Ayuka001

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hi guys! i'm a freshman in college, majoring in bio sciences. i'm thinking of starting some e.c. next quarter since my schedule would give me some time. but i have no idea what e.c i should start with, or where to find the opportunities?
 
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Ayuka001

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^ oh that's a great idea, but i don't know where i could find the money for it haha.


any other suggestions? or how i can find volunteer/intership opportunities
 

GoSpursGo

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I'm a big fan of research, as I think if you can have it spread over several semesters it shows a good commitment to something. If you could get into someone's lab next semester and continue it through your junior year, you'd have a big plus on your application that others won't, and you might even get lucky and wind up on a paper. In addition to that, it's one way to make sure you wind up with a bona-fide great letter of req.

Keep in mind this is no substitute for clinical experience, which you'll still need to pick up at some point... but starting research now would give you a chance to have some real "wow" research experience by the time you apply.
 

biophysicianai

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^ oh that's a great idea, but i don't know where i could find the money for it haha.
ahhh, agreed! my school does trips to thailand and guatemala, but both require a handsome some of cha-CHING-ka-CHING

TYPICAL PREMED STUFF: volunteer @ a hospital if possible, or somewhere else that makes a positive community contribution. see if you can get a lab tech job, and work your way up to actually doing your own research project

BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, do what you like. you'll be applying to med school as a person, not an orgobio-bot. Show who you really are, what you really like...
 

GoSpursGo

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BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, do what you like. you'll be applying to med school as a person, not an orgobio-bot. Show who you really are, what you really like...
Well said. I really think one of my interviewers at a school that accepted me appreciated my interests outside of medicine (taekwondo, church retreats, etc)... she actually said that her school likes people who have a life outside of medicine.

The "being unique" thing is also why I said research. The fact is that clinical experience is great, but it's something EVERYONE has nowadays; everyone has a story about how they saw someone die on the operating table or how they shadowed 3 docs or whatever, everyone has changed bed sheets and transported patients and all that other stuff. Not everyone will get to tell their interviewer about how they figured out a protein signaling pathway in some obscure strain of bacteria or how they worked on finding a better diagnostic test for some disease; THOSE stories, in my opinion, stick out better and make you unique and memorable.

I know a lot of people might disagree with me, but I'd rather have a semester of clinical volunteering and a research project than three years of clinical volunteering.
 

funkydrmonkey

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Well said. I really think one of my interviewers at a school that accepted me appreciated my interests outside of medicine (taekwondo, church retreats, etc)... she actually said that her school likes people who have a life outside of medicine.

The "being unique" thing is also why I said research. The fact is that clinical experience is great, but it's something EVERYONE has nowadays; everyone has a story about how they saw someone die on the operating table or how they shadowed 3 docs or whatever, everyone has changed bed sheets and transported patients and all that other stuff. Not everyone will get to tell their interviewer about how they figured out a protein signaling pathway in some obscure strain of bacteria or how they worked on finding a better diagnostic test for some disease; THOSE stories, in my opinion, stick out better and make you unique and memorable.

I know a lot of people might disagree with me, but I'd rather have a semester of clinical volunteering and a research project than three years of clinical volunteering.
There are quite a few med schools that will disagree with you...
 

GoSpursGo

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There are quite a few med schools that will disagree with you...
:oops: OK; I'm only going on personal experience. I almost definitely went over-the-top with my last post. Obviously, I'd suggest more than a semester. That said, I'm a huge fan of research as an EC.
 

funkydrmonkey

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:oops: OK; I'm only going on personal experience. I almost definitely went over-the-top with my last post. Obviously, I'd suggest more than a semester. That said, I'm a huge fan of research as an EC.
Eh, a few of my rejections have been because of a lack* of clinical service

*lack=1 year hospital volunteering, 4 months clinic volunteering, doctor shadowing, starting volunteering in another clinic....

If you are going md/phd... then they don't care if you know what a patient looks like. My friend is applying md/phd and she told me that the interviewers do not care about what she is like as a person, only about what her research is like...
 

Bacchus

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OP I would start volunteering in a hospital. You can then atleast see, somewhat, if the medical field interests you. There is no reason to go through undergrad with intentions to go to medical school just to find out that you absolutely hate medicine in your junior year. You can also accomplish this by shadowing which will get you better day-to-day clinical exposure than volunteering which is incredibly variable.

Medical mission trips are nice things to do, but they are EXPENSIVE. Look into your University's community involvement office for both medical (if applicable) and civil volunteer opportunities. Instead of paying a huge sum of money (especially if you don't have it), you might realize that your university offers an alternative spring break trip. I never had to pay to go on mine, but this year extensive fundraising is going on for the students to make it happen. Yeah, you're giving up your spring break, but having done it for 3 years it was still fun and worth it. I'm backing out this year though to go to Mexico, hah.

Good luck and don't oversaturate yourself yet with ECs.
 

GoSpursGo

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Eh, a few of my rejections have been because of a lack* of clinical service

*lack=1 year hospital volunteering, 4 months clinic volunteering, doctor shadowing, starting volunteering in another clinic....

If you are going md/phd... then they don't care if you know what a patient looks like. My friend is applying md/phd and she told me that the interviewers do not care about what she is like as a person, only about what her research is like...
Huh. Well, I guess if you apply to 69 schools, you're bound to find the schools that want the super-high-end of clinical experience ;)
 

Bacchus

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Huh. Well, I guess if you apply to 69 schools, you're bound to find the schools that want the super-high-end of clinical experience ;)
Or the bottom of an empty, debt creating pocket.
 

HeatherMD

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A typical EC checklist..

1) join a school club, and snag an executive position in that club

2) volunteer for something in your community (be it a hospital, or like Big Brothers Big Sisters)

3) research

4) get a hobby -- be on a school or community sports team, or paint/dance/play an instrument

5) shadow physcian(s)

There. Now don't botch your GPA and make sure to ace the MCAT and you're in.
 

cbrons

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Ayuka001

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1. to shadow a doctor, do i just call up a random doctor and ask if i can shadow them?

2. when you guys say volunteering at a hospital, what type of volunteering do you mean specificaly? b/c i've volunteered before in hospital when i was in hs, and all i did was paperwork or pushed a cart around to give drinks to patients. But now i'm really hoping to do something more important than that haha.


Thanks for all your responses.
 

SiR99

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Eh, a few of my rejections have been because of a lack* of clinical service

*lack=1 year hospital volunteering, 4 months clinic volunteering, doctor shadowing, starting volunteering in another clinic....

If you are going md/phd... then they don't care if you know what a patient looks like. My friend is applying md/phd and she told me that the interviewers do not care about what she is like as a person, only about what her research is like...
Just wondering, did any of your interviewers actually tell you that '1 year hospital volunteering, 4 months clinic volunteering, doctor shadowing, starting volunteering in another clinic....' was lacking?

That seems like it would be pretty good considering all the other EC's, research, class, and just basic random life events that students have to deal with.
 

katarina90

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A typical EC checklist..

1) join a school club, and snag an executive position in that club

2) volunteer for something in your community (be it a hospital, or like Big Brothers Big Sisters)

3) research

4) get a hobby -- be on a school or community sports team, or paint/dance/play an instrument

5) shadow physcian(s)

There. Now don't botch your GPA and make sure to ace the MCAT and you're in.
This sums it up pretty nicely. I must say, I am a fan of your posts Heather : )