Perception of Non-medical hobbies/business by residency programs?

Jul 31, 2015
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So the situation is, I took 2 years off before med school to travel/chill/work and ended up starting a little side hustle where I sell jewelry on etsy and ended up making a website. It's moderately successful, mostly just for fun. I still have it and sort of give it attention when I can, or force my husband to do things for it.

Now I just started OMS4 year and I'm in the midst of writing my personal statement for residency/ thinking of potential residency interview questions. My question is- should I bring up this in my personal statement or interviews if asked? Or does it seem like I am 'not fully dedicated to medicine', as this is not a medical start up or something like that? My worry is that I am a below average applicant for my desired specialty (rads) with 220s step 1/ 610s comlex 1 and the PD will think "Well maybe if you would have spent less time with your jewelry business and more time studying you would have higher scores." I'm probably middle of the road class rank wise, but I do have more research than most DO students (4 pubs).... if that gives any context at all.

Personally I know my scores were below average because that test was a b*tch, or I'm just a little dumber than most- who knows, but not because of any lack of dedication. Just wondering what you would do in this situation, or if any attendings want to weigh in on how you would perceive a student like this.
 
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Shov

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I wouldn't dwell on your side gigs in your PS; if you loosely tie it in I think that wouldn't hurt though. As far as how it would come off in interviews, it's only going to help you I feel - a lot of people are interested in candidates that have experiences outside the medical field.
 
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DrRedstone

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Haven't applied yet, but over half of my PS is about a hobby of mine. If it's important to you, it's more likely to tell the program director who you really are than "I love specialty X because of [same reasons as everyone else]."
 
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Jul 31, 2015
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Haven't applied yet, but over half of my PS is about a hobby of mine. If it's important to you, it's more likely to tell the program director who you really are than "I love specialty X because of [same reasons as everyone else]."
I know this is generally true, and I definitely don't want a boring PS. But is it still true if your hobby is selling stuff? I'll admit 4 years ago when I started it the intent was to pay med school tuition.... ahaha :smack:
 

ciestar

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I know this is generally true, and I definitely don't want a boring PS. But is it still true if your hobby is selling stuff? I'll admit 4 years ago when I started it the intent was to pay med school tuition.... ahaha :smack:
Your hobby is jewelry making ;)
 
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Jul 31, 2015
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Your hobby is jewelry making ;)
Sadly no, I wish I was that creative. I have a mind for business and buy whole sale and resell (It's VERY common, most people just don't realize it when they buy stuff).
 

Sardonix

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Unless it was central to your identity I would leave it out of the personal statement. However, having a hobby and ALSO business is a GREAT thing to include in your app and will be awesome to talk about during interviews/interview dinners.
 
Jul 31, 2015
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Unless it was central to your identity I would leave it out of the personal statement. However, having a hobby and ALSO business is a GREAT thing to include in your app and will be awesome to talk about during interviews/interview dinners.
Thank you for your insight, this makes a lot of sense! Sadly going to be missing out on those famous interview dinners with everything likely being online this year.
 

AnatomyGrey12

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But is it still true if your hobby is selling stuff?
Yes. Stuff like that is interesting. Don't put it in the PS, but definitely make sure it's on ERAS somewhere. Stuff like that is what gets talked about at interviews a lot of the time
 

bogle8

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If you can tie it into PS intelligently then do so. Otherwise save it for hobbies on ERAS. My business was the main talking point during all of my interviews.
 
Jul 31, 2015
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If you can tie it into PS intelligently then do so. Otherwise save it for hobbies on ERAS. My business was the main talking point during all of my interviews.
Thank you- glad to find someone with a similar experience. Do you mind if I PM you?
 

ERK123

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I would think this could go in your work experience section of ERAS CV and not just the hobby section since it is a business. I think there will be plenty of interviewers who will be interested in this part of your application. It shows a lot of resourcefulness, and seems pretty bad ass. You can actually write a paragraph about the experience in this section so you can get creative in you want to frame it.
 
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BugzBunnyDoc

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i wrote my side hustle as an interest/hobby and it was a talking point of every single interview. Made me glad to have added it
 
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DrRedstone

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I was talking to my MSPE writer and he told me he didn't think I should list one of my hobbies. I told him I thought it was a good talking point. 5 minutes into our conversation about that hobby, he realized he was sidetracked and said, "fine." It made me laugh.
 

FistLength

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Unless your hobby has immediate or theoretical links to organized crime or illegal acts, they are generally great conversation starters
 
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samac

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There is a section on the app for hobbies. It was talked about in most of my interviews.
 
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AlteredScale

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So the situation is, I took 2 years off before med school to travel/chill/work and ended up starting a little side hustle where I sell jewelry on etsy and ended up making a website. It's moderately successful, mostly just for fun. I still have it and sort of give it attention when I can, or force my husband to do things for it.

Now I just started OMS4 year and I'm in the midst of writing my personal statement for residency/ thinking of potential residency interview questions. My question is- should I bring up this in my personal statement or interviews if asked? Or does it seem like I am 'not fully dedicated to medicine', as this is not a medical start up or something like that? My worry is that I am a below average applicant for my desired specialty (rads) with 220s step 1/ 610s comlex 1 and the PD will think "Well maybe if you would have spent less time with your jewelry business and more time studying you would have higher scores." I'm probably middle of the road class rank wise, but I do have more research than most DO students (4 pubs).... if that gives any context at all.

Personally I know my scores were below average because that test was a b*tch, or I'm just a little dumber than most- who knows, but not because of any lack of dedication. Just wondering what you would do in this situation, or if any attendings want to weigh in on how you would perceive a student like this.
From my personal experience, most interviewers will want to know about you, beyond your scores and your experiences.

I included a very small piece on how I played music and how it led to my interest in internal medicine. It was always talked about in some shape during my interviews. I also was asked by a PD about my interest in video games and I went on a 5 minute rant about the game I play obsessively with @TheBoneDoctah . I think he laughed at the end and said his son plays fortnite which made me rank them lower at the end f the day (jk).

I think its def worth stating you were able to do a jewelry business, why not. It's a passion of yours. I really doubt they would put two and two together and lead to a notion that that business was what move your scores down.
 

TheBoneDoctah

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From my personal experience, most interviewers will want to know about you, beyond your scores and your experiences.

I included a very small piece on how I played music and how it led to my interest in internal medicine. It was always talked about in some shape during my interviews. I also was asked by a PD about my interest in video games and I went on a 5 minute rant about the game I play obsessively with @TheBoneDoctah . I think he laughed at the end and said his son plays fortnite which made me rank them lower at the end f the day (jk).

I think its def worth stating you were able to do a jewelry business, why not. It's a passion of yours. I really doubt they would put two and two together and lead to a notion that that business was what move your scores down.
I'm not gonna read the entire thread, but on almost every interview I was asked about what @AlteredScale said about the video games and in most, connected with a resident or two who also played the game. Personal connections are king in interviews to push you past your stats and let the interviewers see you working with them for 3-6 years.
 
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