Quantcast

Things to do! Year Off!

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

crazee8

Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2003
Messages
53
Reaction score
0

Members don't see this ad.
I am applying to several BS/MD programs and have a big list of things I'd like to accomplish this summer. Does anyone know any interesting activities that would enable me to gain clinical experience and demonstrate my passion for medicine? I am thinking of taking a EMT-Basic course, volunteering in a school in Nepal and Tibet teaching English or going to a third world country in order to gain hands on experience on third world medicine.

All these activities are interesting to me and I am especially passionate about all of them. However, I was wondering if anyone else had some additional ideas on what I can do...(I am interested in myriad activities and open to all suggestions as I love to do different things and hate to sit around and do nothing!) Additionally, I am very passionate about medicine and hope that my activities will better articulate and solidify my desire to be a physician.

Thanks!

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap::clap: :clap: :clap:
 

Anka

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2003
Messages
789
Reaction score
14
Sounds like all of them are interesting options. Maybe you could find a way to incorporate some research item into a third- or second world experience? e.g., public health in a third world country. By day, you could do whatever your job was (AIDS education, or whatever) and in the evenings have some project that showed independent initiative (e.g., find a way to make your daytime project more effective, and some metric to measure outcome). That way, when you applied your resume would have a "I did THIS" line as well as a "I assisted in...". For example, I worked with a non-profit, and was really glad to be able to say, "Transfered information database from paper-based system to electronic database, lowering operating expenses by X%." rather than, "I assisted in administering information systems." It's great to have a thing you did, and an objective measure of how you did it for that sort of things.

It sounds like you've got a wonderful year ahead of you, whatever you decide! Best of luck.

Anka
 

Spacekat

fictitious
15+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2003
Messages
159
Reaction score
0
Nice deal if you can get it! How are you going to finance all of this?

I would say that if you want to choose solely based on what will look good to medical schools (hope not - there's more to life!) do something completely selfless and unglamorous that will put you in touch with folks who could never afford to "take a year off." The medical school people I've talked to feel that a huge majority of applicants are spoiled, privileged, sheltered people who have no idea what it's like to not know where their next meal is coming from. This will make it difficult to connect with your patients who do not have your advantages. Medical schools believe that you can get all the clinical experience you need at their school - the question is whether you're intending to use it to help people who need you or to make money for yourself.

I think if you deliberately put aside globetrotting and personal enrichment to help folks of in a tougher socioeconomic situation it would be good for you, good for them, and a good addition to your apps. If you really feel like you need more exposure to medicine you could work in a free clinic or something of that nature.

Best of luck!:)
 

Febrifuge

Grizzled Old Newcomer
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
May 7, 2003
Messages
1,520
Reaction score
25
I just got certified as an EMT. I didn't do it specifically so it would look good to adcoms, but so that I could be damn sure I really want to work in medicine (and can abide studying it). It's been a great way for me to get from "I'd like to go to med school someday" to "I'm a person who can do such-and-such, and when blah blah happened to me, I responded with blahdy-blah." I will be gaining specific experiences now that help add up to a person who could be a damn fine doctor.

Or, to put it more like my uncle did (the one who got some ungodly 30-something on his MCAT), '...unless you've been puked on and bled on a few times, you don't know **** about your chances... or even your own desire to go through med school.'

So I say, do something that will be good for you, as you get to the next step in the long road. Make it something that will be a good experience in itself, too, because there won't be a whole lot of years off, if you go all the way to that MD or DO.
 

doc05

2K Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
May 24, 2003
Messages
3,515
Reaction score
1,489
Originally posted by Febrifuge
I just got certified as an EMT. I didn't do it specifically so it would look good to adcoms, but so that I could be damn sure I really want to work in medicine (and can abide studying it)

don't kid yourself. working as an emt is nothing like being in medicine. and studying for emt certification sure as hell is not the least bit like studying medicine.
 

Sweet Tea

Girl Next Door
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2002
Messages
8,642
Reaction score
11
Originally posted by doc05
don't kid yourself. working as an emt is nothing like being in medicine. and studying for emt certification sure as hell is not the least bit like studying medicine.

You're right, but as EMS work is an excellent way to find out if you like dealing with sick people. I know people who worked on the same EMS Squad that I did who decided not to pursue medicine after they were puked and bled on a few times-- most of them decided to do medical research instead. Granted, EMTs and physicians provide vastly different forms of care, but you still get great experience dealing with sick and injured people. EMS will teach you how to communicate with patients effectively and efficiently, and it teaches you how to work with what you're given. I did research, I was published, I taught classes, I shadowed physicians, and I was an EMT. Being an EMT is what most solidified my desire to become a physician, and I wouldn't have traded that experience for anything.

To the OP-- honestly, all your plans sound great. Do what you think will make you the happiest. If I had the finances, I'd do something that involved travelling or just moving away for a little while. Best of luck to you!
 

ddmo

BMF
15+ Year Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2003
Messages
1,027
Reaction score
6
Whatever you do, stay out of Nepal for the time being. It is pretty dangerous over there with the Maoists fighting the gov. Exotic is good, but be sensible about it.
 
Top