In need of advice!

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by SLC Flyfishing, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #1
    I have a new opportunity which has fallen into my lap. I'm wondering if I should do it or pass it up.

    I am a pre-medical student, and should be applying for medical school in a few months, but I've recently made the decision to put it off for one more year because I don't feel I've taken the proper care to organize my application materials well enough, nor do I think I can do so adequately between now and the application date.

    Normally this would be a real problem as it basically puts my plans on hold for a full year longer, but because of this new opportunity I don't feel that bad about it.


    My undergraduate degree (which I'll be finishing soon) is a health degree, which focuses on Emergency Medical Systems. You have to choose one of 4 tracks:

    1. Education: you take courses certifying you to teach EMS classes, and you take some classes in the department of Education.

    2. Management: You focus on EMS administration.

    3. Wilderness response: You become EMT certified, and take courses in wilderness medicine and search and rescue techniques.

    4. Community Response: You become a fully certified Paramedic (usually a 3 year process from start to finish).

    I've chosen Community Response because I'm really interested in Trauma, this gives me access to trauma care during my undergraduate career.

    Now I still have to take the full Paramedic course, I've been certified to an Intermediate EMT level. This means I have the ability to do things such as place ET tubes, run IV lines and administer a number of IV emergent medications. I also am trained to use a non-automatic defibrilator. Among other things.

    Anyway, to get to the point of this post. My church (not my congregation but the worldwide headquarters of the church) is partnering with the Navy this summer in a Pacific Partnership. It's a medical humanitarian mission that non-profits partner with the Navy to do from time to time. This will be at least the 2nd time my church has been involved.

    Anyway, I looked into whether or not they need EMS personnell for the mission, and they do. Though they have quite a few who are interested. But when they found out that I speak Portuguese (which is the official language in East Timor where we would spend a month) they were very interested in having me participate. The trip would be completely free for me, with the church paying to fly me out, and the navy providing room and board on the ship.

    This would be a great opportunity for my med-school application, a great experience for me personally, and good experience for my undergraduate work as well. Seems like a no-brainer right?

    Well the main complication is that I have a wife and 2 young kids, and this trip will likely take me away for 3 months. I'll be in southeast asia while my wife stays home with the kids. It would be a long time away from the family. My wife is 100% supportive (it was she who saw the opportunity in the first place, and she who reccommended it to me).

    What would you do in my situation.

    SLC
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #2
    I would find a volunteer organization and go to Haiti. Seriously. You would get more experience than you'd probably want there.

    edit: if you decide not to go to E. Timor. That sounds like it would give you great experience as well, even though that's not the important issue.
     
  3. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    Toronteazy
  4. Knowlege Bomb macrumors 601

    Knowlege Bomb

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    #4
    Think about it this way: three months is no time at all when looking at the big picture and imagine how this opportunity will supplement your already impressive resume.

    If your wife is supportive, I see absolutely no reason not to do it. Hell, if I were in your position and my application materials were in order I'd probably still take that year and do this. Plus you'll have the remaining 8-9 months to look into other volunteer work, do some traveling or maybe look into some other classes in which you may have an interest.

    Good luck!
     
  5. King Mook Mook macrumors 6502

    #5
    I agree with the previous posters. If you look a the big picture three months isn't such a long time and doing this will look very impressive on your resume. As good Medical Schools are increasingly hard to get into doing this will really impress the Medical Schools and you will get more and better offers. And if your wife is supportive, this is just another reason to give it a go. If you don't do it, you'll probably regret it.

    King Mook Mook
     
  6. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    Location:
    Colorado
  7. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #7
    Go to med school. I could run IVs after simply watching my nurse roommate do it to drunk individuals. Do something more, don't leave your family behind for some church crap.
     
  8. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #8
    Serving others is a noble thing and is not crap regardless of who is organizing it.
     
  9. ejb190 macrumors 65816

    ejb190

    #9
    I understand where you are coming from.

    About a year ago, a friend of mine asked if I would be willing to deploy to Afghanistan with his National Guard unit. They were looking for people with agriculture and teaching experience. Being a former Extension Educator, I was exactly who they were looking for.

    I had just gotten married the year before. Basically I asked my wife and she said no. That was the end of it. Not having her support would have made it very difficult to go for that length of time.

    Granted a year is a whole lot longer then a couple of months, but I think you need to prayerfully make this decision as a family. If she doesn't support you in this decision, it could wreck your marriage. If you still have questions, I suggest you council with your pastor. This is a church sponsored trip, after all. You need to listen to God's will for you life. If this trip wasn't meant to be, I am sure other doors will open.
     
  10. SLC Flyfishing thread starter Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #10
    Let me tell you; your credibilty with me, and my desire to listen to anything you say just went through the roof. Seriously man, do you think these things over before you write them.

    It's not a religious mission, not sure why that would matter anyway. It's a humanitarian medical mission which my church happens to be pledging it's support to.

    Goodbye!
     
  11. Paul B macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2007
    #11
    3 months isn't a long time at all. Seems like a no brainer.
     
