Observations and questions

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justaregularperson

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I recently made an account after reading through a number of threads. I wanted to ask a few questions based on what I have seen:

Why is it seemingly unacceptable for people to explore themselves before they start medical school? In many instances I see that people advise against doing things that are not volunteering/medical related, but if those are your only experiences, what do you really know about both yourself and the average person in general?

As a follow up- would you prefer to be treated by a physician that has genuinely experienced life outside of academia/medicine?

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Lol I'm not sure I can agree that "people advise against doing things that are not volunteering/medical related". Also what do you mean by "explore themselves"? One can certainly spend their time doing whatever they want as long as they also gain the experiences and grades/MCAT that are standard for medical school admission, so that's likely why you'll see it advised consistently.

You can do whatever you want in your free time, but if you haven't gained some clinical experience and served people less fortunate than you then adcoms are going to question if you 1.) know what you're getting into, and 2.) exhibit the traits of an ideal potential doctor.
 
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I wouldn't classify it as people being against exploring oneself. More so that volunteering 4 hours/week serving others is a minimal commitment and thus should be supplementing whatever self-exploration you're doing. Because you know...it's a service occupation.
 
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I'm not sure I've seen the pattern you described here. I would argue that adcoms are interested in people who have explored a little more. Having accomplished all of the necessary application requirements, of course, having experiences in other fields or just proof that ones life doesn't revolve solely and exclusively around "pre-med" lends itself to a more well rounded applicant and student. It's why there's been more interest in non-trads recently.
 
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I am not sure where you are getting this. I have seen the exact opposite trend, actually. The minimum commitment should be around 4 hours of volunteering each week with a mix of both clinical and non clinical. factor in 20 - 30 hours for academics and 0-10 hours a week for research, and you should still have ample time to be yourself. In fact, the applicant that stands out is the one who gets off campus and explores who they are.
 
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I guess what I'm referring to is when someone posts their 'stats' like this:
MCAT: xyz
GPA: xyz
Research: x hours
Clinical: x hours
Etc.

And the feedback they receive is usually somewhere along the lines of "go volunteer more." I have yet to stumble upon a post where someone suggests to travel, spend time with their family, check off things that are on the bucket list, etc.

To me, the difference between 100 hours volunteering and 1000 is insignificant. Of course the volume is much larger, but at the end of the day what does it say about you as a person? Over the course of a career in medicine we will spend an ungodly number of hours in the service of others, and that is a wonderful thing. But measuring someone's readiness to pursue a career based on the TIME they spent doing something does not make much sense to me.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all in favor of mentoring/volunteering/whatever service people would like to offer others, but I feel that people should be encouraged to be themselves/ discover who they really are. I think that a lot of people really underestimate how large of an undertaking this can be...

Thanks for all of your replies!
 
I guess what I'm referring to is when someone posts their 'stats' like this:
MCAT: xyz
GPA: xyz
Research: x hours
Clinical: x hours
Etc.

And the feedback they receive is usually somewhere along the lines of "go volunteer more." I have yet to stumble upon a post where someone suggests to travel, spend time with their family, check off things that are on the bucket list, etc.

To me, the difference between 100 hours volunteering and 1000 is insignificant. Of course the volume is much larger, but at the end of the day what does it say about you as a person? Over the course of a career in medicine we will spend an ungodly number of hours in the service of others, and that is a wonderful thing. But measuring someone's readiness to pursue a career based on the TIME they spent doing something does not make much sense to me.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all in favor of mentoring/volunteering/whatever service people would like to offer others, but I feel that people should be encouraged to be themselves/ discover who they really are. I think that a lot of people really underestimate how large of an undertaking this can be...

Thanks for all of your replies!
Usually they'll say that to someone lacking in those essential areas. While other life experience is extremely beneficial and is a good use of time, it won't make up for not having the key building blocks of an application, like clinical hours or volunteering. Someone asking for feedback usually wants to know what essential parts of the application they're weakest in, which is why they'll get advice regarding those key parts.

