lots of clinical experience, not much volunteering

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Mistress S

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Hey, I was just curious to hear what people think about my EC's. I am planning to apply in June, and have worked in a reproductive health clinic serving low income/uninsured patients for going on 6 years (also volunteered there for 2 years in HS). This is paid work, and I get a lot of direct patient contact there--HIV & pregnancy testing and counseling, medical assistant type duties (vitals, preparing lab specimens, etc). However, as I have had to work part-time (15-20 hrs/wk, on average; full time over breaks) all through undergrad since I am paying for college entirely on my own, I have had limited time to participate in other EC's. Here's what I have done outside of this:
-counselor at week-long camp for kids with HIV/AIDS
-summer of research at NIH
-week in Ecuador observing in maternity hospital

As you can see, I have not participated in any school activities (clubs or the like), and have mainly done volunteer work when I have had blocks of time to devote to something rather than, say, spending 2 hrs/wk for a year or something. I have contacted various organizations in my area about volunteering over the years, but I never seem to be able to find the time between work, school, and all the other various responsibilities that seem to be constantly arising in my life. I know other people manage it, maybe I'm just lazy. This may sound bad too, but I sort of feel like I do my part for the community at my job, and don't really feel like I have a lot of energy to devote to other causes outside of it. I plan to do more volunteer work after the MCAT in April, but obviously there won't be much more on my app in June. Will all my clinical experience, combined with the EC's I have done, outweigh the lack of regular volunteer work to adcoms? Also, do adcoms take into account the fact that some of us have to work, year-round, not just for spring break money but to feed ourselves and pay rent, thereby seriously cutting into our time to engage in other EC's?
 
B

Blade28

Originally posted by Mistress S
Also, do adcoms take into account the fact that some of us have to work, year-round, not just for spring break money but to feed ourselves and pay rent, thereby seriously cutting into our time to engage in other EC's?

Good question. I've always wondered about this...obviously your financial situation doesn't really play a part in admissions, but the jobs that you work and the number of hours you spend working are very important.
 

docmemi

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i think your just fine. they like consistency/committment and involvement over quantity. your clinic serves the low-income...you got both clinical and community service/outreach done. you have EXTENSIVE experience there...i hope you got an LOR from a dr there, yes? plus you had to work, you can play that up. also dont forget that numbers play a primary role then your EC's kick in (play up your clinical experiences).

it wouldnt be a bad idea though to do some more volunteering after the mcat before you finalize your amcas if you can...it isnt too late.

you can mention all that you have done in your personal statement, also mention maybe in just one sentence that you had to work.
 

AlternateSome1

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Just make sure you don't write something like...

"I would have loved to volunteer, but the man kept me down. The system is inescapable. Because I was rewarded for my clinical experiences with worthless government tokens, I feel cheap and dirty. God, oh God, please help me find a way out of this abyss!"


You might scare someone. :eek:
:hardy:
~AS1~
 

Andrew_Doan

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Originally posted by Mistress S
Hey, I was just curious to hear what people think about my EC's. I am planning to apply in June, and have worked in a reproductive health clinic serving low income/uninsured patients for going on 6 years (also volunteered there for 2 years in HS). Here's what I have done outside of this:
-counselor at week-long camp for kids with HIV/AIDS
-summer of research at NIH
-week in Ecuador observing in maternity hospital

:thumbup:

You're looking good. Job experience can often be better than volunteering. Clearly, your work experience is better than volunteering; however, you just happen to be paid for it! ;)
 

lyragrl

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You're totally fine. Clinical experience is clinical experience.
 
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