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Total Hours vs Duration of an EC

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I find that I often put in a lot of hours over shorter periods of time into my ECs and move on once I feel I am not gaining any more from the experience, usually after 6-12 months, as a result I do not have many “long-term” commitments (more than 1 year).

What is more important, hours or duration?Would 300 hours over 3 months be valued the same as 300 hours over 3 years for Canadian Medical Schools? 

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It's hard to say, but generally I think both total hours and duration are important.  I think the strongest applications have a mix of both; long-term commitments demonstrate the applicant's dedication with respect to those activities, so it's important to have at least one major activity that you've been involved with for, say, ~2 years or more.  Of course, specific scenarios have specific reasons, of which can be usually clarified in the application (e.g. UBC's "Clarifications" box for each entry).  Also, not all Canadian medical schools are the same/have the same ideals.  But I think generally speaking, to cover all schools and cases, it's best to have activities that have a high number of total hours as well as a long duration.

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In a way it can be thought of as a credit score.

Your credit score is positively affected by the length of the longest ongoing credit item on your file. So in med school apps, you a want to have at least one longstanding commitment. But if you are never using the credit item it counts for less, just like being less involved with an EC makes it count for less (i.e. Weekly hours). Your score is also affected by the types of credit you have, such that if it's all revolving credit you'll have a lower score than someone with variety (installment credit, mortgage, revolving, student loan, other). Similarly for medical school if it's all just club memberships on your app you'll likely have a lower score than someone who has leadership ECs, athletic, research, community outreach, etc.  And, like a credit score, you can damage your score by being spread too thin with way more credit cards/ ECs than is reasonable. 

It's kind of like a social credit score  in a way, that medical schools are using to judge applicants I guess. If you want to think of it that way. Just a theory.

 

 

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