And on the subject of volunteering, I think that difference in hours says something very different about ones application. It can say either "I'm putting in the necessary hours for this application" versus "service is already an integral part of my life".
 
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I agree to some extent. Of course, everyone's situation is different. Thank you for your feedback.
 
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I guess what I'm referring to is when someone posts their 'stats' like this:
MCAT: xyz
GPA: xyz
Research: x hours
Clinical: x hours
Etc.

And the feedback they receive is usually somewhere along the lines of "go volunteer more." I have yet to stumble upon a post where someone suggests to travel, spend time with their family, check off things that are on the bucket list, etc.

To me, the difference between 100 hours volunteering and 1000 is insignificant. Of course the volume is much larger, but at the end of the day what does it say about you as a person? Over the course of a career in medicine we will spend an ungodly number of hours in the service of others, and that is a wonderful thing. But measuring someone's readiness to pursue a career based on the TIME they spent doing something does not make much sense to me.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all in favor of mentoring/volunteering/whatever service people would like to offer others, but I feel that people should be encouraged to be themselves/ discover who they really are. I think that a lot of people really underestimate how large of an undertaking this can be...

Thanks for all of your replies!

Haha I think because this is a pre-med forum and people are more than likely asking for advice about getting into medical school that the advice to get more volunteer hours and such is much more relevant than "go spend time with your family". If you want advice on how to be a good human/how to have a good life then go talk to some happy people. If you want advice on how to apply and get into medical school, come to SDN :thumbup:.

Also I disagree that 100 hours = 1000 hours of service. 100 is about 6 months of minimal volunteering per week where as 1000 shows some obvious dedication. We'd probably agree that going for 1000 just to stand out to admissions and not for your own interest as well is pretty stupid, but yet people could still do that and stand out to admissions.
 
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And the feedback they receive is usually somewhere along the lines of "go volunteer more."
That's because the hours they have are too little to be a competitive applicant.


I have yet to stumble upon a post where someone suggests to travel, spend time with their family, check off things that are on the bucket list, etc.
You're supposed to do that at the same time....ie, have a life. We don't want applicant whose lives are wrapped up solely in getting into medical school. And the purpose of this forum is to best advise people on how to get into med school.

To me, the difference between 100 hours volunteering and 1000 is insignificant. Of course the volume is much larger, but at the end of the day what does it say about you as a person?
You say this because you have zero experience with the application process, especially one from the Adcom side. 100 hours of volunteering is cookie cutter. 1000 hrs is what you can see for people who get into the Really Top Schools. What is means is that these people are making sure that they know what they're getting into, that they're showing off their altruism, and that they really know (and are passionate about being around sick people)


Over the course of a career in medicine we will spend an ungodly number of hours in the service of others, and that is a wonderful thing. But measuring someone's readiness to pursue a career based on the TIME they spent doing something does not make much sense to me.
Would you buy car with test driving it? Buy a new suit without trying it on?

, but I feel that people should be encouraged to be themselves/ discover who they really are.
I've never seen a post that advises otherwise.
 
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Lmao and yet what percentage of physicians are unhappy that they chose their profession? Do you think that there is any correlation between those that are unhappy with their choice and those that do not really have an understanding of themselves? These are the things that go through my head when I read some of the posts. I guess I just have a really different perspective than the average applicant.

@Goro, Do you think that that it is possible for applicants to think for themselves? Physicians are regular people first and foremost; empathy and intelligence can be developed in a variety of arenas. Would you order the consumer reports for the car before you test drive it? How about that suit?

I'm not trying to be a troll. I have done my due diligence and am familiar with the process.

Thanks again for everyone's responses.
 
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I recently made an account after reading through a number of threads. I wanted to ask a few questions based on what I have seen:

Why is it seemingly unacceptable for people to explore themselves before they start medical school? In many instances I see that people advise against doing things that are not volunteering/medical related, but if those are your only experiences, what do you really know about both yourself and the average person in general?

