Ari1584

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2007
364
1
Status
Medical Student
Here is some background info...I graduated in may and took the mcat this past sept. During the summer, i didn't do any volunteering since i was studying for the exam and still working at my doctor's office. I am now starting up some more volunteering. I am planning on applying in June. Here are my EC's for the past 5 years...just wanted some feedback on them.

1.) Working for a plastic surgeon - 3years (originally during winter/summer breaks and any days i was home from school, but now working during the week regularly). Have seen many interesting cases including breast cancer, skin cancers, awesome pro-bono work, talk with patients, help with billing, scribe during minor procedures, and learn how to juggle family life w/ medicine. Best experience thus far.
2.) Hospital Volunteer - 1 semester- at nurse's station answering patient light calls and phones
3.) Red Tassel Mortar Board member - 1 year- honor's org that does volunteer events every month like habitat, raising money for charities, book drives etc.
4.) Secretary of Golden Key Honor Society - 1 semester- also honor's org that does various volunteer work such as making and donating blankets to sick children in hospitals
5.) Undergrad teaching assistant - 1 semester- for 2 bio 101 classes
6.) Research in endocrinology -1 year- no pub's, helped grad student with her project doing basic procedures, taking pics
7.) Competitive Dance Team member - 1.5 years- self run at university, raised all own money, competed at nationals in florida against other schools
8.) Humane Society volunteer - 3 years (on and off...i started consistently and then went only a little bit, then started up consistently again. not sure how i would enter this in though?)
9.) Holiday party coordinator for boys and girls club - december 07- planned and organized holiday party for underpriveladged kids, donated gifts
10.) Camp Counselor - 5 years- (started in high school but continued through 2 years in college)
11.) Youth mentor at elementary school - just started- will plan on continuing this for at least the next year
12.) Dean's List - 6 semesters - not even sure if anyone cares about this! lol

**I am currently going to start up volunteering at the hospital again and maybe an animal shelter bc i loved it so much at school. I am retaking my test so i dont want to over-do it. How good are these EC's? Is there anything else i should be doing? Thanks!**
:D:)
 

Rabbit36

Lagomorphadelic
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jul 16, 2008
110
32
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Your ECs look great, but it's hard to say out of context. If you're an average/above avg applicant stats wise, then you look pretty solid for sure. If you're below avg, it's tougher to say, but still good. Do you have an idea of how strong your letters might be? I think the opinions of established academics/professionals says worlds more about a person than how good they are at spinning themselves.
 
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aebvd97

10+ Year Member
Oct 22, 2008
361
0
Nashville, TN
Status
Medical Student
I would like to see more/diverse shadowing experiences. It says you worked for a plastic surgeon, and while I'm sure you saw a heck of a lot, I'm less impressed because it would appear that you were paid..maybe I'm wrong.
 

fireflygirl

The Ultimate Blindian
10+ Year Member
Jul 17, 2007
888
22
Philadelphia
Status
Resident [Any Field]
You need more clinical experience. That is the cold hard truth.
I am not sure I agree. I think the OP has some good clinical experiences and especially one that has been more long term and consistent. I had a similar array of experiences and never had any questions come up during interviews or when I was talking to admissions directors at various med schools before I applied.

Also, someone else mentioned that the surgery experience might not look good because it's paid, and I have to say I don't really understand why people say that. I think paid or unpaid, the quality of your experience and how you articulate that in your PS and in interviews is far more vital than if the experience was paid. In addition, the OP does have quite a bit of strictly volunteer experiences so I would say that the ECs are quite solid. Combined with a strong GPA and MCAT, I think you could have a strong profile here.
 

Bacchus

Staff member
Administrator
10+ Year Member
Apr 28, 2007
21,450
2,688
Status
Attending Physician
I would like to see more/diverse shadowing experiences. It says you worked for a plastic surgeon, and while I'm sure you saw a heck of a lot, I'm less impressed because it would appear that you were paid..maybe I'm wrong.
Any specialty will show you the "ropes" of medicine. Working in private practice was a good choice on the OP's behalf because you see clerical, administrative, and practical aspects of medicine.

OP, I think you are set, but maybe squeeze in another semester of volunteering at the hospital. I say however that camp counselor and the boys and girls club should show your empathy as should the humane society.
 

Ari1584

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2007
364
1
Status
Medical Student
thanks for all the feedback...i know im getting paid at the plastic surgeon's office, but originially i signed up for it as a volunteer. She has a small office, and she has become a friend to me, so she said "im not just going to have you here without getting any money" so she decided to pay me. It's VERY little...i mean minimum wage. I'm def not in it for the money bc i have a college degree and get obviously go get a higher paying job, but i love getting the experience here. I am def going to volunteer at the hospital now though, just to make sure i have exposure to different kinds of illnesses. Thanks again for feedback! :)
 

scarletgirl777

10+ Year Member
Mar 25, 2008
2,369
159
Status
Medical Student
You need more clinical experience. That is the cold hard truth.
I disagree. Your clinical experience is great. It might be good to shadow different specialties for a few weeks or so, but I think the fact that it was paid is irrelevant because you have legitimate, unpaid service work. If anything, I would work on continuing the volunteering or making that stronger in terms of taking a leadership role in something, and I think that the competitive dance is something unique that you should try to keep up.
 
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