linkin06

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do you think it'd be appropriate to bring up poker as a hobby during interviews? i wouldn't mention the stakes i play, but i was thinking about how poker tests my abilities to make correct decisions under time constraints? it seems like that similar pressure skills are good for certain fields, like anesthesiology.
 

saqrfaraj

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What I'm going to say is aimed at all applicants:

You shouldn't feel the need to try and find "medical relevance" in your non-academic activities and hobbies. Doctors are humans and med schools want humans to fill the slots in their entering class. Humans have hobbies and interests outside of their jobs. This is one of the main things that separates us from robots, and that's a good thing. Why? Because robots make terrible clinicians. Robots would probably make decent surgeons, but that's a discussion for another thread. The point is, med school admissions committees know that robots make bad clinicians, so they welcome the chance to learn about your hobbies.

Bottom line: they know that you don't play poker because you think it'll make you a good anesthesiologist. They know it, I know it, and you know it. But that's OKAY.
 

Jolt21

I Drop Knowledge
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What I'm going to say is aimed at all applicants:

You shouldn't feel the need to try and find "medical relevance" in your non-academic activities and hobbies. Doctors are humans and med schools want humans to fill the slots in their entering class. Humans have hobbies and interests outside of their jobs. This is one of the main things that separates us from robots, and that's a good thing. Why? Because robots make terrible clinicians. Robots would probably make decent surgeons, but that's a discussion for another thread. The point is, med school admissions committees know that robots make bad clinicians, so they welcome the chance to learn about your hobbies.

Bottom line: they know that you don't play poker because you think it'll make you a good anesthesiologist. They know it, I know it, and you know it. But that's OKAY.
this is true

if you were going to use the poker in your PS, then yea would probably have to relate it to medicine somehow.

if you just wanted to mention it as a hobby in your EC field on the AMCAS, then you dont need to relate it to medicine at all. listing it is fine (along with how serious it is for you, how long you spend on it, whether you have done something professional with it, etc.).

IMO, i wouldn't put it down as a hobby unless you teach, took classes, enter sponsored/official tournaments, or use it as a means of income. otherwise only put it if you have an empty spot and just want them to see a different side of you (there are 15 spots to fill).
 

ensuii

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The "what do you do in your free time" question is vital towards demonstrating your interpersonal skills and how you're not just some premed prude. I mentioned at my interviews that I would play online pokers on the weekends for extra spending money and my interviewers generally responded postively (esp. if they were student interviewers).
 

Anotherface

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Though what the above poster said is correct, I myself would not include poker as a hobby. I feel like bringing it up may raise a red flag: does this applicant have gambling issues and trouble managing his money. If you do bring it up make sure you're ready to answer some tough questions.
 

saqrfaraj

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Speaking of hobbies, it's perfectly acceptable to have one slot in your activities section devoted to them. You can list all the interesting things you do for fun and excitement and you don't have to have performed in them competitively or have awards to show your success. This stems from the whole "not a robot" thing that I mentioned above.
 

saqrfaraj

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Though what the above poster said is correct, I myself would not include poker as a hobby. I feel like bringing it up may raise a red flag: does this applicant have gambling issues and trouble managing his money. If you do bring it up make sure you're ready to answer some tough questions.
This is just silly. Plenty of decent, hardworking people play poker. Premeds tend to go a little overboard regarding what's considered a "red flag" in the admissions process. Poker is just fine to list as a hobby.
 
OP
linkin06

linkin06

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i wasn't trying to justify my poker playing as medically relevant. i just know gambling has this bad perception in general, but if i looked at it as the challenge of decision making...

just wanted to get some thoughts.

and if you're on FTP, let's go HU
 

saqrfaraj

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i wasn't trying to justify my poker playing as medically relevant. i just know gambling has this bad perception in general, but if i looked at it as the challenge of decision making...

just wanted to get some thoughts.

and if you're on FTP, let's go HU
If you're that concerned, you don't have to say you play for money.
 

ensuii

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Though what the above poster said is correct, I myself would not include poker as a hobby. I feel like bringing it up may raise a red flag: does this applicant have gambling issues and trouble managing his money. If you do bring it up make sure you're ready to answer some tough questions.
This is just ridiculous...I don't see how playing poker as a means to have fun could at all be construed in this manner. It's like fearing admitting that you like to have a beer on sunday's while watching the game for fear of being perceived as an alcoholic :-\
 
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Talk about the time when you soul read someone under pressure in some big tournament and called down his busted flush draw.

Also, I'm on stars as well. Lets play sometime ensui
 

ensuii

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Talk about the time when you soul read someone under pressure in some big tournament and called down his busted flush draw.

Also, I'm on stars as well. Lets play sometime ensui
haha, sure, what do you play? i've been playing a lot of NLHE sit n gos lately
 

onb2014

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if you were applying to wall street / business school, i'd consider mentioning it. for med school, i think it'll do more harm than good. you could show them in cash the money you've made and they'd still be worried that you're a degenerate who could go down the road to destructive behavior. i'm not saying this is the case with you, but you have little to gain and a lot to lose by mentioning this. not good pot odds.
 

ReptarBar

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plz dude DONT MENTION IT LOL! so many people in the generation above us are averse to poker. my dad absolutely HATES poker and its not unreasonable to think someone in the adcom might. just dont do it.
 

Confused2626

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Personally, I wouldn't mention it either. Yes, it is a normal activity, but so is drinking...would you really mention the Thirsty Thursday bar deals you love to go to?

I wouldn't include vice hobbies. That's just my opinion. This isn't just for med school interviews, but any job interview...mentioning poker is not a professional response.