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Do I Have Enough Ecs?


mehunga

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Hey guys,

 

I just finished first year and I intend to apply to a few schools a year from now.  I know my chances are slim without a degree but I really want an interview at least for experience.  I was wondering if I have enough ECs going for me.

 

I started volunteering at Canadian Blood Services recently so I figure when I apply, I would be with them for a year.  Is that long enough?  I also volunteer at the library, helping children develop reading skills.

 

I'm pretty involved at school with orientations, tutoring, clubs and all that.  I also got a research job through this program at my school that gives a spot to the top 100 students in the class, so I should have some experience in a lab when I apply a year from now.  And I will also get the chance to be a TA.

 

If I do well on the MCAT and keep up my GPA (which is 3.97), do you guys think I might get a shot at an interview?

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Yes, you have a shot. It is worthwhile applying early for the experience o what you learn during the application process and getting an interview is just gravy, adding to your experience. Consider whatever happens as a trial run for the real deal the next year.

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Sounds to me like you're volunteering and doing things for all the wrong reasons. Even if you get an interview, that will show when/if you do interview.

No, don't get me wrong, I absolutely love volunteering.  What I do is I try a bunch of things out for a few weeks and I stick with the things I like.

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No, don't get me wrong, I absolutely love volunteering.  What I do is I try a bunch of things out for a few weeks and I stick with the things I like.

 

I think you'll have a strong chance if you keep up your grades and aim high for the MCAT. You always could do more ECs but that also has to be balanced with not going overboard and making you slip elsewhere. See how much time you end up having at the end of the day and then make a decision about where you'd like to be.

 

I'm with NeuroPreMed though... I'm not convinced that you are doing ECs for the right reasons either but I don't really know you so I could be wrong. Regardless, if you get to the interview stage it's a whole different experience. It's not just how smart you are or what you know, it's how you can apply them in a relatively tense situation. You'll be facing difficult questions with no simple answers. There are so many different aspects of the interview designed to look at your internal attributes that goes far beyond "why you want to be a doctor." We'll see how things go, but you have some work to do.

 

- G

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Looks solid. Nice GPA. Not sure if Canadian Blood counts as clinical volunteer. Might want to expand a bit into clinical volunteer and kill that MCAT.

 

Since when did PM101 become so judgmental?

Yeah, it wouldn't be clinical, but I'm trying to get into the hospital to volunteer.  Do you think that an applicant should have experience in a hospital setting and a doctor's office or would one be enough?

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Neither are required. What med schools are looking for are a demonstration of the CanMEDS competencies and your ability to engage in active citizenship while achieving academic excellence, thereby,for all practical considerations, mirroring the life of a physician (in a sense). It is not medical experience that matters as much as having those important qualities. 

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Technically, you don't need anything. But I still think clinical experience is important. If you can get into a doctor's office, that's cool too.

 

What school do you go to? There seems to be a lot of opportunities there.

It's a smaller school so that's why we have more opportunities

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Sounds to me like you're volunteering and doing things for all the wrong reasons. Even if you get an interview, that will show when/if you do interview.

I think this is a huge and unfair judgement from one post. I didn't get that impression at all from the OP.

 

Besides, people can volunteer because they enjoy it, but also want to optimize their chances for medical school.

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I think this is a huge and unfair judgement from one post. I didn't get that impression at all from the OP.

 

Besides, people can volunteer because they enjoy it, but also want to optimize their chances for medical school.

When someone's title for their question is "Do I have enough ECs", to me, that sounds exactly like all they're trying for is enough that schools will look at them. Nothing more, nothing less. It's not judgemental, it's an observation that based on what they posted, what they asked, and what forum we are on, is a very reasonable assumption.

 

You don't have to agree with it by any means, but that's how it comes across, and OP definitely wouldn't be the first person to only do what was required to get in.

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When someone's title for their question is "Do I have enough ECs", to me, that sounds exactly like all they're trying for is enough that schools will look at them. Nothing more, nothing less. It's not judgemental, it's an observation that based on what they posted, what they asked, and what forum we are on, is a very reasonable assumption.

 

You don't have to agree with it by any means, but that's how it comes across, and OP definitely wouldn't be the first person to only do what was required to get in.

It sounded pretty judgemental to me actually. I think there is a way to express your point without being so accusatory.

