Pre-Med Q&ACategory: Summer ActivitiesAm I doing Enough?
AvatarAnonymous asked 2 months ago

Hi! It’s been over a week since my spring semester wrapped up and I had fun! I even started volunteering as a Tutor for children of Healthcare workers and do that weekly now. I’m just scared I’m not doing enough, I’m done with all my classes and the tutoring is only 2 hours a week. I finished 8 credits over the spring semester and that kept me busy and now I have two months at my disposal before classes start again in the fall. I’m back home rn and we only have 1 car so transportation is an issue but I see some of my friends taking CNA training classes and can’t help but feel like I’m falling behind. I checked websites for my local hospitals and they all say that volunteering is still paused until further notice. What can I do with my time? What do med schools want to see rn cuz it’s not as bad as last year with no opportunities because of covid and no vaccines we have the vaccines now and things are opening back up but a lot of opportunities still don’t exist (in hospitals and stuff) and since I don’t have transportation it’s hard for me to get out of the house too. Do you have any ideas of what I can do? Also, how to stop comparing myself to my pre-med peers? It always feels like others are five steps ahead of me and I’m just trying to play catch up. 

2 Answers
AvatarAllison answered 2 months ago

Hello! The feeling of falling behind/not doing enough is definitely something every pre-med student goes through. It is difficult to feel comfortable, even when you are doing the most just because applying to medical school is really demanding. The best advice I can give you is to try not to compare yourself to your friends (which I know is difficult), but there is no “ideal” pre-med path, everyone’s path looks a little different. It is actually in your best interest to differentiate yourself from others because it will make your application stand out! I would encourage you to stick to other pre-med friends that emphasize collaboration instead of competitiveness and try to remind yourself often that you are on the right path. Getting into medical school is really competitive, but even a 5-star applicant can get denied if all they did was checkboxes of things they thought medical schools look for rather than doing things they are passionate about. A great interviewer will be someone who can speak authentically and excitedly about the experiences they participated in, even if that experience isn’t related to healthcare! As for how to fill your time, I think that you are already in a good position by being involved with tutoring. My first suggestion would be to take the time to relax and get ready for the fall semester! We all deserve a break every once in a while and doing so will help to prevent burn out. However, if you are set on doing more, one thing you could try is spending time reading academic papers about new things that are happening in the medical field. Not only will this help you feel productive, but it will help you: 1) with the CARS section of the MCAT and 2) keep you up to date on what is happening in the field which may come in handy during interviews potentially. You might also spend some time reading medical memoirs or other books written by doctors that will give you a unique perspective in the field and potentially help to guide you on your path to your career in medicine. In terms of more typical activities, you can continue to take advantage of online shadowing opprotunities even though COVID conditions are becoming better (this would be especially great with your transportation situation). You might also be able to find in-person shadowing opportunities in doctor’s offices rather than in the hospital as restrictions may be different there. Another option is to pick up volunteering through another organization that isn’t strictly in the healthcare field. As long as you are enjoying what you are doing and are able to talk about your experience and what it taught you in the context of your future, it will be valuable for your application. I know this answer is very long winded and may be overwhelming since I’ve named several things you could pick up to fill your time, but I just want to emphasize that everyone’s experiences (and resources) are different so comparing yourself to others is not fair to yourself and the hard work that you are already putting in. I hope this answered your question and I wish you the best of luck, I know you’re doing great! 
Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any other questions, 
Allison, PMH Advisor

AvatarAnon answered 2 months ago

Thank you so much! I just have a followup question, for shadowing, how long should I ask for the experience to be? Is it like a 1 week, 1 month or several months long thing? I’m new to all of this so just trying to gauge what a typical request is like. Thank you so much!

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