Paramedic clinical rotations / ambulance work - is this enough clinical experience?

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Feb 20, 2020
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Hey, all!

Mom of a pre-med here. I'm doing the asking because I'm not sure my pre-med is getting good advising at school.

Here's what his clinical experience will look like by the time he applies. His goal is MD, pediatric ER.

400+ hours of urban, high-volume ambulance service as a licensed paramedic (EMT-P). Assessments, starting IVs at 70 MPH, intubations, pre-hospital trauma treatment, pushing meds, etc.

150+ hours in various ERs/other facilities. These are hands-on hours with constant patient contact and procedures (under supervision) like what's mentioned above, not observation/shadowing hours. Breakdown is like so:
  • 88 hours spread across 6 different main/regular ERs, including 16 hrs at a Level 1 Trauma Center
  • 24 hours pediatric ER
  • 16 hours Labor & Delivery
  • 8 hours OMI (morgue / autopsy)
  • 8 hours ICU
  • 8 hours hospital OR
He's planning to work part-time/PRN during his senior year. If he does a gap year, which he's considering, he'll be able to add a year of full-time ambulance or ER work.

If he needs something more / different, please let me know. My concern isn't so much the number of hours, it's that they were acquired mostly through his paramedic clinical rotations and internship. Does that matter?

Thanks in advance!
 
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YCAGA

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Hey, all!

Mom of a pre-med here. I'm doing the asking because I'm not sure my pre-med is getting good advising at school.

Here's what his clinical experience will look like by the time he applies. His goal is MD, pediatric ER.

400+ hours of urban, high-volume ambulance service as a licensed paramedic (EMT-P). Assessments, starting IVs at 70 MPH, intubations, pre-hospital trauma treatment, pushing meds, etc.

150+ hours in various ERs/other facilities. These are hands-on hours with constant patient contact and procedures (under supervision) like what's mentioned above, not observation/shadowing hours. Breakdown is like so:
  • 88 hours spread across 6 different main/regular ERs, including 16 hrs at a Level 1 Trauma Center
  • 24 hours pediatric ER
  • 16 hours Labor & Delivery
  • 8 hours OMI (morgue / autopsy)
  • 8 hours ICU
  • 8 hours hospital OR
He's planning to work part-time/PRN during his senior year. If he does a gap year, which he's considering, he'll be able to add a year of full-time ambulance or ER work.

If he needs something more / different, please let me know. My concern isn't so much the number of hours, it's that they were acquired mostly through his paramedic clinical rotations and internship. Does that matter?

Thanks in advance!
Throw in some shadowing for primary care and 1-2 other specialties (outside of emergency medicine/ICU/trauma)--you still need to shadow physicians if you want to go to medical school, not just work in medical settings or be around physicians. It sounds like plenty of clinical experience though. The only question I would have is why did he become a paramedic to only work a few hundred hours? Also, let him ask these questions lol. You are way too involved for someone wanting to go to medical school. He needs to be doing all of this research himself. Are you going to help him match for residency too?
 
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Feb 20, 2020
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Thanks, YCAGA. :)

Not sure I did the quote part right, so apologies if I screwed that up.

Re: too involved / help him match - a fair question.

EMS is often the red-headed stepchild in medicine / pre-meds. Some adcoms have made comments in interviews reducing those with EMS backgrounds to 'taxi drivers'. A junior in college, sequestered in the paramedic academy away from other pre-meds, might not have the breadth of experience to realize there are deficiencies in his advising. Example: every time his pre-med advisor looks at his file, the advisor tells him he's fine. The advisor has never mentioned/hasn't noticed that he has zero volunteering hours halfway through his junior year. That's not 'fine.' If there's one deficiency in his advising, there may be others, and I wouldn't know that if I hadn't lurked here.

Normally, I'm a fan of letting people experience the natural consequences of their own decisions. In this case, trusting his advisor's 'fine' assessment will produce a disaster for his application chances. We're not wealthy people. Financially speaking, we can't afford that kind of disaster because, while it's his career on the line, it's also *our* financial stability and prospects for being able to retire, like, ever.

As a family, we're looking at possibly having to pay half a million dollars for med school. Maybe you're from a background where half a mil isn't a big deal. We're not, so we've got half a million reasons for the family to be a little involved. ;) So am I going to set up his volunteering for him? Nope, but I'm sure as heck going to tell him to get his butt in gear and do some - because *his advisor* hasn't said a word about it.

Does he need to get on the stick and do the research for himself? Absolutely. But first I need the data to convince him to look beyond his advisor's assertion that he's 'fine.'

