Summer Job

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Dr. Geoff, Dec 4, 2001.

  1. Dr. Geoff

    Dr. Geoff Mzungu

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    I am only a freshman in college, but I was wondering what kind of things you guys did during the summer that helped you into med school? Like volunteering at a hospital, working in a lab or shadowing a doctor. What is out there for a freshman in college? If you guys could let me know your experiences and what you did, that would be great. Thanks.
     
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  3. dingiswayo

    dingiswayo Senior Member

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    I personally spent one summer working at a nursing assistant(i.e. an orderly--a job from high school), one summer working in Washington for a health policy lobbying group (boring), and one summer travelling in Europe (when I should have been home studying for the MCATs).

    I would give the following advice:
    (1) Get some clinical experience at some point in your college career. You will want to have some experience with medicine on some level so medical schools think you are making an informed decision when you choose a apply. Clinical research, volunteering in a hospital or with a hospice, EMT job, nursing home, whatever... anything will do.
    (2) You have several summers before you finish college. You don't need to spend every summer developing entries for the "medical experience" section of your resume. That said, do not sit at home and play video games for 3 straight summers. Your interviews for medical school will last a lot longer and be much more fun if you have some unique experiences to talk about.
     
  4. cmz

    cmz Pathology Wannabe
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  5. Atlas

    Atlas Senior Member

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    Well, Jeff, there's a variety of things you could do. I work in a hospital and go to school full time. I feel that this is about all I can handle. I'm forced to work because my family needs me to because I have a sick mother and sister and we don't have much money. I'm obligated to work, but I feel I'm a better man because of it. I assist dietitians and nurses with coordinating diets for patients. I get to meet a variety of medical professionals and have pretty decent patient contact. Plus, the job pays pretty well too! In addition to working, I shadow docs during the holidays and volunteer when I can. If you think you can handle it, try to work during the school year. Beleieve it or not, it looks really good because many premeds don't want to work during the school year and settle for summer jobs, which are impermanent. Although summer jobs may be fine, I'd try to stay as busy as you can during the school year so long as your grades stay up. It doesn't necessarily matter what you do or where you did it. Just involve yourself in something that you WANT to do. Life is too short to waste away doing things you think you ought to do for the approval of some comittee! :) Most importantly of all, have fun. You're only an undergraduate once!...unless your like a small number of people who start over later in life and go back to school. I think anything that you do will benefit you as a person, not necessarily as a med school applicant. Becoming a better person is what it's all about...not appeasing adcoms. You'll have more fun doing things you enjoy and will have a much easier time talking about them during an interview. It only makes sense. If you want to work during the school year..do it and dont hesitate! If you want try it during the school year. That way, you can have your beer and drink it too! lol. just kidding. I hope you're receiving the message I want you to receive. It's not all about what you do, it's how you doit , and what you get out it.
     
  6. Atlas

    Atlas Senior Member

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    I agree with cmz in that you should look for some summer research programs as well. Although they are mostly aimed at college Sophs and Juniors, it may be possible to get accepted right after your freshman year. I'm applying this year, but as a Junior...I'll have a little bit of an edge because many programs prefer Junior-class students who've completed much of their pre-reqs especially Organic. I'd encourage you to do these as well. I have a question for CMZ. What the hell is up with the SMART program?! Are they backwards or something? I requested information and an application like 2 months ago and I haven't received a word! I'm applying to Baylor (SMART), UNC, U of Minnesota, Mayo, etc. The trick is to apply to as many as you can! So, Jeff, if you can, I'd advise you to look into for summers ahead...you may be at a disadvantage coming out of your freshman year, but hey!...like I always say "Stranger things have happened!" Good luck.
     
  7. cmz

    cmz Pathology Wannabe
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    As far as undergrads who would like to be introduced to research... check out <a href="http://www.biology.lsu.edu/hhmiprog/undergrad/" target="_blank">http://www.biology.lsu.edu/hhmiprog/undergrad/</a>

    This program is specifically aimed at undergrads who don't have a research background. This may be a nice way to wedge your foot in the door for other summer programs.

