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osprey099

7+ Year Member
Jan 27, 2011
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Hi guys, I would first like to thank all of you for reading this. As the title suggest, I am going to be a sophomore this fall and I have recently been contemplating how to fit my ECs/research/volunteering/etc pieces into my schedule for the next 2 years. Thank you again for helping; I really appreciate it. So here goes..

School: I have already completed the Calc, Chem, Physics, and English requirements for med school. I will have completed Orgo by next summer. I plan to take the MCAT end of next summer. I have a decent GPA (~3.7) and my courseload/stress level is manageable. The bottom line is that I would like to keep things this way.

So how would I incorporate the following pieces of the puzzle? Here is some background info:

Research: I am currently doing the NIH Summer Internship in Biomedical Research Program and have learned a ton of stuff. However, I will have no publications (since my internship is only 3 months) and I will probably not ask the PI for a LOR (again, for the same reason). I am thinking about doing another internship next summer (not at the NIH) but I am also planning to take the MCAT at the end of august next year so I will need the summer to study as well. Is it possible if I can take on a full time internship while studying for MCAT next summer or should I just only study MCAT? However, regardless of whether or not I do a research internship next summer, I am definitely going to do a full year of research my Junior year.

Clinical Experience/Shadowing: I am definitely going to do a full year of shadowing this year (sophomore year). I have also been involved in a clinical volunteer club that I will be continuing doing for the rest of my 3 years.

Community Volunteering: I am currently in a great volunteer club that I love and care about a lot and will continue with this club for the next 3 years. Also, the current president of the club told me that he would like to see my as president of the club come Junior year and I have already been promoted to Treasurer for this year so I am definitely going to continue volunteering with this club.

This is what I am looking at for the next 2 years:

Sophomore: Shadowing 2 semesters; Community Volunteer Club 2 semesters; Clinical Volunteer Club 2 semesters :::::::::::: I am not sure if I can fit the Shadowing

End of Sophomore Summer: Research Internship; MCAT ::::::::::::::: I don't know if this is a good idea doing both

Junior: Research 2 semesters; Clinical Volunteer Club 2 semesters; Community Volunteer Club 2 semesters :::::::::::::::::: I am not sure if I can fit the Research

End of Junior Summer: Do applications


So can you guys critique my plan/offer advice? Thank you again for taking the time to read this lengthy post.
 
Last edited:

SexyDoctor

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Apr 20, 2011
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Don't like how you have so many clubs..do something else! Go tutor! go join a sports team! Go do something interesting.
 

osprey099

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Jan 27, 2011
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Don't like how you have so many clubs..do something else! Go tutor! go join a sports team! Go do something interesting.
I do spend ~2 hours almost every day playing either recreational basketball or intramural sports with friends. But that doesn't count for med school.
 
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SexyDoctor

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Apr 20, 2011
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I do spend ~2 hours almost every day playing either recreational basketball or intramural sports with friends. But that doesn't count for med school.
yuuhh it does.
 

osprey099

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Jan 27, 2011
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yuuhh it does.
Are you sure? I don't think med schools can verify this. And besides, I play basketball and intramural sports for pure entertainment. Haven't really thought of it as an "activity" to list on applications...
 

tn4596

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Jul 23, 2011
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yuuhh it does.
how you gonna put that in ur apps...that you play basketball?
i dont think you should go to the point where you put everything that you do on ur apps lol...I think OP have great diverse ECs and my advise is just to try and focus on getting all As next year and score high on MCAT...
 

SexyDoctor

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Are you sure? I don't think med schools can verify this. And besides, I play basketball and intramural sports for pure entertainment. Haven't really thought of it as an "activity" to list on applications...

There is a hobbies section in your ECs...:thumbup:
 

osprey099

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Jan 27, 2011
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Don't like how you have so many clubs..do something else! Go tutor! go join a sports team! Go do something interesting.
Also, the community service club that I really enjoyed dealt with directing a basketball skills program at a local elementary school.
 

SexyDoctor

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- Paid employment (not military)
- Paid employment (military)
- Community service / volunteer (not medical / clinical)
- Community service / volunteer (medical / clinical)
- Research / lab
- Teaching / tutoring
- Honors / awards / recognitions
- Conferences attended
- Presentations / posters
- Publications
- Extracurricular / hobbies / avocations
- Leadership (not listed elsewhere)
- Intercollegiate athletics
- Artistic endeavors
- Other

I know a lot of people who put things like that down.
 

DrHouse579

7+ Year Member
Sep 10, 2010
101
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Wow, our situations are almost identical, minus the impressive NIH internship (I started volunteering in a lab Spring Quarter which I hope to come back to 2nd year and eventually get a pub). I was also wondering whether or not studying/taking the MCAT sophomore summer, while also doing research (or some other equally time-consuming EC), was a good idea. Theoretically, if you split ALL your hours between research and MCAT prep, it should be manageable. Does anyone know if that famous 3-month MCAT prep thing on SDN was meant to be done with other summer commitments?
 

osprey099

7+ Year Member
Jan 27, 2011
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Does anyone know if that famous 3-month MCAT prep thing on SDN was meant to be done with other summer commitments?
I'm pretty sure the 3 month MCAT schedule is for full time MCAT prep. But I have heard that studying for MCAT/doing research/w/e is definitely possible.
 

paul411

ANES
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May 27, 2010
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I'm pretty sure the 3 month MCAT schedule is for full time MCAT prep. But I have heard that studying for MCAT/doing research/w/e is definitely possible.
I prepped for the MCAT while working full time in a research lab. Very doable.
 

Siverhideo1985

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Jun 6, 2008
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Looks like a strong application to me. I'd maybe add some more clinical experience, although i dunno how much you get of that in your volunteer stuff. Shadowing is good, but actually being "part of the team" as a clinical volunteer is important, I think.

As to the research and prep for MCAT: just tell the person you're doing research with that you are also doing the MCAT prep; set aside daily time for MCAT study - i.e. research in the morning --> early afternoon; study for MCAT from 3pm to whenever.

Final Note: try and have some decent fun in college while you can, it really is the best 4 years of your life and you don't get that back (don't get me wrong, Med School is a blast, but its different)
 

t0othpick

5+ Year Member
Mar 11, 2010
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I'm pretty sure the 3 month MCAT schedule is for full time MCAT prep. But I have heard that studying for MCAT/doing research/w/e is definitely possible.
I did the 3-month MCAT prep while taking classes, doing research, and my other extracurriculars. It's definitely possible to study for the MCAT while doing everything else, but you really just have to manage your time well and focus on your priorities.

As for your plan, I think you're in pretty good shape. I do suggest taking on a tutoring or TAing position to gain some experience in teaching. I personally really enjoy it.

Good luck!
 

Whatyousay

A few loose screws
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Aug 9, 2009
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I do spend ~2 hours almost every day playing either recreational basketball or intramural sports with friends. But that doesn't count for med school.
Yes it does.

Are you sure? I don't think med schools can verify this. And besides, I play basketball and intramural sports for pure entertainment. Haven't really thought of it as an "activity" to list on applications...
Most personal hobbies are difficult to verify. What really matters is your ability to write / talk about these activities in a coherent and meaningful manner.


Also, the community service club that I really enjoyed dealt with directing a basketball skills program at a local elementary school.
Well, there you go. If you're not comfortable listing just "basketball" on your app (although it shouldn't really be an issue), list this community service activity, and then use it as an opportunity to talk about your basketball-related activities as a whole.
 
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