Aug 7, 2016
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Hey guys,

I recently got accepted into a five-year program where I spend my first year of medical school at a different university, learning about rural sociology and etc. and then the four years of typical medical school. I've heard that during that first year many students have a lot of free time so my question is, is it worth shadowing during that time even though I'm already accepted into medical school? Do residencies like to see shadowing during that time? Also, do you have any recommendations on what extracurriculars to fill that gap year with?
 
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TBV

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I hope that was your only option that sounds terrible
 

Warderino92

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Is this free tuition in exchange for practicing primary care in a rural area? I can't imagine paying for 5 years of medical school willingly if not.
 
OP
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Aug 7, 2016
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Is this free tuition in exchange for practicing primary care in a rural area? I can't imagine paying for 5 years of medical school willingly if not.
Believe it or not, I wanted to go into this program because I am from a small town and I want to practice in the same type of setting. You didn't really answer my question though??
 

cbrons

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Do residencies like to see shadowing during that time? Also, do you have any recommendations on what extracurriculars to fill that gap year with?
Extracurriculars and shadowing do not matter for residency applications. You dont even list shadowing on ERAS. And most EC groups, i.e. interest groups arent listed or even looked at. The only thing outside of grades and test scores that matters is non-fluff publishable research.

Also if you can get out of that sociology track, I highly recommend it. A year of sociology classes is completely and utterly worthless, and an enormous scam if you actually have to pay for that garbage. As others said, you do not need these fluff classes to become a rural physician.

The AAMC really needs to crack down on these scam extra year/public health programs.
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lymphocyte

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Hey guys,

I recently got accepted into a five-year program where I spend my first year of medical school at a different university, learning about rural sociology and etc. and then the four years of typical medical school. I've heard that during that first year many students have a lot of free time so my question is, is it worth shadowing during that time even though I'm already accepted into medical school? Do residencies like to see shadowing during that time? Also, do you have any recommendations on what extracurriculars to fill that gap year with?
I'm a MS4 hopefully going into rural practice.

1) Depending on what your goals are, I actually don't think it's a waste of time, especially if you can stack your coursework with statistics and other classes that bestow a tangible skill. Also, it can be a tremendous network if you're interested in doing policy work later on. I'd be extremely hesitant if I had to pay for it though.

2) Don't shadow. Waste of time. Medical school is a professional school. Nothing about shadowing shows that you're competent to be a professional. Plus, as a MS minus 1, it will be incredibly difficult for you to understand what's actually going on. Okay, so maybe it's a free clinic or something (which you can list on ERAS--though it probably won't matter). Best way to approach that: attend one session. Was it actually helpful? If not, it's not for you.

3) In terms of extracurriculars: what are your goals? Generally speaking, all residencies care about are indicators of professional competence (like Step 1 and clinical evaluations). But some indicators vary from speciality to speciality (or even programme to programme). Research is probably your best bet, but check out the PD survey to see what's actually important for different specialities.

http://www.nrmp.org/2014-program-director-survey-report-now-available/
 
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zeppelinpage4

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I'd probably use the extra free time to enjoy life and have some extra fun before M1 starts. Or get involved in a research project and try to get a publication.
 
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Crayola227

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Extracurriculars and shadowing do not matter for residency applications. You dont even list shadowing on ERAS. And most EC groups, i.e. interest groups arent listed or even looked at. The only thing outside of grades and test scores that matters is non-fluff publishable research.

Also if you can get out of that sociology track, I highly recommend it. A year of sociology classes is completely and utterly worthless, and an enormous scam if you actually have to pay for that garbage. As others said, you do not need these fluff classes to become a rural physician.

The AAMC really needs to crack down on these scam extra year/public health programs.
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Listing some interest groups and association memberships go on ERAS, and can help commitment to the field

Mine was geared toward the underserved, this served not only as fodder for interviews, but also netted me interviews at programs with "missions"
Some showed evidence of leadership and teaching skills (valued by residencies)
and some Interest groups etc can help you network in the department (ie you want gen surg so you work with faculty in the dept to set up MS2 a suture workshop)

Also I was a member of like 3 of the specialties I was most interested in's associations, most are free/cheap to students
I ended up only listing the ones that went for my chosen specialty for ERAS obvs

some of those memberships can help you network at events, or have access to free/cheap resources to help you on rotations
(EM I got the great white coat pocket book EMRA Top Clinical Problem which REALLY helped)

so don't write off some of the "fluff filler"
 

cbrons

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Listing some interest groups and association memberships go on ERAS, and can help commitment to the field

Mine was geared toward the underserved, this served not only as fodder for interviews, but also netted me interviews at programs with "missions"
Some showed evidence of leadership and teaching skills (valued by residencies)
and some Interest groups etc can help you network in the department (ie you want gen surg so you work with faculty in the dept to set up MS2 a suture workshop)

Also I was a member of like 3 of the specialties I was most interested in's associations, most are free/cheap to students
I ended up only listing the ones that went for my chosen specialty for ERAS obvs

some of those memberships can help you network at events, or have access to free/cheap resources to help you on rotations
(EM I got the great white coat pocket book EMRA Top Clinical Problem which REALLY helped)

so don't write off some of the "fluff filler"
Networking is far different from just being a member of an interest group.

