Trismegistus4

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The "anyone accepted yet?" thread was getting hijacked by a discussion of the necessity of clinical exposure and so I thought I'd bring the discussion here, since I think it's worth exploring further.

Am I the only one who thinks that having to have volunteered in hospitals and shadowed physicians just to get into a post-bacc program (let alone medical school) is nothing more than an incredibly annoying system of hoops to be jumped through? Everyone says "you have to know what you're getting into." Fair enough. But look: why is it assumed that, unless one has rolled patients around in the ER, observed a surgery, and followed an FP doc around the clinic for a day, one has a completely unrealistic view of medicine and MUST only be trying to enter it on a whim? I talked to a pre-med advisor a few weeks ago and almost argued with her on this point. She said, "well, you have to have seen how busy an ER can get, listened to a resident bitching about being overworked, etc." Why? Everyone knows residents have to work 80 hours a week and 30 hour straight shifts when on call. See? I just proved I know that, by stating it. Now, why do I need to listen to a resident tell it to me? I already know!

Really, what are these programs so afraid of? What is the bad thing they think is going to happen if they admit people who haven't observed an ER? Are they worried about little stuff, like students finding out they can't stand the sight of blood? Well, I already know I can. Next! Are they worried we think we're just going to make $500k/year playing golf all day? Or that we think we're going to be like the doctors on ER, enjoying an adrenaline rush saving people's lives non-stop? Well, I already know doctors don't make as much money as they used to and the payments on loans incurred during med school can be huge, doctors don't have much spare time for things like playing golf, and that ER is an unrealistic depiction of medicine (heck, I've never even watched it.) Next! See my point? Why are these programs so skeptical about our motives? If I can simply STATE that I'm aware that medical school is very stressful and time-consuming, and that the practice of medicine is very demanding, why isn't that good enough?

My ire was particularly aroused in the other thread when Superflyjsc wrote:
I went in for my interview at Upenn and I felt i did really well in the interview and questions the interviewer has asked however, becuase of my lack of healthcare experience, the interviewer really questioned my reasoning for changing my career to medicine. He told me flat out that becuase i do not have much of a healthcare background, I do not fully realize what I am getting myself into. As it turns out, becuase of that i got rejected from the program and I was a lil dissapointed however that experience really made me think. Did i really know what i was getting myself into?
To make a long story short, after long long consideration, i realized that medicine may not have been best path for me.

So, basically, Superflyjsc let an interviewer, someone who had never been to medical school himself, talk him out of trying to become a doctor because he didn't "realize what he was getting himself into." I'm sorry, but I think that's bogus. How was the interviewer so confidently able to state what he did? Could he read the guy's mind? Did he think this person believed he was going to get his MD then spend the rest of his life sitting in his office smoking a pipe and getting paid $300k/year for it? We all know doctors work hard. We all know the first 2 years of med school are like trying to drink from a fire hose, that 3rd year consists of slaving away long hours in the hospital getting chewed out by residents and attendings. We all know that residents work more than 80 hours a week, that every few nights they have call and have to stay up all night working, that they're stressed out dealing with life and death situations which they don't feel they're adequately prepared for. We all know that doctors have to be able to stand the sight of blood, that they have to be around sick people all day, that even in private practice they continue to have to work more than standard business hours, that they don't make as much money and aren't as respected as they used to be, that they get sued at the drop of a hat, that they have to study continously to keep up with advances in medicine, that insurance companies and the government continue to take autonomy away from them, that they sometimes feel like they don't have time for their families, that their work is never done. WE GET IT!!! Now, medical schools want us to do some volunteering and shadowing before applying? Fine; I can't complain about that. But why, oh why, should we have to practically have our MD's already just to get into a freaking post-baccalaureate pre-medical program?!

This brings me to my main point, my thesis, if you will. LilyMD wrote in the other thread:
There's a good reason post-baccs want to see some sort of exposure to health care --- because they want to make sure that you're committed to medicine because if you're not it will be difficult to make through this arduous weeding-out process.
...
Many of these programs pride themselves and boast of high med. school acceptance rates, while I'm sure the supportive atmosphere has something to do with it, I suspect that the real success lies in only accepting those who probably have backgrounds and academic experiences that would probably get them into medical school anyway.

