Reventon

10+ Year Member
Jan 2, 2009
3
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Non-Student
For those of you that have been through the post bac application process, did anyone get accepted with no or minimal volunteering/shadowing experience? I am currently in the process of contacting various hospitals and doctors in my area but feel that I may not be able to obtain enough experience as I am looking to start in the a post bac program in the summer or fall. Experiences and comments are highly appreciated.
 

NewmansOwn

10+ Year Member
Dec 21, 2007
805
37
Status
Attending Physician
For those of you that have been through the post bac application process, did anyone get accepted with no or minimal volunteering/shadowing experience? I am currently in the process of contacting various hospitals and doctors in my area but feel that I may not be able to obtain enough experience as I am looking to start in the a post bac program in the summer or fall. Experiences and comments are highly appreciated.
At the top programs, it is exceedingly difficult to get accepted with no volunteer experience. In my program, everyone has a reasonably extensive list of volunteer activities and/or medically-related work experience. Shadowing is less of a hinderance, as it can easily be accomplished while you're in the postbac program.

It's just hard to answer the ultimate question, "Why do you want to switch to medicine at this point in your life?" if you've had no experience with the field.
 

Reventon

10+ Year Member
Jan 2, 2009
3
0
Status
Non-Student
At the top programs, it is exceedingly difficult to get accepted with no volunteer experience. In my program, everyone has a reasonably extensive list of volunteer activities and/or medically-related work experience. Shadowing is less of a hinderance, as it can easily be accomplished while you're in the postbac program.

It's just hard to answer the ultimate question, "Why do you want to switch to medicine at this point in your life?" if you've had no experience with the field.
The thing is I wanted to go into medicine when I entered college. I've had an interest in medicine since late high school and tend to know more than your average individual when they visit their doctor. I've picked the brains of the various health care professionals I have encountered along the way and am fascinated. Additionally, I love working with people which is something I miss dearly in my current position.

Also, I have been talking to an immediate family member who is in her last year of medical school and have picked her brain on numerous occasions (and continue to do so). While the comments above certainly don't answer the question you mentioned, medicine is something that highly interests me.

I went in to my current job (Finance/Risk Management) solely for the money and I hate it everything about what I do. I stare at Excel all day and find it very unfulfilling. With the conditions today, now feels the best time to start looking at my real interests because who knows what will happen next.

The programs I am interested in applying for are Drexel, Penn, and Bryn Mawr if it helps anymore.

I apologize if any of the above feels like a rant.
 
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moneduloides

Corvus
10+ Year Member
Nov 3, 2008
98
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Medical Student
Nobody here is going to tell you that you will be rejected from every school you apply to unless you have shadowing experience. At the same time, nobody here is going to encourage you to do it, because when it comes down to it these programs want to see dedication and they want to see that you've put a lot of thought into the career change.

While you very well may have put a lot of thought into it, there is no way for the school to know without you demonstrating your thought with experience.
 

NewmansOwn

10+ Year Member
Dec 21, 2007
805
37
Status
Attending Physician
I agree with moneduloides. Your interest in and passion for medicine may indeed be genuine and strong, but look at it from the perspective of the admissions committee. If they are weighing you vs. a stellar student who perhaps was a medical officer with the Peace Corps or volunteered for 6 years with Planned Parenthood, they will feel more comfortable offering a slot to the latter. That person has a more demonstrated commitment to medicine. By all means, apply -- you don't lose anything except the application fees. But be prepared to meet some resistance. Picking brains of knowledgeable people is great, but it's not quantifiable and thus harder to defend.
 

EJS1979

10+ Year Member
Nov 19, 2008
68
0
Status
Medical Student
I only had about 40 hours of medical volunteering experience (making beds in a local ER) when I applied, and I was fine. Of course some experience is better than none, but I'd like to think that programs understand that not everyone has the same volunteering opportunities. Good luck!
 

runner1323

10+ Year Member
Feb 26, 2008
54
0
Status
Pre-Medical
We do have one person in my program currently who entered with no clinical experience. This person has also been conditionally accepted to medical school through one of our link programs. Granted, he is one of the few exceptions, but it is possible if you can convincingly show the admissions committees that you are dedicated to a career in medicine.

