Thoughts on collegiate/professional athletics on med school app

kujaymed

2+ Year Member
Jan 5, 2016
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This is my first year applying. I am a KS resident. I am doing EDP for University of Kansas
-non traditional student
-3.6 gpa 3.4 s gpa
-508 MCAT( 129, 124, 127, 128)
-played d1 collegiate baseball
-drafted 3x by MLB (Tampa Bay Rays, KC Royals, and Milwaukee Brewers)
-played professionally for 3 years
- 600 hour internship in hospital (physician shadowing (PCP, radiologist, orthopedic, sports medicine)
-current medical assistant in clinic(orthopedics, pain management, general surgery, neurology) 1000+ hours
-observed 50-60 hours of surgery (TKA, THA, TSA, ACL repair, etc)
-trip to foreign country and participated in humanitarian efforts
-100+ hours of volunteering (food drives, feeding homeless, boys and girls club, tutoring underserved)
-academic awards in college (all big 12)
-strong LOR's (one from MLB team physician, college coach, internship and MA supervisor, provider I currently work for , ochem professor)
-no research

I am wondering how much athletics will actually help my application. I am concerned athletics has taken away a lot of time that I could have used for medical experiences. Also concerned my gpa might be too low. Any ex athletes on here with some advice? Thank you guys!
 

BeachBlondie

Put some tussin on it!
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Former D-1 athlete, here:

It wasn't really brought up during interviews. Like anything, the only time you'll have an admissions member probe you about it is when they have an interest in subject itself. So, obviously, they'll be able to see that you had other responsibilities aside from class. But, it won't necessarily afford you anything beyond what another EC with comparable commitment time would.
 

TheStallion16

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Currently a D1 tennis player so I can relate. One of my good buddies actually played for the cardinals farm league this past year and is now applying as well. From everyone I've talked to, I think it's definitely going to help you (depending on who reads your app). I think sacrificing everything you have to achieve goals at that high of a level is very transferable to medicine. Definitely talk it up, use it in essays and all that. But like @BeachBlondie said it's definitely going to depend on your interviewer and who reads your app. At they very least, it shows flexibility and time management
 
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DokterMom

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You were a major league professional athlete in a popular sport and still managed very respectable numbers.

How could it not help?
 
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BeachBlondie

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You were a major league professional athlete in a popular sport and still managed very respectable numbers.

How could it not help?
I'm assuming that he wasn't in school at the time -- too much time is required at the professional level between combines, conditioning, practice, travel, press meetings, etc.
 

DokterMom

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I'm assuming that he wasn't in school at the time -- too much time is required at the professional level between combines, conditioning, practice, travel, press meetings, etc.
I'm assuming he played collegiate ball while in college, and that this was time-intensive as well --
 

BeachBlondie

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I'm assuming he played collegiate ball while in college, and that this was time-intensive as well --
It's time intensive, yes. But, we're talking....20 hours per week between conditioning and practice and play. Varies per sport, but that's what I pulled in lacrosse. It didn't turn any heads in my file. At least, not as far as I know -- no one brought it up.
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
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@Willy38 might be a good mentor for you.
 

TheStallion16

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It's time intensive, yes. But, we're talking....20 hours per week between conditioning and practice and play. Varies per sport, but that's what I pulled in lacrosse. It didn't turn any heads in my file. At least, not as far as I know -- no one brought it up.
No one brought it up, that doesn't mean it wasn't a factor in your acceptance. Bottom line is it won't do anything but help.
 

BeachBlondie

Put some tussin on it!
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No one brought it up, that doesn't mean it wasn't a factor in your acceptance. Bottom line is it won't do anything but help.
That moment when you have to divulge that you were waitlisted.... :laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:
 
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Pagan FutureDoc

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The only way I can see high level athletics ever hurting an applicant who looks good on paper is if it's something like a UNC Chapel Hill student with a marginal MCAT
 
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Goro

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The fact that have done reasonably well while being an athlete speaks volumes in a positive light.