As a follow up- would you prefer to be treated by a physician that has genuinely experienced life outside of academia/medicine?
I'd argue learning about myself helped me find my interest in medicine. Do what you're interested in.
 
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I'd argue learning about myself helped me find my interest in medicine. Do what you're interested in.
Same. I didn’t know I wanted to do medicine until I joined the military, having a child made me want to do medicine more, going hiking/camping/backpacking showed me the importance of work/life balance...

the reason we see so many physicians experiencing burnout and regret is likely because they didn’t explore themselves and literally went from kindergarten to the end of residency without ever actually exploring a life for themselves (outside academics).

You do you, OP. Happiness is #1. Figure out if you will be happy as a doctor, then pursue medicine if you will be.
 
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Lmao and yet what percentage of physicians are unhappy that they chose their profession? Do you think that there is any correlation between those that are unhappy with their choice and those that do not really have an understanding of themselves? These are the things that go through my head when I read some of the posts. I guess I just have a really different perspective than the average applicant.

I'm really not sure what makes you think your perspective is so unusual?

Young adults'/teens' quest for self discovery is like 20% of all books/movies - there's a reason for that. People relate to them.
 
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Why is it seemingly unacceptable for people to explore themselves before they start medical school?

No one says that.
In many instances I see that people advise against doing things that are not volunteering/medical related,

Not true.
And the feedback they receive is usually somewhere along the lines of "go volunteer more." I have yet to stumble upon a post where someone suggests to travel, spend time with their family, check off things that are on the bucket list, etc.

Perhaps because they are specifically asking what they should do to get into medical school? :shrug: Doing things like checking things off your bucket shouldn't need to be told to someone to do. They most definitely don't really contribute to a medical school app, so they aren't mentioned but that doesn't mean they aren't important. If someone needs to be told to "spend more time with their family" then they need to do some self reflection.
But measuring someone's readiness to pursue a career based on the TIME they spent doing something does not make much sense to me.

No one does this.
I guess I just have a really different perspective than the average applicant.

Nope.

Your entire thought experiment here is based on false premises.
 
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No one says that.


Not true.


Perhaps because they are specifically asking what they should do to get into medical school? :shrug: Doing things like checking things off your bucket shouldn't need to be told to someone to do. They most definitely don't really contribute to a medical school app, so they aren't mentioned but that doesn't mean they aren't important. If someone needs to be told to "spend more time with their family" then they need to do some self reflection.


No one does this.


Nope.

Your entire thought experiment here is based on false premises.
For people that want to go into a service profession y'all are pretty vicious haha

I read a thread earlier where someone was discouraged from taking a year to travel. Likewise, it has been mentioned in this thread that 100 hours is 'cookie cutter' whereas more would not be... I never intended to come across as some wizard with a new way of thinking, but given how close-minded some of the responses have been I replied accordingly. Sheesh.
 
For people that want to go into a service profession y'all are pretty vicious haha

I read a thread earlier where someone was discouraged from taking a year to travel. Likewise, it has been mentioned in this thread that 100 hours is 'cookie cutter' whereas more would not be... I never intended to come across as some wizard with a new way of thinking, but given how close-minded some of the responses have been I replied accordingly. Sheesh.
100 hours is pretty cookie cutter though. In 3 years of undergrad, 100 hours of volunteering is like 35 minutes a week on average. 54 minutes a week if we are just talking about the school year. That is REALLY easy to do and shows almost no commitment or personal investment. Volunteering shows commitment to service of those less fortunate than you without incentive. They want to see that you want to help people for you, not for the money or prestige. Literally if you just do 2 hours a week/4 hours every other week for 3 years of undergrad then you are pushing 250 hours of volunteering, which is stellar - but even still 2 hours a week is not much.

Literally all ADCOMS want to see is that you are willing to do the bare minimum expected of you.
 
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For people that want to go into a service profession y'all are pretty vicious haha

Lmao don't create an account just to make a passive aggressive post with no real questions on a forum of people who are obviously passionate about medicine/becoming doctors (maybe too much so?) and then get surprised when you get put on blast.
 
