my friends, the only clinical work they will let you do as an undergrad is total bull**** and is nothing like medicine at all.....believe me the med schools know this, e.g. nurses and pharmacists have a lower acceptance rate to med school than do any other major. Doing research might "

    It was from this statement that we inferred that you believe nurses ect. are bull**** and know nothing about medicine. That seems to be what you said. Their acceptance rates are statistically lower, but not because their experience is "bull**** and nothing like medicine".

    I know medics are preferred at med schools only from the docs that tell me so, I do not have statistical evidence. They said it provides leadership roles, contact with a diverse population, exsposure to medicine and physicians, experience under pressure, patient contact, and exsposure to some medical research(many e.d. and EMS studies are assisted by medics and published in ems magazines, as well as being required reading for ce credits in some states). I am part of a field study using amiodorone and tpa in the field pre-hospital.

    Also, I have to say that even the undergrad who gets clinical experience by doing scut work helps the world in many ways. First, they are filling a role relieving time for professionals to do the job they are trained for rather than the scut work that must be done, but anyone can do. Second, they are gaining exposure to help them decide how they will touch the world in the future. And third, some unskilled clinical volunteer jobs do effect the world directly; I have a friend who comforts family and children in the e.r. and for hospice(just one example).

    Volunteering as an undergrad is not for everyone, research is also good, but don't insult it or discount it. It can be very fulfilling, it can effect the world and people very positive, and it builds charcter--showing adcoms your humanity and desire to help others; with and without thought of return. It is important for physicians to understand that volunteering will be needed from them as health care costs are rising, and poor people deserve to have some.
     
  10. impassivemd

    impassivemd Member

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    One question they might ask is, "How do you know you want to be a doctor if you have never been in a hospital or been in an environment where you worked under or at least around doctors?" If you have a decent answer to this question, then you have a good chance of admittance. You might want to address this question in your personal statement, if you haven't written it. I would also be curious as to the answer.
    ...............

    You mentioned that you haven't decided whether or not to apply this year. All I can say is, with each passing month, your chance of admittance decreases exponentially. Most students have already applied and are sending in secondaries about now.
    ...............

    The schools you mentioned are among the top research schools (and the top schools, period) in the nation. With limited research experience, no volunteer or clinical work, and very limited extracurriculars, I'm not sure if you have a very good chance of admittance. Disclaimer: That is my personal opinion. I am not on the ADCOM of any of these schools. You may disagree with me if you like.
     
  11. Intrepidation

    Intrepidation I wear PASG underwear

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    Please read you own arguement before implying that I took yours out of context.

    By associating any clinical work you could do as an undergrad as 'bull****' and 'nothing like medicine' with nursing and pharmacists in the next phrase, you clearly state that such professions as nursing are in fact 'bull****' and 'nothing like medicine'. If this is not what you meant to imply, you need to totally rephrase your sentence and paragraph structure.

    A direct quote from you, the use of verbal irony indicates a cynical and sarcastic view of anything contrary to research, i.e. clinical experience. Therefore, the phrasing used here says that clinical work has relatively little impact in the context, whatever context you were implying. (I'm not quite sure).

    Then address that. Once again, your poor paragraph structure makes it seem arbirtrary.

    This implies that anything outside of a doctor's work is ****work, and something that is far below you. While this may be your opinion, having worked in a clinical setting, these people (Even i was one for a while) are as invaluable as doctors.

    Perhaps one of your many condescending references to this subject. If you didn't mean to say that, please rephrase your paragraphs!


    This is a very confusing statement. Re-read it please. Because he has skills above what a normal undergrad would have, his statement is irrelevant? Once again, poor wording is your choice of defense.

    No, you just implied that through poor wording and phrasing.


    Sorry to sound mean, I'm not trying to be, I am simply pointing out flaws i see in your statements.

    Thank You,
    Intrepidation
     
  12. nero

    nero Senior Member

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    Hello, I was wondering if the actual volunteer made a difference or the "experience." I work at an assisted living facility and started out as a volunteer but they began to pay me. I have been working there for two years. So assuming all schools require clincial experience, would this suffice? I enjoy this much more than the hospital volunteering I did in High school.

    nero
     
  13. Jamier2

    Jamier2 SDN Hillbilly Moderator
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    Nero,

    I believe that the experience is vastly more important than the level of pay, or lack thereof. :)
     
  14. Gotrob

    Gotrob Member

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    I probably shouldn't be jumping in...but I will anyway. I think everyone is digging a little deep into proffits post. Although not true in all cases, the few people I know who volunteer at hospitals as undergrads, don't do much. I have even seen one person restocking the gift shop. If they are lucky, sometimes they water a patients flowers. Is this true for all volunteers...no. I have read posts of volunteers who draw blood, take vitals, and more, but they seem to be the exception and not the rule.

    I did not read his post as to say nurses, medics, and other hospital jobs (I am a phleb) as being bull****. He mentioned that nurses have a lower acceptance rate than most other candidates. If you believe that there is not a bias against nurses becoming doctors, you are mistaken. Read some interview feedback forms from med schools, and you will see some tough questions directed at nurses...one nurse interviewing at UW Madison was told that nurses don't make good doctors, and then she was asked why she would be any different. My wife is a nurse, and I think she would make a great doctor if she chose to become one. Not everyone is anti-nurse, but some are.