I think this points to what's really going on here. See that phrase "weeding-out process"? Here's my theory: this isn't really about knowing what we're getting into at all. It's simply an elaborate set of hoops to be jumped through, constructed to force us to prove our dedication to entering the field of medicine. The purpose isn't to confirm that we can stand the sight of blood, or to get us excited about helping people, but merely to prove that when those in authority in the medical education process say "jump", we will say "how high?" It's a weeding out process because if I start to say to myself "you know what? This isn't really worth it. It's dumb to have to have been an EMT or a phlebotomist in order to get into medical school. If that's what it takes, forget it; I'm not interested," then the hoops will have served their purpose: discouraging someone who wasn't quite 110% gung-ho about the whole process. If, on the other hand, I've already done a ton of volunteering and become an EMT, I've proven that I'm willing to do whatever it takes, since I'm jumping through the hoops on my own initiative. The experiences wouldn't even really need to involve seeing medicine. A post-bacc interviewer could just as well say "in order to get into med school, you need to be able to stand on your head and whistle the Star-Spangled Banner backwards, so prove to me that you can do that now." If I hesitate and say "why?", their response would be "well, I guess you don't really want to be a doctor that badly, do you? Next!"

So, who agrees with my theory?

My conclusion for my own life is that I AM definitely going to do this. If I let this system discourage me, THEY will have proven that I wasn't really dedicated to becoming a doctor. I can't let them win, now, can I? :D

[/rant]

Edited 25-Feb-2004 8:17AM to correct spelling & punctuation
 

Febrifuge

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I think the idea of "this is my dream and nothing's gonna stop me" is admirable, and awesome, and we all need it if we're going to get through the hoop-jumping part of things.

But how do you know you're actually going to be happy working in a healthcare setting? How do you know you like the work, the people you have to work with, and the settings in which you'll be doing it for the next 25 years? How do you know you get any satisfaction and enjoyment out of it? How do you know you're any good, or could eventually become good?

My EC experience isn't for the purpose of impressing some stuffed shirt committee. It's for me, so I can say "this is my dream and nothing's gonna stop me" with a sense of authority and sureness that nobody can take away. This is my life, here.

Rolling patients around the ER teaches me very little. What teaches me -- and by the way, gives me something to talk about with that committee-- is knowing first-hand how it feels to get to the end of a 16-hour day; being puked on; helping with procedures; and talking with and treating patients.

I'm not saying if you haven't done that, then you don't know anything. I'm just saying if you haven't done that, there's a chance you could find yourself in a situation that once you're there, you don't want to be in. And that would be a shame, for lots of reasons.

Tell you what, though: you asked "Am I the only one who thinks that having to have volunteered in hospitals and shadowed physicians just to get into a post-bacc program (let alone medical school) is nothing more than an incredibly annoying system of hoops to be jumped through?" -- and I totally agree: if all someone is doing is volunteering, or shadowing in a desultory fashion, just for the purpose of getting into a post-bac, then yes. That person is just jumping through hoops, and going through the motions. And that person is unlikely to get anything out of the experience.
 

Trismegistus4

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That's fine if you feel you really need volunteering experience in order for you to be sure about it. I just think it's excessive to have to do it in order to get into a post-bacc. I think of the post-bacc phase as a time when I can finally begin to really get "into" medicine: taking the science classes and volunteering in medical settings in my spare time. I'll finally be able to place my goal of becoming a doctor at the center of my life in a way that I can't right now, working a full-time job that's not related to medicine. To me, post-bacc is where it all starts, where I can really begin to pursue my dream. It offends me that I'm going to be shut out of that phase until I've jumped through a bunch of hoops that, frankly, aren't going to dissuade me from becoming a doctor. I'm looking forward to shadowing the 2 docs I've contacted, and hope to begin doing so next month. I expect to be fascinated by what I see and have my interest in medicine piqued even more. But the fact is, I'm not going to say "My mind wasn't made up on medicine before, but NOW it is!" It will already pretty much have been made up. And I want to get started. I want to start a post-bacc, because I'm eager to enter this new phase of my life, to finally begin doing something I WANT to do, and I'd be distressed to have to put that off for a full year because programs refuse to accept anyone who hasn't jumped through their hoops.