 

Edited to add:

 

I think, even if you are volunteering for the "right" reasons (whatever those are), it's reasonable to ask if you should be doing more or are doing okay. Volunteering, working, and studying is stressful and I think it's perfectly okay to not want to add more stress if you don't have to, even if you would enjoy the additional activity.

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It sounded pretty judgemental to me actually. I think there is a way to express your point without being so accusatory.

Well, that's the problem with the internet and texting. Lack of extralinguistic information changes everything about what was said. I stated "to me", so that's how I interpreted it. If it isn't what OP meant, which he/she stated wasn't, then that's fine. But, that doesn't mean that it isn't how I saw it. If they're asking because they just want to see if they're competitive and aren't just padding their CV then good for them, they're better than a lot of others. 

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When someone's title for their question is "Do I have enough ECs", to me, that sounds exactly like all they're trying for is enough that schools will look at them. Nothing more, nothing less. It's not judgemental, it's an observation that based on what they posted, what they asked, and what forum we are on, is a very reasonable assumption.

 

You don't have to agree with it by any means, but that's how it comes across, and OP definitely wouldn't be the first person to only do what was required to get in.

 

.....

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I will try to get this thread to swing back onto a more positive trajectory :).

 

In my opinion, I think it's most important to pursue experiences that are of interest to you. I have never been a fan of stacking up experiences as padding on a resume--I find that approach fairly disingenuous, frankly. There are no defined type or number of experiences that one must have to obtain admission to medical school nor do I think it's worthwhile to explore experiences for this reason. It sounds like you're getting your footing outside of academia and trying a variety of roles with a variety of organizations; I think that's commendable. I would suggest that you continue to pursue experiences that are meaningful to you or that you have an interest in and do them very well. I think better questions than "how does this look on my application?" would be "what kind of impact am I having?" and "what valuable lessons can I learn that would allow me to grow?".

 

I think you're taking on some meaningful experiences that seem fulfilling. Continue to explore!

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I will try to get this thread to swing back onto a more positive trajectory :).

 

In my opinion, I think it's most important to pursue experiences that are of interest to you. I have never been a fan of stacking up experiences as padding on a resume--I find that approach fairly disingenuous, frankly. There are no defined type or number of experiences that one must have to obtain admission to medical school nor do I think it's worthwhile to explore experiences for this reason. It sounds like you're getting your footing outside of academia and trying a variety of roles with a variety of organizations; I think that's commendable. I would suggest that you continue to pursue experiences that are meaningful to you or that you have an interest in and do them very well. I think better questions than "how does this look on my application?" would be "what kind of impact am I having?" and "what valuable lessons can I learn that would allow me to grow?".

 

I think you're taking on some meaningful experiences that seem fulfilling. Continue to explore!

I totally agree with this. Personally speaking I didn't have that many ECs but that never was a deterrent. I never went out wanting to look to add things. I did things because I was genuinely interested in it. For example I danced on a competive team for 3 of my undergraduate years! I didn't have any time for anything else but school and dance. So when time came to apply I had very few activities to put on but they were all things that were meaningful. I still got interviews and every time I was asked a question about my activities or experiences it was obvious that I had a real reason as per why it interested me not just cause it would help me get into medical school

 

For example I had barely any clinical experience. Few shadowing experiences but I started working my last year as a clinical trial coordinator and fell in love with the setting. This wasn't something that was part of my app and didn't play a role in my admissions. It did however cement my desire to pursue a career in medicine. The point here is do things that are part of your personal journey and not something to get to this goal. There are so many ways to get here and you want to make sure that it was truly you that did it and not this calculated person! I still remember practicing interview skills with a peer who after a question looked at me and said "oh that activity is cool let me add it to my list of ECs if I don't get in this year! " I'm not saying that is who you are but just that it's easy to get wrapped up in this mentality. be yourself!!!! You will be awesome!

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I still think that this issue gets oversimplified into black and white, aka doing something because you enjoy it/want to help and doing it to get into med school.

 

There are quite a few things I originally pursued to round out my application that I ended up loving, and that's okay. I probably would not have pursued them if I hadn't been applying because honestly, I was busy enough with school and work and my other stuff that some extra free time would have been nice.

 

Now, continuing to do something you don't like because you think it will look good on your application is silly. No one should do that.

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