As the others have said though, getting some clinical exposure will certainly not hurt your application.
 

sharona1121

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Aug 27, 2006
87
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Pre-Medical
I have interviews at Scripps, Goucher and Bryn Mawr in the next 4 weeks (i.e., I haven't been accepted or anything). I applied without any "clinical" volunteering experience... I did, however, have a lot of public health type volunteering work. I personally think if you have good volunteer work (humanitarian in nature), a strong essay that logically and convincingly states why you want to pursue medicine and good grades, you have a good chance of getting into one of the programs.
 

Pghboy18

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 11, 2008
266
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Pre-Medical
The thing is I wanted to go into medicine when I entered college. I've had an interest in medicine since late high school and tend to know more than your average individual when they visit their doctor. I've picked the brains of the various health care professionals I have encountered along the way and am fascinated. Additionally, I love working with people which is something I miss dearly in my current position.

Also, I have been talking to an immediate family member who is in her last year of medical school and have picked her brain on numerous occasions (and continue to do so). While the comments above certainly don't answer the question you mentioned, medicine is something that highly interests me.

I went in to my current job (Finance/Risk Management) solely for the money and I hate it everything about what I do. I stare at Excel all day and find it very unfulfilling. With the conditions today, now feels the best time to start looking at my real interests because who knows what will happen next.

The programs I am interested in applying for are Drexel, Penn, and Bryn Mawr if it helps anymore.

I apologize if any of the above feels like a rant.

Not sure what area you are in, but there are structured volunteer programs for undergraduates at some New England hospitals. You may want to look into this option if it's available in your area. It's a lot more effective than cold-calling hospitals and doctor's offices. They're very receptive of post-bacc students (I'm a post-bacc student and currently in one such program), generally because they can use the help and free labor. PM me if you're in NE and I might be able to point you in the right direction.

Also, as a fellow entry level finance guy, I feel your pain, but I have to ask: What were you expected from your entry level finance job? If it was something other than Excel and ass kissing, I can see why you hate it.
 

NewmansOwn

10+ Year Member
Dec 21, 2007
805
37
Status
Attending Physician
I have interviews at Scripps, Goucher and Bryn Mawr in the next 4 weeks (i.e., I haven't been accepted or anything). I applied without any "clinical" volunteering experience... I did, however, have a lot of public health type volunteering work. I personally think if you have good volunteer work (humanitarian in nature), a strong essay that logically and convincingly states why you want to pursue medicine and good grades, you have a good chance of getting into one of the programs.
This is a decent point. The volunteer work need not be necessary clinical in nature, but if you can effectively explain how you extrapolated from it an interest in medicine, you're golden.

Congrats on your interviews -- see you at Bryn Mawr soon.
 

Reventon

10+ Year Member
Jan 2, 2009
3
0
Status
Non-Student
Thank you all for your input and suggestions. It is good to hear that there are some who got in without any volunteer work but I do want to obtain experience and will not be applying without it. I'm fairly young based on some of the comments I read in the other non-traditional forum so I think I have some time but it looks I will need to make adjustments to my plans.

Pghboy18, I am in the Philadelphia area. As for my expectations in Finance, they weren't much as I knew it would be grunt work but what I do is very repetitive.
 

flip26

10+ Year Member
Dec 20, 2007
4,795
12
Status
Medical Student
The thing is I wanted to go into medicine when I entered college. I've had an interest in medicine since late high school and tend to know more than your average individual when they visit their doctor. I've picked the brains of the various health care professionals I have encountered along the way and am fascinated. Additionally, I love working with people which is something I miss dearly in my current position.

Also, I have been talking to an immediate family member who is in her last year of medical school and have picked her brain on numerous occasions (and continue to do so). While the comments above certainly don't answer the question you mentioned, medicine is something that highly interests me.


I apologize if any of the above feels like a rant.
All of that is just fine, but understand that it will not satisfy many med schools as a compelling reason to admit you without evidence of extensive "testing" of your interest in medicine through clinical volunteering and shadowing experiences...and these top drawer post bacc programs only want to give out seats to those "most likely to succeed" in this process, and that includes applicants who have already done the bulk of their volunteering because it is really tough to get much of that sort of activity in during these compressed one year post baccs...
 
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