EMRA is not an interest group. Its the emergency medicine residents association which you join online.

Please just dont confuse this OP or she is libel to join every one on campus.
 

cbrons

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I'm a MS4 hopefully going into rural practice.

1) Depending on what your goals are, I actually don't think it's a waste of time, especially if you can stack your coursework with statistics and other classes that bestow a tangible skill. Also, it can be a tremendous network if you're interested in doing policy work later on. I'd be extremely hesitant if I had to pay for it though.

2) Don't shadow. Waste of time. Medical school is a professional school. Nothing about shadowing shows that you're competent to be a professional. Plus, as a MS minus 1, it will be incredibly difficult for you to understand what's actually going on. Okay, so maybe it's a free clinic or something (which you can list on ERAS--though it probably won't matter). Best way to approach that: attend one session. Was it actually helpful? If not, it's not for you.

3) In terms of extracurriculars: what are your goals? Generally speaking, all residencies care about are indicators of professional competence (like Step 1 and clinical evaluations). But some indicators vary from speciality to speciality (or even programme to programme). Research is probably your best bet, but check out the PD survey to see what's actually important for different specialities.

http://www.nrmp.org/2014-program-director-survey-report-now-available/
Will refer to this:

I want to address this whole issue of scam degree programs being offered as an adjunct to traditional medical school curriculum. Its that time of year when the new M1s are at orientation and being sold this non-sense by their admistrators.

The purpose of so-called higher education is NOT really to gain knowledge (not of biostats, epidemiology, research methods, etc.). There are very rare exceptions, but by and large, the purpose of getting a degree is to gain Credentials. Specifically credentials requisite to pursuing a specific career path.

See this is often confusing to people because of all the propaganda, but think about it. If you really wanted to learn biostats, the last thing you should do is pay thousands of dollars to some corrupt group of schmucks called university administrators who in turn will pay some a$$hat to stand in front of a room and read you a series of powerpoint slides made by a textbook company (that you also had to pay hundreds of dollars).

In the modern day, you can simply go on your computer or cell phone or (if old school) to your local library. You can access free lectures (by lecturers far better than the average professor) and you can essentially teach yourself.

The benefits of modern tech mean that you dont have to spend a year learning stuff in the most inefficient way possible.

See back in the day, before the internets, there was an argument for extra coursework because that was really the only way to learn directly from people with intimate subject knowledge. But thats not the case today.

Earlier there was a thread where a young lady was saying she got into a med school program that was an extra year so they could spend 12 months learning "rural sociology." Said lady thought taking that curriculum would help her become a rural physician. Of course, you do not need to incur the opportunity cost of an extra year of school plus tuition just to practice rural medicine (nor do you need it to do NIH research).

If on the other hand its the M.S. degree you are after for its own sake, you have to ask yourself the question, "are these 2 letters required for me to do what I want?" In the case of the OP, the answer is a resounding No.

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lymphocyte

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Will refer to this:
Generally speaking, I agree with much of what you wrote (especially about taking charge of your own education). But OP has already been accepted and asked a very particular question about what to do next. The decision has been made.

I'm also very hesitant to suggest one size fits all solutions to people. There are "dependings" and questions asked in my post, and I stand by the advice given (including the part about being reticent to pay for anything). Yours seems to be about "the modern day," "the purpose of so-called higher education," and "some corrupt group of schmucks called university administrators." I'm not sure who is actually pedalling propaganda, but you frankly have zero clue about OP's personal situation, motivations, or degree programme.

Not related to OP, but as a statistician with publications and policy memos, can I also just say that YouTube and Wikipedia statistics has led a lot of researchers astray? There are many papers published with amateurish statistical errors, and in some not so insignificant journals too. You don't know what you don't know, and a little bit if knowledge is a dangerous thing. There is no Dr. Najeeb for statistics, unfortunately, and not everybody is an auto-didact to begin with. Sometimes you really need formal instruction.
 
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Crayola227

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Networking is far different from just being a member of an interest group.

EMRA is not an interest group. Its the emergency medicine residents association which you join online.

Please just dont confuse this OP or she is libel to join every one on campus.
you just read my post wrong, I differentiated between interest groups on campus and membership associations

some membership associations, will give you access to signing up for membership events/meetings where you can network