  12. SLC Flyfishing thread starter Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #12
    Thanks for your response (and everyone elses too!)

    I've been married for 7 years, so maybe my wife would be glad to be rid of me for a few months :p. But in all seriousness, we have a lot of family nearby, her sisters and parents all live in the area, and my mother and siblings live nearby as well. She plans on spending a little bit of time with each of them if I do go. She is 100% supportive, like I said, she was the one who found the opportunity, and immediately told me I should do it, and not to worry about leaving her with the kids for that long. I think she wants me to be able to do these sorts of things, and she recognizes the impact this could have as well as the value it could be for my future plans in my professional career.

    Luckily the trip wouldn't be for about 5 more months, so I've got time to make sure it really does make sense for us as a family. But I have no concerns about my wife's support for the idea.

    Thanks again for everyone who has contributed their opinions, I'm glad to see that most feel the way I'm feeling, that lends some credibility to my feelings. I wanted to make sure that I'm not reacting emotionally to the opportunity to go globehopping, and that I'm looking at this from many angles. People I've spoken with in person seem to have the same feelings as most of you!

    SLC
     
  13. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #13
    Providing the wife really is OK with it you have to go. It's the sort of thing that completely changes your life and will give you experiences and perspective you can draw on for the rest of it.

    Seriously, bite their hands off.
     
  14. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    Location Location Location
    #14
    If you really have your wife's support, then I'd go. You'd be crazy not to, and your chances of getting into med school increase substantially.
     
  15. dmr727 macrumors G3

    dmr727

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  16. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2003
    Location:
    Penryn
    #16
    Go. You'll have great stories to tell your kids when you get back and they'll have bragging rights like, "My dad spent 3 months in East Timor." Make it into something special for them too and everyone will come away a winner.
     
  17. SLC Flyfishing thread starter Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #17

    I like that line of thinking, my kids are really young (5 years, and 2 years) but my 5 year old knows that I'm an EMT, and that I help people at my job. I think that if I explain it that way, she'll be excited about me going.

    I went ahead and put my name on the list, so barring some unforseen problem, I'm fairly certain I'm set to go in late June/early July until the 2nd week of September, so not quite as long as I thought.

    Thanks everyone!

    SLC
     
  18. kellen macrumors 68020

    kellen

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #18
    As someone who just got went through all the application and interviews, that would look great on your resume.

    Would you have to quit a job? That would be the only thing holding me back.
     
  19. SLC Flyfishing thread starter Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #19
    Nope, no quitting of a job would be required, I'm currently doing a fellowship in community service, and my year long commitment would end just in time for this next adventure. I have enough money socked away to make it just fine till 2011 without seeking employment, but I had originally planned to seek a job this summer; if for no other reason than to stave off boredom. I was thinking of looking into EMS work either in the ER of one of the local Trauma Centers, or with an ambulance rig somewhere in town.

    Since you just went through the application process, do you think it's valuable for Med-School applications (of course it's a valuable personal experience) for me since I've already done some very high profile volunteer projects. I spent the entire fall with a team of RN and EMS recruits finding and administering H1N1 vaccine to the Homeless Population of Salt Lake City we delivered over 4,000 doses and only saw 5-7 suspected cases all fall as a result. Not many applicants will have anything like that on their list of accomplishments, and I'll do one or two more similar projects as well as creating a permanent internship program for future students at my clinic before May. Most people I talk to tell me I should go because it's an incredible opportunity, and I agree. But is it really going to make my application stronger, or am I venturing into overkill with my volunteerism?

    I'll most likely be going either way, but what's your take on that kellen?

    SLC
     
  20. TheSVD macrumors 6502a

    TheSVD

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    Location:
    The Jolly Ol' Midlands, England
    #20
    i'm just going to be another one here that says go for it :)
    as long as you and your wife are cool with it, and can handle the temporary separation, then i'd say go for it man :D it will be a great experience.
     
  21. Diet Pepsi macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    Location:
    Tucson
    #21
    I am female that raised the kids, while hubby worked away from home.

    Do it.
     
  22. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #22
    Add me to the list of supporters in favor of going on the trip. Your wife is supportive and you are going to put off med school anyway, so it seems like a green light all the way around. Best of luck and keep up informed.
     
  23. killerrobot macrumors 68020

    killerrobot

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    #23
    Seems like this would be the perfect opportunity to broaden your skills in the field, especially if you don't feel comfortable with applying for Med. School just yet.
    As others have said, this would look great on your application later on and it will give you time to perfect it.
     
  24. macfem macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    #24
    I would never leave my children for that long if I could help it. I agree it sounds like a great opportunity, but, what about the wife and children? Is there no way to bring them along? What would you do if your wife wanted to leave for that long? [​IMG]
     
  25. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #25
    This was my main question reading through this thread. If there's enough support for your wife, sounds like you should definitely go. I hope you have a great trip.

    I'm not sure what you meant about your future plans for your professional career in your earlier post, but as someone who works in public health internationally, I recommend it.
     

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