I find it insulting to be told by pre-med advisors and post-bacc interviewers that I don't know what I'm getting into. Maybe it's just me, but I hear that as "you're just some punk who watches ER and thinks it's a realistic depiction of medicine, and you think it's going to be a high-paying cakewalk, and we REFUSE to believe otherwise even though you're telling us you don't. We don't believe you." Basically, they'd be saying I'm a liar, impugning my honesty and integrity. That's insulting.

As I often say, when I interviewed for my first job in the IT field, no one said to me "how do you know you really want to be a Systems Analyst if you haven't spent 8 hours a week for a year following a Systems Analyst around at work?" What is different about medicine? The fact that debt incurred during med school makes it difficult to back out of? OK, fair point. And if the interviewee is an immature young college student who just wants to be like the docs on ER, maybe that would be a valid concern. But as I've said, I already know that med school is difficult, residents work long hours, doctors feel underappreciated, etc. I think it's excessive to require me to spend a year volunteering just to prove that. If I thought there was the slightest chance I was going to back out, I wouldn't be considering doing this in the first place. Unlike a college student who still lives with mom and dad, I have nowhere to go, so I HAVE to have thought this through.

This brings to mind another point I forgot to make in the OP because it relates more to med school admissions: volunteering and shadowing before even begining pre-med coursework cannot be strictly necessary for producing good doctors, for the simple reason that it's only been in the past 10-15 years that even applicants to med schools have been required to do it. For generations, med schools simply took whoever had the highest grades and MCAT scores. There was no concern on the part of med schools that applicants didn't know what they were getting into. Was medical education in a disastrous state back then? I understand that if everyone has high grades and MCATs, you have to introduce another factor for competition, and if you care about training compassionate physicians you want applicants to demonstrate that they're willing to help people. Fine. But when everyone's talking about how important it is to know what you're getting into, and saying that the way to do that is to spend tons of time volunteering, yet volunteering wasn't required or even commonplace in the past, something seems fishy. We know from experience that good doctors can be trained without requiring them to have medical experience before med school. Therefore, requiring applicants to volunteer must to some extent simply be a way of dealing with having way too may qualified applicants by introducing a factor by which they can be sorted.
 
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Febrifuge

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My gut instinct is that many of those docs who came from the system that simply admitted the applicants with highest test scores and best grades must have turned out to be abrasive, unpleasant people with a low capacity for handling the day-in, day-out work of providing care. So the system adjusted, to make more room for the hardworking, passionate, naturally talented kids like you and me, who might have been dismissed as square pegs before.

But a system that needs to turn, say, 450 applications in March into 35 acceptances in July is going to have to have some rules that can be quickly and mercilessly applied to that massive pool of applicants. A system sophisticated enough to differentiate "good future doctor with low GPA" from "looks good on paper, but will lose license and bankrupt hospital 27 months after graduation" in that time span has yet to be invented.

So if we acknowledge that some other criterion is going to have to stand in for "this person will be a good doc," and it's not going to be "has 3.9 GPA and 1300 SAT," then it's going to have to be something. It's inescapable that there will be hoop-jumping, and I guess we all have to make our peace with that, because it's the way of the world. For better or for worse, once we become physicians, there will be a need to be good at hoop-jumping, if we work in clinic and want to get reimbursed, work in hospitals and want to advance the causes of our departments...

I'm not saying it's right, but there are reasons for it. And for me, part of knowing I've made the right choice to go back for the postbac and head toward medicine after another career is that I'm willing to put up with all the attendant hoo-hah of an application. I don't love it, but I consider it a challenge that can be turned into something good for me. (But maybe that's just my low-grade insanity or Minnesotan-ness.)

And frankly, while I don't really disagree with your logic or your argument, I feel that if there were one seat left in a post-bac where I've applied, and it came down to me and another applicant, with similar numbers and just as much passion, but without the same EC's as me... I'd feel as though I were the more qualified, and (to be brutally blunt about it) more deserving, candidate. The better bet for the committee to go with.

Also, and this might be beside the point, I personally wonder how someone can willingly take on the expense of tuition, student loan interest, and lost income without being as sure as I am-- and I have a hard time understanding how anyone can be that sure without having first-hand experience.

Your comparison between an IT job interview and a postbac admissions interview is an interesting one, but it's not the same situation. With the IT job, if you don't perform well and they fire you, or if you decide you hate the company or the work and quit, they can hire someone else immediately. A school needs to wait for the next application cycle, and in the interval they're not collecting revenue from your tuition payments.

