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Standing Out for MED SCHOOLS?? Advice please!!

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by DocKwi, Mar 28, 2001.

  1. DocKwi

    DocKwi Member 10+ Year Member

    50
    0
    Nov 4, 2000
    North Carolina
    Everyone,
    Ok so here is the deal!! Given the standards for medical schools it seems that from the past to know its best to do something that STANDS OUT!! Everyone seems to volunteer, shadow, be apart of clubs, do research..the list goes on and on. So here is what I need some advice on...
    I'm currently a Sophomore in College.
    Currently: Total GPA:3.801
    Major GPA: 3.879
    Tons of Honors
    Tons of Shadowing/Volunteering
    Time spent with Alzheimer Pat.
    Time spent with Blind Children
    President of Premed/Predent Club

    The list can go on and on...but doesn't the typical medical student sort of seem like this. I have the chance to go to NAMBIA, AFRICA during the summer for an organization and work with a Physician on a MEDICAL MISSION!! Before I go, I've got to collect the $3500 it will cost for the trip...there are several fundraising oportunities!!

    I'm realy interested!! IF I GO FOR AN ENTIRE SUMMER..HOW MUCH OF A PLUS WILL IT BE FOR MEDICAL SCHOOLS?? Do they take this type of situation as JUST ANOTHER BONUS...or something more?? I would love to hear anyone and everyone's comments!! Thank you all for you time!!
    Thanks, K

     
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  3. Firebird

    Firebird 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    1,190
    3
    Mar 15, 2001
    I'm just a pre-meddie myself, but that sounds like a real opportunity to distinguish yourself. If you don't mind being away that long.

    By the way, if you're a freshman, don't go--I would appreciate having less to compete with three years from now, haha!
     
  4. Medigirl

    Medigirl Member 10+ Year Member

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    Feb 13, 2001
    San Antonio, TX
    I think as it stands your chances of getting in are pretty good. However, I know a girl who spent a summer working with orphans in Romania, she and got accepted to many top med schools without a stellar GPA or MCAT. So, if you WANT to go to Africa, do it! You're only young once.
     
  5. pcl

    pcl Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    370
    0
    Feb 27, 2001
    Cleveland
    K -

    Forgive me if I am reading your post incorrectly. This sounds like a great opportunity, but please reconsider your motives. Are you going to do this to pad your resume? Or will you look at it as an opportunity to see another way of life, another way of practicing medicine, another side of humanity? An experience like this will (and should!) probably change the way you view the world. Be aware that you are going to serve others, and that you are getting an opportunity that many other people will never have. You will learn about yourself, another culture and maybe get a better insight into life and humanity...

    A dear friend gave me this great advice: "It is good to be focused on a goal, to have a picture in your mind of where you want to go, but when you get so caught up in achieving that goal that you can't see the other options around you, you are probably missing something pretty darn important."

    One of those "journey vs. destination" speeches I suppose. If you do this, remember to look around and see all of the things that will make this a "pretty darn important" experience... This understanding is what is going to set you apart, not doing something to put an extra activity line on the AMCAS application... Do this because you WANT to do it, not because you think it will increase your chances at getting into med school.

    You'll probably enjoy it a lot more too. [​IMG]

    Good luck!
    L
     
  6. DocKwi

    DocKwi Member 10+ Year Member

    50
    0
    Nov 4, 2000
    North Carolina
    I totally agree with you L!! Its something I've always wanted to do! I've never traveled before..never flown anywhere...just helped people around here and learned in amazement at how it makes them feel when someone else is willing to help! Its amazing! I feel that I've learned just as much about life from the people that I've helped than I could possibly teach them!! They give me a new perspective on life...its just an inexplicable feeling! I completely agree with you!! Sorry if my question came off the wrong way!! Thanks again for your insight!!
    THanks, K
     
  7. pcl

    pcl Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    370
    0
    Feb 27, 2001
    Cleveland
    Make sure you get the window seat! The world looks very different from 30,000 feet... And have an AMAZING trip!

