Aug 8, 2015
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Quick question for everyone

Since I submitted my AMCAS primary, I've completed a few shadowing experiences. My primary doesn't have shadowing listed as an activity - should I let schools know what I've done since I submitted or is it WAY too early to be doing it/not significant enough to update?
 

WedgeDawg

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There are a couple ways you can approach this. First, it's highly detrimental to have no shadowing (except in certain circumstances), so sending an update letter detailing your new shadowing experiences will help show schools that you now actually know what you're getting into. However, you should feel out your options and figure out whether or not this lack of shadowing experience is hurting you or not. Do you have interview invites? If so, how many and at what schools? If you have no interview invites in, say, 2-3 weeks, I would say an update to all your schools with shadowing experience would probably help, if you think this is the main thing that's keeping you out. If you get a couple invites, shadowing probably won't make a huge difference for you - at some schools it might help, at others it might not matter.

On the whole, having no shadowing experiences will hurt in general, but it's too early to tell whether or not you in particular are going to be hurt by lack of shadowing. I would say wait a week or two and then re-evaluate.
 
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Aug 8, 2015
41
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Medical Student (Accepted)
Thank you for your thoughtful response. So far I have one interview, complete at most schools around very end of July. In a number of secondaries I did tie in a shadowing experience with an oncologist (what I think I want to do) and of course mentioned it in great length in the "anything you want to update us on" kinds of questions, but wasn't sure about the schools where there was no opportunity to discuss shadowing in their secondaries.

I will probably wait a week at those schools where I didn't get a chance to say anything to send an update - or should I just send a full update to everyone?
 
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ac62994

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It won't hurt to update now, but it could if you wait longer. Unless you have a healthy amount of clinical volunteering listed to balance out the absence of shadowing, they may assume you're just gunning it after just shadowing one MD.
 
Aug 8, 2015
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Medical Student (Accepted)
Ah I see, I probably have over 200 hours of clinical volunteering so far. Probably will send some updates to all tomorrow just to give myself the best shot!
 

mw18

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The way updates were explained to me by the admissions staff at a few places and in talking to many interviewers about it, the adcom often doesn't analyze when the update comes in. The admissions folks just add it to your file and the interviewers/committee just see an extra sheet of paper on your app. This could be ENTIRELY school dependent though, so if any of the adcoms wanna chime in that would be helpful. I would send them in if you think the hours are substantial enough (16 hours physician shadowing probably not gonna cut it), because I honestly don't think it will be overly scrutinized. BUT, make sure you make sure the school is receptive to updates. Don't wanna ruffle any feathers.
 
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