Again, it's not like that's our problem, since we're the students and not the school administrators. But it's a feature of this crazy world we're choosing to become a part of, so it's our reality too.

And I don't want to be misunderstood, so I should say I definitely agree about the Star-Spangled Banner thing being objectionable and bullying. If I felt like a school was just jerking me around and behaving in the manner you describe, I'd go find another school to apply to. I'm too old to put up with that sort of thing. ;)
 

LoneCoyote

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Well, having done post-bac (at state school, not an organized program) and just finishing the whole process by getting accepted to one of my top choice med schools the other day, all I can say is welcome to what will be several years of jumping through hoops. This process will really test your commitment to this field over and over again, from the prereqs to studying for the MCAT, to the arduous application process. I have been told over and over again by doctors, make sure you REALLY want to do this because it is a LONG road. So I hate to say it, but this post-bac experience is only the beginning.

Personally, I did 2 significant health care volunteering opportunities and I found one to be very helpful and the other to be something I stuck with just to have done it. I did not feel very good about it but the reality is that you do need to play the proverbial game. My good volunteer experience really exposed me to a lot of what medicine is about and I am very happy to have gotten that experience. That said, I am sure that even having done that, and knowing what I know about the challenges of med school, that it will still be very different from what I expect.

I agree with you that having to volunteer in a hospital just to get into a post-bac seems a bit much. I started the science and realized I liked it and that led me to medicine and volunteering, not the other way around. I have seen friends who loved the clinical side they saw volunteering hate the science classes and bail. This does seem like a weed out thing but just do what you need to do and let the whole experience evolve from there. Good luck.
 

Trismegistus4

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I've been too busy to post to this thread recently, but I did have more I wanted to say.

Originally posted by Febrifuge
So if we acknowledge that some other criterion is going to have to stand in for "this person will be a good doc," and it's not going to be "has 3.9 GPA and 1300 SAT," then it's going to have to be something. It's inescapable that there will be hoop-jumping, and I guess we all have to make our peace with that, because it's the way of the world.
I agree. I accept the fact that if everyone has stellar GPAs and MCATs, you have to introduce another differentiating factor.

And frankly, while I don't really disagree with your logic or your argument, I feel that if there were one seat left in a post-bac where I've applied, and it came down to me and another applicant, with similar numbers and just as much passion, but without the same EC's as me... I'd feel as though I were the more qualified, and (to be brutally blunt about it) more deserving, candidate. The better bet for the committee to go with.
Absolutely ALL other things being perfectly equal, yes. But what about the personal statement and interview? I believe that someone who's only done a little shadowing/volunteering can be making a much more informed decision, know more about medicine, have a more mature perspective, and have much better motives, than someone who's done a ton of shadowing/volunteering but is just jumping through hoops. What bothers me is the sense that post-bac programs are going to reject me out of hand, placing my application directly in the circular file because of my lack of clinical exposure, while accepting people whose personal statements, interviews, and general sense about their future in medicine are rather humdrum, but have done 500 hours of volunteering/shadowing just as hoop-jumping.

Also, and this might be beside the point, I personally wonder how someone can willingly take on the expense of tuition, student loan interest, and lost income without being as sure as I am-- and I have a hard time understanding how anyone can be that sure without having first-hand experience.
Well, millions of people, including me, head off to four expensive years of college after high school, having NO idea what they're going to do when it's over.

I would phrase my objection to this point in the following way: let's say a post-bac interviewer or admissions officer looks at me and thinks I don't have sufficient clinical exposure and don't know what I'm getting into. Presumably, what this means is that they believe that, if they were to accept me, and I continued volunteering/shadowing in order to boost my med school app while taking the pre-med classes, there's a good chance that I would, during one of those volunteering/shadowing experiences, see something that would be so awful, so horrifying, that it would cause me to totally abandon my interest in medicine and drop out of the program. Just what that could be I'd like to know. Seriously, I would like to be able to ask one of the people at these programs frankly, what are you so afraid of? What is it that they think is going to change my mind? Are they afraid that I'll find I can't stand the sight of blood, or the sight of some trauma patient coming into the ER with his arm dangling by a flap of skin? Are they worried I'll see that some specialties spend most of their time looking over lab results and doing paperwork, and I'll find medicine too boring? Are they afraid that I'll be scared off by the preponderance of lawsuits, or the interference of managed care in physicians' autonomy? Are they really afraid that seeing these things will not just dampen my spirits slightly, but will actually cause me to totally reject medicine as a career? My response to these objections is 1) I already know all of that (as evidenced by the fact that I just spewed it out) even if I haven't physically observed it all firsthand, and 2) I can't imagine that seeing any of those things would be so bad that it would cause me to reject medicine, to say "I used to think I wanted to be a doctor, but after seeing this, forget it. Never mind." I can't imagine there's anything I would see that would cause me to say that. I want to be a doctor and I want to rise to the challenges of medicine. I'm not going to wimp out!