     
  8. Mikado

    Mikado Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    290
    3
    Apr 2, 2001
    Tennessee
    First of all, good luck and best wishes. I'm just curious about how you are going to raise three and a half thousand dollars for a personal growth/resume builder trip to Africa. I cannot think of anyone who would donate this money to you except mabey a well-to-do parent or relative. By "raising the funds" do you mean "asking your Dad"?

    Mikado
     
  9. Sunlyght

    Sunlyght Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Dec 13, 2000
    Los Angeles
    To Mikado: Does it really matter how she's going to raise the funds. Her question was in your view do you think it will help her stand out. Stick to the topic
     
  10. Gumbydammit

    Gumbydammit Member 7+ Year Member

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    Apr 9, 2001
    Salt Lake City, UT, USA
    I feel like some of my extracurricular activities had a huge effect on my getting accepted into medical school (i.e. working as a counselor for teenagers with substance abuse problems in a wilderness program, teaching English to Somalian refugees, and working as a Grand Canyon river guide). In fact, my interviews focused on these activities rather than how well I did in school or how much research I was involved in. I used these different activities as a way to set me apart from my peers and I attempted to associate such activities with medicine etc. Those activities had a big impact on my life and my decision to pursue medicine, and I let the admissions people know it.

    I think going to Africa would be a once in a lifetime experience for you personally and it could add a whole new dimension to your future as a physician. Why wouldn't an admissions committee be impressed? More importantly, and I am sure you know this, experience Africa for your development and understanding, and let it be a part of your life that you will never forget.
     
  11. Mikado

    Mikado Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    290
    3
    Apr 2, 2001
    Tennessee
    Sunlyght, it does matter as it reflects on her character. She wants to stand out as an acceptable candidate, remember.
    Having an opportunity that comes from privalige is perfercty alright in my mind, but pretending it is not is somewhat suspect.

    Giving her the benefit of the doubt and assuming that she really did raise the funds herself I am genuinly interested in finding out how.

    If she mentioned in an interview that she raised funds for a trip to africa the interviewer is quite likely to focus on this fundraising as it says probably as much about her than anything she might do on her travels.

    I do think that helping in a third world mission would make you stand out but you do not need to travel to africa to do it. I know someone (that got accepted) who worked on a mission in rural mississippi. The poverty there was beyond description and every bit of help was desperately needed. Whats more it didn't cost a nickle.

    Why not raise the three and a half grand, work with the domestic poor and donate the cash to an existing mission in africa that needs the money. I think if you did that you would definately stand out.

    You see when you are talking about selfless missionary work helping the poor (you know the ones with no money at all) money is definately an issue.

    Besides that africa trip is becoming so popular that it is unlikely to be fresh to any interviewer.

    Anyway good luck with whatever you do. From the look of your credentials you will already stand out.

    Mikado
     
  12. praying4MD

    praying4MD 2K Member 10+ Year Member

    2,444
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    Feb 20, 2001
    I think I posted this on the your post at the premed forum as well, but I will repost here anyway. I went to Africa for a summer on my own and worked with a surgeon as well as an international relief organization. PLEASE, DO NOT GO THERE WITH THE INTENTION OF ADDING TO YOUR RESUME! This is very unfair to the people you will be seeing in Africa, not to mention yourself. Go because you want to go, because believe me, when it's 129 degrees, and you're living without electricity and water for 5 days, you will not be thinking about your resume. I went because it was my dream since I was 15 years old to do go on a medical mission so these circumstances were fine with me. In addition, I had lived in 3rd world countries before, so I was accustomed to it.

    Again, the people (at least in my case), were very genuine, wonderful, but poverty-stricken people and it would be a severe injustice to them for you to go there simply to have another line on your application. I don't mean to be rude, but I feel quite strongly about this one. Those amazing people deserve the best, regardless of what their socio-economic position in life is.

    Anyway, that's another tangent. Do extracurric. things that interest YOU personally. They don't have to necessarily be medical. As long as you do things wholeheartedly and are completely involved and enjoy what you do, that will reflect more positively on your application than trying to fit into a mold of what you think adcoms want to see.

    If you do go, try to go in winter months and most of all Enjoy yourself!
     

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