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"Ranking Order" of Pre-Med Activities?

TiggerDadTiggerDad Registered User Posts: 781 Member
I'm sure that a summer of volunteering at a local hospital isn't as weighty as working as a part-time EMT or even shadowing a doctor in action. In other words, among myriad of pre-med activities, I'm sure there is a "ranking order" of their "weight" in relation to medical school admissions. Within such a scheme, how important, for instance, is a "Mini-Med School" type program that covers a variety of medical related topics once a week for the duration of two months, ending in receiving a certificate? Is such a "low-level" pre-med activity worth the time or does it still add value for med school admission?

Could someone draw up a basic and rough ranking order of pre-med activities and their weight with regard to med school admissions?

Replies to: "Ranking Order" of Pre-Med Activities?

  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 8,697 Senior Member
    edited September 11
    AAMC surveys med school admission offices and asks them to rank ECs, academic metrics, demographics and other information--

    See p. 5 for ranking table (high, medium, low importance) of results

    Using MCAT Data in 2018 Medical student Selection
  • TiggerDadTiggerDad Registered User Posts: 781 Member
    @WayOutWestMom - Wow, Didn't know such tables existed! Thanks!
  • Jugulator20Jugulator20 Registered User Posts: 1,082 Senior Member
    I'm sure there is a "ranking order" of their "weight" in relation to medical school admissions
    Although the AAMC link above provides a starting point as to weight of ECs from those admission committes that resposnded, there’s really no way to know what weight, if any, any one particular adcom (or committee) will view a particular EC. An adcom at school x may give a lot of weight to your “Mini-Med School” EC, but you’ll never know because you got auto rejected because your GPAs/MCAT at school x were not compeitive; or your “Mini-Med School” EC may be weighed positively at school y, but you didn’t bother to apply to school y because it’s in a cold climate, too far away, not “highly ranked”, etc.

    Trying to gauge an ECs weight such as a summer of volunteering at a local hospital, or working as a part-time EMT, or shadowing a doctor in action, or a “ "Mini-Med School…”is less about ticking off some box, but more importantly about what you got out of the EC as explained in a PS or a secondary; or what an adcom could infer from reading your EC. For example working 30 hours a week one summer volunteering at a local hospital would probably be less impressive as compared to your commitment of 3 hours a week volunteering at a local hospital every year for 3 years.

    Check out the posts below on SDN:
    https://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/what-ecs-should-i-do-for-medical-school-applications.1180357/#post-17343554
    #2:
    The trifecta of experience that is more or less necessary is:
    1. Clinical experience (hospital volunteering, scribing, hospice, etc)
    2. Shadowing (and doing nothing but shadowing during that time)
    3. Volunteering experience (either clinical or non-clinical, but good to have both)
    (4). If you're aiming for research heavy schools, you need research experience

    After that, just do what you're interested in and do it well

    #3
    Here are some things to consider doing:

    Not all volunteering needs to be in a hospital. Think hospice, Planned Parenthood, nursing homes, rehab facilities, crisis hotlines, camps for sick children, or clinics.

    Some types of volunteer activities are more appealing than others. Volunteering in a nice suburban hospital is all very well and good and all, but doesn't show that you're willing to dig in and get your hands dirty in the same way that working with the developmentally disabled (or homeless, the dying, or Alzheimers or mentally ill or elderly or ESL or domestic, rural impoverished) does. The uncomfortable situations are the ones that really demonstrate your altruism and get you 'brownie points'. Plus, they frankly teach you more -- they develop your compassion and humanity in ways comfortable situations can't.

    Service need not be "unique". If you can alleviate suffering in your community through service to the poor, homeless, illiterate, fatherless, etc, you are meeting an otherwise unmet need and learning more about the lives of the people (or types of people) who will someday be your patients. Check out your local houses of worship for volunteer opportunities. The key thing is service to others less fortunate than you. And get off campus and out of your comfort zone!

    Examples include: Habitat for Humanity, Ronald McDonald House, Humane Society, crisis hotlines, soup kitchen, food pantry, homeless or women’s shelter, after-school tutoring for students or coaching a sport in a poor school district, teaching ESL to adults at a community center, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, or Meals on Wheels.

    Also read posts #6 and #7 in above link

    Good luck
  • TiggerDadTiggerDad Registered User Posts: 781 Member
    @Jugulator20 Thanks! Very helpful!
  • i_wanna_be_Browni_wanna_be_Brown Registered User Posts: 7,774 Senior Member
    edited September 14
    2. Shadowing (and doing nothing but shadowing during that time)
    Very much disagree with the bold. I would much rather see a kid who has been shadowing for 1 day a week their entire college career than someone who blitzed through a short, but equivalent number of hours experience. At the very least, I don't think the former would be at a disadvantage to the latter.
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