    A good point was brought up on this message board regarding what you should be doing during the school year. This is equally as important (if not more) as what you do in the summer. Personally, I loved working in the lab, so I got as much out of that path as one could ever possibly get. You won't really know what you like unless you try it, of course. I still think it's one experience you should have...

    On another note, I do know a lot of med students who don't have profound research experience (or any, for that matter).
     
  8. Atlas

    Atlas Senior Member

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    How selective is the LSU summer program?
     
  9. cmz

    cmz Pathology Wannabe
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  10. vietcongs

    vietcongs Senior Member

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    i watched tv and played solitaire for 3 straight summers..
     
  11. Brian20

    Brian20 Member

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    i was accepted this past month and i think my greatest strength was my clinical experience. It helped in my essays and in my interviews. The questions i was asked had very little to do with the research i am currently doing...its just good to have done research at some point...makes you a better scientist...blah, blah, blah.

    however, clinical experience gives you a look at your future, and you will actually help people out in the process. You learn a great deal about medicine and the hospital setting. I learned a great deal working as a nurses aide/ekg tech/cath lab tech.

    clinical experience is much more rewarding...even though you often take orders from miserable people. it builds character, not to mentions the recommendations you can pile up from some cool doctors.

    do clinical. im telling ya, spend a summer working as an aide in a hospital...and do it the next summer too....you want to show that you eat, breathe, and sleep medicine....cause thats what med students do.

    good luck and work hard...it WILL pay off.
     
  12. Sonya

    Sonya Senior Member

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  13. Fix-it-Man

    Fix-it-Man Member

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    Dude, you're only a college freshman!! Ah, those were the days!! Your main area of focus, in all seriousness, has got to be getting laid and passing out from drinking more times than you can remember!! Enjoy your life, trust me, you've got plenty of time to spruce up your credentials for the AAMC! Go get plastered right now!! and stop panicking about the MCAT! Cheers! :cool: :cool: :cool:
     
  14. Dr. Geoff

    Dr. Geoff Mzungu

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    How do I go about getting a position in a clinical environment?
     
  15. Skye04

    Skye04 Senior Member

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    TRAVEL!! Just buy an airline ticket and go somewhere for a couple of months. Europe is a good choice, easy for first-time solo travelers. It may not help you get clinical experience but it is an incredible experience and trust me, you will be happier in the long run.

    Check out eurotrip.com or lonelyplanet.com
     
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  17. kltmd

    kltmd Member

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    I agree with Brian20... clinical experience really is the best way to go. It will give you confidence that you're headed into a field that you'll really like. You'll meet great people, begin interacting with patients, learn some of the medical jargon, and become more comfortable with the hospital setting. I spent two summers as a camp "nurse," which was great because I had primary interaction with patients, completely on my own. I also got involved in a hospital voluteer program that was really neat. We spent a semester or two in the ER, then moved on to surgery, where we eventually were allowed to scrub in and assist. If you can get into surgery, especially at a teaching hospital, I'd highly recommend it! The surgeons began teaching me, much like I was an intern. I learned so many things, and loved it, even though I'm not planning on going into surgery. Anyway... look for some unique opportunities where you will be able to LEARN and have fun... not just get something that looks good on your resume.
     
  18. BeeGee

    BeeGee Member

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    Good advice so far. Don't waste your summers. Make sure that you are doing a MEANINGFUL summer medical/science program that will really stand out on your application. MEANINGFUL: Do research on a current issue (Anthrax, West Nile Viral Encephalitis, etc.), Doing a summer program at the institution you want to apply to (really impress the Dean of Admissions and Student Affairs), Make sure that whatever you spend your summer doing makes your application look more interesting than the other 1000 applicants that worked with the family physician all summer long (my favorite) :rolleyes: . I collected information for the med schools that I wanted to attend during my junior year in college and always attended some type of PreMedical Summer Medical Program during the summer. Contact the admissions chair (you'll probably get the secretary) and ask about any summer opportunities for pre-meds at the school of your choice. You'll be surprised at how many doors open for you if you're sincere, persistent, and hard-working. Hope this helps and good luck.
    --BeeGee
     

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