Re: why do EMS for only a few months?

1) Because he LOVES EMS. He got his EMT-B while he was still in high school, and flat out refused to consider any major that wasn't EMS.
2) Because he thinks EMS work will make him a better ER doc.
3) Because he's interested in disaster management, too, and the the disaster management person at a hospital is often an ER doc who's in charge of the EMS peeps. When non-EMS people are in charge of the EMS crew at a hospital, sometimes they treat them like, well, taxi drivers.
4) Because he's planning to spend 1-2 years in the ER/ambulance service between undergrad and med school to help pay for things.
5) Forgot one. :) Because Plan B is something like MPH / EMS Ops / Disaster Management.
 
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Goro

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Hey, all!

Mom of a pre-med here. I'm doing the asking because I'm not sure my pre-med is getting good advising at school.

Here's what his clinical experience will look like by the time he applies. His goal is MD, pediatric ER.

400+ hours of urban, high-volume ambulance service as a licensed paramedic (EMT-P). Assessments, starting IVs at 70 MPH, intubations, pre-hospital trauma treatment, pushing meds, etc.

150+ hours in various ERs/other facilities. These are hands-on hours with constant patient contact and procedures (under supervision) like what's mentioned above, not observation/shadowing hours. Breakdown is like so:
  • 88 hours spread across 6 different main/regular ERs, including 16 hrs at a Level 1 Trauma Center
  • 24 hours pediatric ER
  • 16 hours Labor & Delivery
  • 8 hours OMI (morgue / autopsy)
  • 8 hours ICU
  • 8 hours hospital OR
He's planning to work part-time/PRN during his senior year. If he does a gap year, which he's considering, he'll be able to add a year of full-time ambulance or ER work.

If he needs something more / different, please let me know. My concern isn't so much the number of hours, it's that they were acquired mostly through his paramedic clinical rotations and internship. Does that matter?

Thanks in advance!
Your boy is good.
 
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LizzyM

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Things may be different in your jurisdiction but I thought that EMT-P training takes 1-3 years. That's why working at it for only 400 hours after putting in so much time to be licensed seems short-sighted.

Working in pre-hospital care of patients is clinical experience but shadowing in primary care setting and non-emergency hospital settings would be a good idea. Fifty hours of shadowing should suffice. Pre-meds aren't expected to have performed procedures -- that's taught in medical school but teamwork experiences acquired on a rig will be appreciated.

In terms of volunteering hours... clinical volunteering is not required, particularly if someone has paid clinical service hours. Community service to the needy is another story and it is always a good idea to put in the time, year in and year out, to do one's part for the broader community in an activity that is not a "two birds - one stone" clinical volunteer activity.
 
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Things may be different in your jurisdiction but I thought that EMT-P training takes 1-3 years. That's why working at it for only 400 hours after putting in so much time to be licensed seems short-sighted.

Working in pre-hospital care of patients is clinical experience but shadowing in primary care setting and non-emergency hospital settings would be a good idea. Fifty hours of shadowing should suffice. Pre-meds aren't expected to have performed procedures -- that's taught in medical school but teamwork experiences acquired on a rig will be appreciated.

In terms of volunteering hours... clinical volunteering is not required, particularly if someone has paid clinical service hours. Community service to the needy is another story and it is always a good idea to put in the time, year in and year out, to do one's part for the broader community in an activity that is not a "two birds - one stone" clinical volunteer activity.
Thank you, LizzyM.

His EMT-P is two semesters plus a full-time summer internship on a rig, and it's part of a structured, 4-year BS in EMS at a state flagship U. He's planning to work as an ER Tech / ambulance crew for 1-2 years between undergrad & med school. In his area, EMT-Ps are often part of ER teams with a fairly broad scope of practice, and that's appealing to him. EMS is also part of his Plan B, which is MPH / EMS Ops / Disaster Management.

That should give him time to fix the zero in volunteer hours, except that he was thinking of applying and then deferring enrollment for a year if he got in - but maybe that part isn't such a good idea.
 
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Feb 20, 2020
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Thanks to everyone for answering my questions. I have what I need, namely enough to show my son that while is his advisor is right about GPA and clinical hours, he's wrong about being OK to apply with zero volunteer hours. Disclaimer: I don't think the advisor is incompetent. I think it's an oversight in the middle of COVID-chaos. He's been saying not to worry about volunteer hours, but that's rather different than applying with zero. I wanted to cross-check with you folks. :)

Ball's in the applicant's hands now.

Cheers!

Dia out
 
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