This is my first year applying. I am a KS resident. I am doing EDP for University of Kansas
-non traditional student
-3.6 gpa 3.4 s gpa
-508 MCAT( 129, 124, 127, 128)
-played d1 collegiate baseball
-drafted 3x by MLB (Tampa Bay Rays, KC Royals, and Milwaukee Brewers)
-played professionally for 3 years
- 600 hour internship in hospital (physician shadowing (PCP, radiologist, orthopedic, sports medicine)
-current medical assistant in clinic(orthopedics, pain management, general surgery, neurology) 1000+ hours
-observed 50-60 hours of surgery (TKA, THA, TSA, ACL repair, etc)
-trip to foreign country and participated in humanitarian efforts
-100+ hours of volunteering (food drives, feeding homeless, boys and girls club, tutoring underserved)
-academic awards in college (all big 12)
-strong LOR's (one from MLB team physician, college coach, internship and MA supervisor, provider I currently work for , ochem professor)
-no research

I am wondering how much athletics will actually help my application. I am concerned athletics has taken away a lot of time that I could have used for medical experiences. Also concerned my gpa might be too low. Any ex athletes on here with some advice? Thank you guys!
 
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kujaymed

2+ Year Member
Jan 5, 2016
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Pre-Medical
Thank you guys for all the advice. I have nightmares that I will have someone on the admissions committee that is reviewing my application that hasn't played sports or someone that doesn't understand the time commitment/work ethic/determination that it takes to succeed at the collegiate/professional level. I have my fingers crossed. I just hope I was able to explain everything well in my application and give them an insight into the world of athletics and what qualities it takes to succeed. Once again thanks for everyone's input and good luck to everyone else who is applying!
 
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Willy38

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I played D1 and professional baseball (3 years each), was fortunate enough to get in at a place I love, and am happy to help if you'd like to message me.

Bottom line is it definitely helps and is interesting but there were still lots of schools that I didn't even receive interviews at even though I was academically qualified to attend. Don't take it hard if you happen to get dinged by a place where your app reader isn't sympathetic to your commitments on the field. Few really understand what we go through just to pass much less achieve competitive numbers for med school.

Just present yourself as best you can and reflect upon how this unique experience contributed to who you are, what you value, and why you want to practice medicine.

Best of luck!
 
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Willy38

you're killin' me smalls
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It's time intensive, yes. But, we're talking....20 hours per week between conditioning and practice and play. Varies per sport, but that's what I pulled in lacrosse. It didn't turn any heads in my file. At least, not as far as I know -- no one brought it up.
I wouldn't be surprised if he told me his off season was 40 hours per week and in season pushed 60 ( and that's just college, pro is even worse). Baseball really is a different animal given the length and number of games we play not to mention the field prep/cleanup and mandatory summer leagues.

I agree though, many ad Coms have no clue that this is the case so it may very well be that he isn't afforded as much as slack as I believe he deserves. Then again, I can sympathize.
 

TheStallion16

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Dec 26, 2014
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I wouldn't be surprised if he told me his off season was 40 hours per week and in season pushed 60 ( and that's just college, pro is even worse). Baseball really is a different animal given the length and number of games we play not to mention the field prep/cleanup and mandatory summer leagues.

I agree though, many ad Coms have no clue that this is the case so it may very well be that he isn't afforded as much as slack as I believe he deserves. Then again, I can sympathize.
I can attest to the accuracy of this for tennis too. When you factor in away travel (bus rides, flights, hotels), match length (in tennis we'll often travel for full tournaments lasting 3-7 days), "optional" practices and workouts, and a whole host of other things, you're way over the supposed 20 hours that the NCAA mandates. I highly doubt there's any sport that actually stays within that or close to it. Throw difficult pre-medical courses, labs, MCAT prep, etc. on top of that and you've got a tough 4 years of college. Maintaining respectable numbers through all that is a great achievement, one that I think doesn't always get the credit it deserves because not many people who don't personally experience it realize what it takes.
 
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kujaymed

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Jan 5, 2016
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Pre-Medical
You guys are spot on with the time commitment. Especially playing in a cold weather state and the season starting in February we had to travel the first 5-6 weeks of the season so we missed almost every Thursday and Friday. With baseball we play roughly 60 games depending on post season play and each game is a time commitment of roughly 7-8 hours. Almost every game we were required to be there 3 hours before the game for BP, pre game work, field prep, etc and then the game alone lasts 3 hours. After the game, we would have meetings, media requirements, and then at times strength work. Once the season was over, we then would start our summer leagues. For me, I played in the Cape Cod League and then also played in Newport, RI for a year. So, fulfilling medical school requirements over the summer wasn't possible either. As far as the "optional" work during the season and off season, basically NCAA coaches can slap the tag of "optional" on any practice and workout and it doesn't count towards the number of hours we are allowed to use. At the end of the day, collegiate athletics are extremely time consuming and professional sports are a completely different beast