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Thoughts? EMT program

Discussion in 'Pre-Hospital [ EMS ]' started by saviordali, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. saviordali


    Apr 6, 2017
    I am 19 and a full time college student studying microbiology for my second year. I recently decided I am interested in going to medical school, but I have no real experience in the field and will definitely need to change that by the time I'm doing applications. I'm considering taking a course this summer to get my EMT certification, but I will be taking at least 2 other [online] summer GE classes and hopefully working ~25-40 hours a week. I most likely can't do a semester-long EMT program in fall or spring because I'm a full-time student already, so I found an accelerated online program over the summer with 2 4-day in-person skills workshops. It's through UCLA, so obviously not a sketchy degree mill type institution, but it is pretty expensive ($1100).

    I'm really wondering if this is worthwhile. I read a previous post from a few years ago that strongly discouraged online EMT courses because they aren't viewed particularly well by employers. Also, is this a good option as a med school hopeful? Is work as an EMT seen any more favorably by schools or would I be just as well off working as a scribe or volunteering in a hospital, for example?

    P.S. any advice for med school apps, good experiences to get/classes to take before applying, things to consider/potential alternatives, etc. are also appreciated :)
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  3. Gilakend

    Gilakend 5+ Year Member

    Aug 24, 2012
    hSDN Alumni
    I'm currently an EMT and while I enjoy it and there's nothing wrong with being an EMT, I would say if you're just exploring the field to just volunteer at your local hospital/nursing home/etc. or shadow. That's a lot of money to spend, plus the others look essentially equal. Only be an EMT if you think it's something you would really enjoy, not just a way to get exposure.

    I would rate scribe an EMT as equal unless you do like crazy rescue calls, but most EMTs either drive (Medic/Basic truck) or do 90% transfers with the occasional priority 2 and very rarely a priority 1. This is just where I work though.
  4. Apollo1

    Apollo1 Deciding between MD/DO and PA 2+ Year Member

    Sep 3, 2013
    EMT won't give you a leg up for med school apps; do it if you want to be a PA.

    Disagree. Scribes may get to learn an attending's thought process in depth, but they never lay hands on a patient or pick up those little tricks that come from mistakes. There's a reason why many, if not most, schools want the hands-on care from their applicants.
    AlteredScale likes this.
  5. aformerstudent

    aformerstudent probationary status 4life Banned Account on Hold

    Mar 7, 2017
    As a former EMT who wanted to go to medical school, being an EMT was an overall waste of time and here is why.

    1. EMT-B training is nothing when you compare it to medical school.
    2. Being in EMS has a lot of variability with which crew you are working on. Not everybody is going to be on the same page because training and selection standards are not equal across the board. In other words you can become an excellent crew chief or work with an excellent crew chief and have idiots as the other members on that riding crew.
    3. You're not a paramedic; you're job is to package that patient up and get them to the real healthcare people. And a lot of EMT's don't know how to "package" the patient up well at that.
    4. After the EMT-B course, you will be completely lost. You learn through experience so if you're only an EMT for a short period of time, you won't learn much.
    5. It's overrated but driving the rig was a lot of fun.

    I wouldn't do it again considering I applied to medical school.
  6. vitamorior


    Aug 15, 2016
    EMT can be fun and rewarding in the right place like any other position.
    Though I agree it doesn't give you a leg up as much you might think.
    I think it'd be a good idea to become an EMR, much shorter and cheaper, and basically the same pull for med school.
    And then dedicate the rest of your time to research opportunities, shadowing, and other EC's

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