    I love this message board, but I wish that people would stop reading every post as a personal attack. Now I that I have opened myself up for attack, I will await the replies.
     
  15. Firebird

    Firebird 1K Member

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    That's because zillions of biology majors apply. Think about it. Imagine a med school with 50 seats. Say 100 bio majors from a university apply to that med school. 35 get accepted. That's a 35% acceptance rate. Say 2 English majors apply and 1 of them gets in. That's a 50% acceptance rate.

    Statistics can be used to make nearly any statement.
     
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  17. Medic171

    Medic171 Senior Member

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    gotrob, what he(perceptually) did was use the example of nurses having a low acceptance rate as evidence that their work is bull**** and nothing like medicine. That is how I read it. Also, think of how much just "re-stocking the gift shop" can do. It provides gifts to cheer up patients, provides income to the hospital so better services can be provided, and it positivly effects the economy as most retail shops do. I know I am stretching it a bit, but even this is an inportant job that must be done; and viewing physicians in action is the clinical benefit one gaines. A med student need not have any clinical skills, but he/she does need an understanding of what practicing medicine is like, even if it is from second hand observation. A clinical experience is what you make of it. Adcoms want to see leadership, people skills, and humanity. They do not care about clinical skills, you will learn those in med school. But, when they ask the gift shop stocker about their experience, will they answer"yup, I always did what was expected of me" or "Well, I observed several medical procedures, talked to physicians about their practice, and came up with an idea to display gift shop merchandise better, which increased revenues(leadership and inginuity).
     
  18. 12R34Y

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    I agree strongly with everything that Medic171 has said as I am also a paramedic working in the field.

    When I first read Profit's post I took offense to the whole "research is most important type talk". I've since calmed down.
    I think Medic171 has shown that MANY MANY things other than research help the world in invaluable ways.

    later
     
  19. Gotrob

    Gotrob Member

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    medic, I agree with what you are saying. I think you would be hard pressed to find someone who would disagree, but I think you are stretching the focus a bit. Stocking the gift shop can be a valuable experience, but it is not a valuable clinical experience. Spending time stocking the gift shop may be important but it takes up valuable free time that could best be used for more hands on clinical exp. I do not believe clinical exp. is needed to be accepted to med school, but if a person believes it would benefit them, I would not suggest volunteering unless actual experience is gained. The same can be said about research. If all you do is change the newspaper in a bird cage, or wash the test tubes, it is not really going to help you. (I know many people do more)

    Some volunteers do a lot more than provide free labor to hospitals, but many do not. My advice to anyone interesting in volunteering is to get a job at a hospital instead. Spending 8-10 hours a week as a transporter, phleb, medic, nurse assistant, or anything else for that matter will not only give you a better understanding of health care (and the politics of a hospital), but it will also give you a little extra money. I have learned more from working at a hospital than I have during any of the time I have spent shadowing doctors.

    As far as the "bull****" statement, I have my understanding and you have yours. Only proffit knows what he really meant.
     
  20. Medic171

    Medic171 Senior Member

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    I cannot disagree with that gotrob. I think that getting a paying job would be a better experience, and only proffit knows what he meant. However, I believe that he was totally discounting volunteering, and I just want the original poster to know that volunteering is not "bull****" and that it can effect the world. With that info, he/she may or may not want to volunteer or do research, but he\she deserves to have accurate info about both.
    Do you HAVE to volunteer to get in? No
    Do you HAVE to do research to get in? No
    Are they both fulfilling to some people? Yes
    Are they both disappointing to some people? Yes
    Do ADCOMS look favorably on volunteering and\or research? Yes IF the person was active and got something out of the experience.

    So, Do whatever will benefit you as a person the most BUT, as proffit said, be ready to explain why you chose, or failed to choose, certain activities like vounteering and research!! ;) Clearly proffit had a much better experience researching than he would have volunteering. It seems he is wise and decided well, as volunteering is a waste if you don't have some desire to be doing it. that is not tru for everyone. Some volunteer, some do research, some do both. Just make sure you do something that is worth while to you(other than beer, sex, and south park :D )


    BTW--Beware of having literally NO hospital, clinical, or shadowing experience. An ADCOM may wonder how you know you want to dedicate your life to being a physician if you have never seen one work, talked to one, shadowed one, or worked with one. "I watched Trauma:Life in the ER and e.r. every week" will not be an acceptabel answer when they ask
    ;) ;)
     
  21. Medic171

    Medic171 Senior Member

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    Thank you , proffit, for clearing up your meaning and restating what you were really trying to say. i agree with you that independant research would be more valuable than stocking the giftshop. However, my point was that if a person enjoys volunteering at the giftshop, and does not enjoy independant research, then that person is probably better off doing what he/she enjoys. Often if you do something for the ONE and ONLY reason of putting it on your app; the adcom will know it and it will be more difficult to talk about favorably.

    BTW, congrats on being a med student, and thanks again for clearing things up!!
     

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