Medic field internship while in college

So I have a quick question for the few of you guys who have gone through a paramedic program. As far as field internships go, how lenient are the preceptors with the student’s schedule? I’m going to still have to go to Davis full-time for the particular quarter that I would be doing the internship, because if I take the quarter off, then due to the classes only offered during the Fall then I would be held back an additional year from graduating. Granted, I would just have to do the extra year part-time, but I want to get done with college already, finish out my pre-reqs and take the MCAT and use that extra year to take a vacation instead of go to school part-time.

I’d probably be able to do 1-2 shifts per week during school then full-time during winter break but what are the chances of the preceptor or my medic school caring? The medic school’s policy states that the student must be available 24/7 but I have a hard time believing they enforce that since it’s completely unrealistic due to the fact most medic students work part or full-time as an EMT on a schedule that may not be changeable.

I’d be out about $1,500 or so in tuition if I quit at this point and I really hate the idea of quitting. Plus, if I didn’t get in the first time, I’d have a job that would pay enough for me to get by as far as bills go and I’d still be able to work for a medic for a minimum of 2 years. So at this point, since I’m sure it’ll be mentioned as a possibility, quitting medic school is a last resort for me. Any advice would be appreciated.

I had to extend my field internship two months because of my regular job. My preceptor and clinical coordinator were very accommodating, even though I attended a college paramedic program (which tends to have more bureaucratic regulations than vocational paramedic programs) and had to run a full field arrest code before I could graduate. Like Richard B said, focus your priorities on succeeding in your premedical courses. You attend a vocational paramedic program and your grades from the program aren’t factored into your AMCAS GPA. While you could have attended a college paramedic program so you could transfer, if need be, to another more accommodating program and to have your efforts appear on your AMCAS transcript, you do have the option right now of just outright walking away and not having that hurt your medical school chances.

It sounds like my situation was somewhat different. The college where I got my pre-hospital education required a specific number of hours in each semester. Internship was a hard 220 hours, and we had fifteen weeks to get them done. If we didn’t meet the clinical requirements (eg. number of patients, traumas, cardiacs, ALS procedures) then they would allow us to delay graduation to get additional hours. But, the bottom line was that we had so many hours of clinical and didactic instruction that semester that additional classes would have been suicide.

Oh, yeah what I’m doing is only possible because it’s a private school that offers my medic program and not a college/university. Scheduling is 9am-6pm lecture on Tuesdays and Fridays and then clinicals is 160 hours, scheduled at your convenience or theirs depending on your class rank, and then field internship. So for the didactic portion at least, it’s doable (barely) to do UCD at the same time but it sucks because TTh classes I miss 50% of the lectures. MWF classes aren’t so bad though, only miss 33% of the lectures every week.

Quite honestly, it doesn’t really even phase me though. I’m at the top of my medic class in rank and I got a 3.76 GPA for my first quarter at Davis last fall, so clearly the workload isn’t killing me.

Ironically, the atrocious quality of the education at UCD makes it possible for me to do them both at the same time more than anything else. So far from what I see, most professors at UCD are so terrible that you get no benefit from going to lecture in the first place. Hell, I stopped going to bio lecture after the 4th week last quarter and got an A in that class…all the prof did was repeat what was on the powerpoint slides; anyone who can read wouldn’t need him. The curves in all my classes so far make it even easier to get good grades because in a large class, you are basically guaranteed that half the class are idiots, so the curve is usually quite generous hence less studying required to get a good grade.

Just be careful that you’re not getting good grades just because of the curve and that you really know the stuff.

  • MikeC Said:
Just be careful that you're not getting good grades just because of the curve and that you really know the stuff.

I make sure of this for classes I actually care about and/or are relevant. The introductory aquaculture class last quarter I took? Hell if I remember any of that stuff and it's been 3 weeks. The intro bio class? Sure, I still remember glycolysis, pyruvate oxidation, the CAC, where it takes place, etc.

My brain has too much info in it already for me to clutter it up with useless knowledge, so unless it's a science that's applicable to medicine or useful knowledge otherwise such as economics, don't care if I forget it.