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OP, I think the incorrect assumption here is that everyone is doing volunteering and seeking out clinical experience because they are "checking a box". I, for one, am volunteering and working in a clinical job because I enjoy it. I agree that people need to experience life outside of academia, but that doesn't mean you take a year off to backpack around Europe.

The things that I do outside of medicine definitely add to the diversity I bring, but those are much harder to advise on. If I said I had a bunch of experience singing in choirs and playing musical instruments it wouldn't be helpful to receive feedback that adcoms expect me to spend a few hundred more hours doing that. While I definitely enjoy those things, they don't prepare me for medical school in the same way as service and clinical experience do.

Don't be offended by the stuff on here. Remember this is an anonymous forum and people would only be like 80% as ruthless as this face to face
 
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To me, the difference between 100 hours volunteering and 1000 is insignificant. Of course the volume is much larger, but at the end of the day what does it say about you as a person?

Remember that you spend your time doing what is most important to you. If you only spend 100 hours over a 4 year period doing something, but then you go on vacation to "find yourself" for 1000 hours it shows what your priorities are.
 
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To be fair, 1000 hours of vacation would literally just be a few weeks out of country whereas 1000 hours of volunteering during school would take a year or so at minimum (20 hours a week of volunteering?)
Remember that you spend your time doing what is most important to you. If you only spend 100 hours over a 4 year period doing something, but then you go on vacation to "find yourself" for 1000 hours it shows what your priorities are.
 
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Lmao don't create an account just to make a passive aggressive post with no real questions on a forum of people who are obviously passionate about medicine/becoming doctors (maybe too much so?) and then get surprised when you get put on blast.
I'm sorry that you found my questions to be upsetting lol. What is real to you and to other people is extremely subjective. If you're so 'passionate' that you can't accept or even begin to entertain another viewpoint then that is somewhat concerning. I just wanted to hear some opinions mane
 
OP, I think the incorrect assumption here is that everyone is doing volunteering and seeking out clinical experience because they are "checking a box". I, for one, am volunteering and working in a clinical job because I enjoy it. I agree that people need to experience life outside of academia, but that doesn't mean you take a year off to backpack around Europe.

The things that I do outside of medicine definitely add to the diversity I bring, but those are much harder to advise on. If I said I had a bunch of experience singing in choirs and playing musical instruments it wouldn't be helpful to receive feedback that adcoms expect me to spend a few hundred more hours doing that. While I definitely enjoy those things, they don't prepare me for medical school in the same way as service and clinical experience do.
Thank you for actually adding something of value to the thread rather than treating it as a CARS passage haha
 
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I just wanted to hear some opinions mane
Do you though? Most people have replied perfectly kindly that a lot of what is in your original post is just very inaccurate or isn't representative of reality & your reaction is to just lash out at people who are trying to help you.
 
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If you're so 'passionate' that you can't accept or even begin to entertain another viewpoint then that is somewhat concerning.

Lol it's not that deep bro. You asked a ******* question and got some reasonable and some snarky answers. I guess no one really sees any substance in your philosophical wonder of a "viewpoint"
 
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For people that want to go into a service profession y'all are pretty vicious haha

I read a thread earlier where someone was discouraged from taking a year to travel. Likewise, it has been mentioned in this thread that 100 hours is 'cookie cutter' whereas more would not be... I never intended to come across as some wizard with a new way of thinking, but given how close-minded some of the responses have been I replied accordingly. Sheesh.
You can't travel for a full year and simultaneously say you want to dedicate the rest of your life to service.

Sure if you want to travel and teach English but if it's merely travelling with no other purpose then maybe you're interested in a non-service related field?
 
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To be fair, 1000 hours of vacation would literally just be a few weeks out of country whereas 1000 hours of volunteering during school would take a year or so at minimum (20 hours a week of volunteering?)

Yeah yeah... I was trying to make a point without actually doing the math :rolleyes:
 
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