And I don't want to be misunderstood, so I should say I definitely agree about the Star-Spangled Banner thing being objectionable and bullying. If I felt like a school was just jerking me around and behaving in the manner you describe, I'd go find another school to apply to. I'm too old to put up with that sort of thing. ;)
The problem is that I think in some sense, this is exactly what the post-bac programs are doing. The real reason they want people to have done all this volunteering/shadowing is that they want people who are so driven, so dedicated, that they are already taking the initiative to jump through the hoops themselves, instead of people who look like they might be waiting to have their hand held. This makes it more likely that those whom they accept will do whatever it takes to get into med school, and they'll be able to brag of a high med school acceptance rate. They just say it's to confirm that you really know what you're getting into because that sounds like a more valid reason than "we want you to prove your dedication by jumping through these hoops." Or, as Anka put it in this thread:

You may not need clinical experience to get into medical school, but to get into UPenn's post bac program, you do. Why? Probably because they only want to accept people who will do well -- they want people who are already checking the boxes. But if you ask them, they'll tell you it's because, "How else can you find out whether you want to be a doctor?" If you ask most practicing physicians, though, they'll tell you that there's no way to figure out whether you should be a doctor other than by trying it.
Note that this issue, for me, is different from having to volunteer/shadow in order to get into medical school. I understand that med schools want applicants to have had some exposure to medicine. I'm just peeved that application deadlines for post-bacs are rapidly approaching and I'm having such a hard time finding docs to shadow (they're not calling me back!), and because of that I may have to put the whole pre-med experience off for a year.

As an afterword, I think it's interesting that out of everyone I've communicated with on this subject, the only people who have expressed negative feelings about medicine or questioned my motives have been people in the pre-med world and people on the internet. All of the practicing doctors I've talked to in real life have been nothing but encouraging. :)
 

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I understand your impatience to get started on this long journey. I am 36, was a biomedical engineer in a hospital and a volunteer EMT for thousands of hours before I even decided on med school and yet I still took the time to shadow residents at the hospital I used to work at. Medicine has been a part of my life since I was in high school. For me, I didn't need to prove that I knew what I was getting into or that I could handle it. The additional shadowing I did was something I wanted to do - it is fascinating and educational, but more importantly it showed commitment to medicine and service.

You can say "I know what I am getting into" all you want, but everyone says that; and med schools do need a way to differentiate who really understands some of the realities of medicine.

I don't know your situation, but here is what I did. I started taking prereqs on my own at UCONN while I was shadowing and applying to the post-bacc program. Perhaps that is an option for you. In addition, you don't have to do a formal post-bacc program, perhaps it would be easier for you to take prereqs on your own and obtain some clinical exposure concurrently.

To be honest, volunteering and shadowing is one of the easier hopes to jump through (at least it is in a clinical environment). You need to develop some patience if you are to survive the first two years of med school - two years spent learning mind-numbing details while 3rd and 4th year students tell you "you'll never use all that stuff after Step I". It is very hard not to be impatient about starting rotations sometimes, but I know these first two years are my foundation.

Switching to med school after working in another field for many years requires quite a bit of adaption. You go from being an expert in what you do to someone who knows virtually nothing; from everything being routine, to everything being new, from being semi-autonomous to being told what to do and how to do it.

Good luck and enjoy the journey. Just remember that many of the decisions made in this process are made by others; all you can do is put your best foot forward and enjoy the ride.
 

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Originally posted by Trismegistus4
Am I the only one who thinks that having to have volunteered in hospitals and shadowed physicians just to get into a post-bacc program (let alone medical school) is nothing more than an incredibly annoying system of hoops to be jumped through? Everyone says "you have to know what you're getting into." Fair enough. But look: why is it assumed that, unless one has rolled patients around in the ER, observed a surgery, and followed an FP doc around the clinic for a day, one has a completely unrealistic view of medicine and MUST only be trying to enter it on a whim? I talked to a pre-med advisor a few weeks ago and almost argued with her on this point. She said, "well, you have to have seen how busy an ER can get, listened to a resident bitching about being overworked, etc." Why? Everyone knows residents have to work 80 hours a week and 30 hour straight shifts when on call. See? I just proved I know that, by stating it. Now, why do I need to listen to a resident tell it to me? I already know!

Originally, volunteering at a hospital, whether it be ER, OR, or whatever was to find out "what its like to be a doctor". Nowadays with a bunch of books on how to get into medical school, and numerous TV shows, it doesn't matter in regards to this. HOWEVER, there are still people who don't know what they're getting into, and there are minute details of medicine you might see if you volunteer which can decide whether or not you want to be a doctor.

Originally posted by Trismegistus4
Really, what are these programs so afraid of? What is the bad thing they think is going to happen if they admit people who haven't observed an ER? Are they worried about little stuff, like students finding out they can't stand the sight of blood? Well, I already know I can. Next! Are they worried we think we're just going to make $500k/year playing golf all day? Or that we think we're going to be like the doctors on ER, enjoying an adrenaline rush saving people's lives non-stop? Well, I already know doctors don't make as much money as they used to and the payments on loans incurred during med school can be huge, doctors don't have much spare time for things like playing golf, and that ER is an unrealistic depiction of medicine (heck, I've never even watched it.) Next! See my point? Why are these programs so skeptical about our motives? If I can simply STATE that I'm aware that medical school is very stressful and time-consuming, and that the practice of medicine is very demanding, why isn't that good enough?

They are skeptical about one's motives because this career, regardless of the pay, the debt, and the time, is still a job in HIGH DEMAND. I'll let you figure out the reason why someone wants to put themselves through all these "hoops" as you say to become a doctor. Therefore, out of the 40,000 or so applicants each year, there are probably quite a few who are applying for reason's other than yours or mine. One of the things you find out is people tend to act like people. In other words, some peopel are bad some people are good, and what not. Volunteering allows the adcom to at least know that this person put in some additional effort by volunteering (in addition to other EC's) to get into med school. I don't think that the whole thing about finding out that med school is stressful/time consuming can be derived from volunteering. I think the adcom's don't really care if you knew that. All they would do is look at your grades, how many units you took per quarter/semester, and how well you did on the MCAT to determine if you can take that workload. Additionally, they'd look at your EC's, personal life, jobs, etc when you were going to school. Clearly anyone who did well in a 13-15 unit quarter, with upper division science classes, worked full time, and volunteered can probably pass a quarter in medical school. On top of that if this person managed to have fun on the side by playing sports or whatever, more power to them

Originally posted by Trismegistus4
So, who agrees with my theory?

My conclusion for my own life is that I AM definitely going to do this. If I let this system discourage me, THEY will have proven that I wasn't really dedicated to becoming a doctor. I can't let them win, now, can I? :D

[/rant]

Edited 25-Feb-2004 8:17AM to correct spelling & punctuation

I personally don't agree with your theory, with respect that this whole thing about getting to know the field you're getting into is a way to discourage someone, or just another hoop to jump through. I personally enjoy volunteering, shadowing, and what not. Perhaps i was lucky to have physician's who allowed me to go along with the care team and contribute to the doctoring process, but I had fun trying to figure out what was wrong with the patient. I have developed friends, or at least working relationships within our medical center. These people range from chronic patients to clinical professors. I think volunteering is indeed something one must do to make themselves a competative applicant, however I think it also serves to make one interact with people more.

When i say that its something you have to do to be competative, i mean that one must have some clinical exposure. I personally have over 300 hours of clinical experience through volunteering and shadowing. Additionally, I have an uncountable number of clinical exposure hours accumulated from being a research assistant for the past 4 years. What I gained from the 300 hours of volunteering and shadowing has paid off a GREAT DEAL in my post-bacc career. I know the physicians, i know the faculty, and I know their procedures. In return, they allow me to play doctor along with them, and also help me out when i'm conducting a study at the hospital. So in the end, I think i've done a good job at making relationships, rather than getting to know what i'm getting into; and those relationships are far more important to me than most of my other EC's combined.
 
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  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.