Competencies Are Crucial And Atlantis Alumni Progress On Them
Competencies are crucial to show in applications and interviews, and 93% of a large sample of Atlantis alumni claim that they have progressed on the AAMC competencies. Atlantis focuses on these AAMC competencies for prospective MD students, but similar ones are sought after by DO and PA programs as well, and our alumni have been successful in many tracks.
The pre-health advising office at Cornell University (and many others) specifically encourages students to choose activities that highlight these competencies (even though this is not an endorsement of Atlantis or any other program).
As you plan for activities, consider […] how these activities help you demonstrate core competencies such that schools in the field of medicine look for.
If you’d like to learn more about competencies from an academic perspective, see this study (Academic Medicine, 2013).
Atlantis’ Mission Aligns with AAMC’s Goals
What the AAMC says matters, especially when it comes to understanding admissions, and their list of competencies reflects decades of wisdom on the question, “How do we put the right people into medical school?” The AAMC does not endorse any specific program (including Atlantis), but the AAMC’s goals align with Atlantis’ mission, which is this: we help build a world where healthcare professionals love their jobs and their patients can sense that; we do this via programs that (a) help put the right people in healthcare and (b) help these people thrive in their field.
15 Competencies = 9 Soft Ones & 6 Hard Ones
The AAMC has 15 Core Competencies for Entering Medical Students, and it’s helpful to divide them into 9 “soft” ones (the first 9) and 6 “hard” ones (the last 6). The 360 Shadowing model directly helps you refine and showcase most of the 9 soft ones, and indirectly helps you develop the 6 hard ones.
Briefly on the 6 hard competencies: 360 Shadowing, due to its quality and concentrated model, allows you to focus on academics, and the 6 hard competencies are naturally tied to college academics. If someone can focus on coursework during the school year, that person will improve in areas like scientific inquiry (AAMC competency #12), living systems (#14), and the other hard competencies.
Atlantis’s shadowing programs, which use a model called 360 Shadowing, also help you develop – and show through stories – 6 of the 9 soft competencies: service orientation (AAMC competency #1), social skills (#2), cultural competence (#3), teamwork (#4), oral communication (#5), and resilience & adaptability (#8). Let’s address each in turn, below.
How Atlantis May Help Hone The “Soft” Competencies
Read below about how Atlantis may help hone 6 of the 9 “soft” AAMC competencies and may prepare you to demonstrate them in applications and interviews.
Resilience & adaptability
Alumni Show Competencies through Stories
|Competency||Atlantis Alumni Story in Interviews|
|“I’ve always wanted to be a doctor to help people. While shadowing in Europe I saw
a system where doctors are paid well, but not 10x what a bus driver gets, as in
the US. Doctors in Europe have to be motivated less by money and more by
service, and I’m attracted to that because…”
|“I have never been exposed to as many social situations in a healthcare setting as I
had with Atlantis due to the sheer quantity of hours and diversity of specialties.
I’ve now been exposed to many social situations in a clinical context, for example…”
|“Even though I volunteered in an inner-city clinic in the US, which opened my eyes,
that setting still had the same cultural, social, regulatory, and technical
environment as any other healthcare experience in the US. In going to Europe I
saw the same “level” of healthcare sophistication as the US, but in an entirely
new cultural environment; for example…”
|Teamwork (#4)||“In my 6 weeks with Atlantis I shadowed over 15 doctors, in 6 specialties, across 2
countries. If you asked me to list all all the examples I have seen first-hand of a
doctor working in a team, I think that list is many times larger after my
experience in Europe. Here are some examples…”
|“Atlantis does not require language skills, and I had the best of both worlds: there
were enough doctors speaking great English for me to learn, but naturally there
were some language barriers here and there. When I become a doctor and my
patients can’t speak English I’ll be better able to relate…”
& Adaptability (#8)
|“I thought of staying in my hometown and volunteering at a clinic, but opted to get
out of my comfort zone by shadowing in Europe: new country, new culture,
new timezone, new healthcare system…”
(#6, #7, #9)
|(Atlantis contributes here but less meaningfully so.)|
|“I spent more time honing my critical thinking, writing, and quantitative skills
because I focused more on academics (and a bit less on extracurriculars)
during the semesters.”
Alumni Explain Atlantis’ Impact On Their Med School Applications, Specifically on “Cultural Competence,” A Key AAMC Competency
Med Schools Want 3 Things; Great Healthcare Exposure with Atlantis Can Help Drive The Other 2 (Stats & Competencies)
In Conclusion: To Come Full Circle:
- Atlantis’ 360 Shadowing model gives you quality and quantity in healthcare exposure (pillar #1)
- That healthcare exposure promotes competencies (pillar #3) in two ways:
- It promotes soft competencies directly (as detailed extensively on this page)
- It promotes hard competencies (which require studying) indirectly by freeing up time for academics (pillar #2)
The Proven Value of Study Abroad in General, and of Atlantis in Particular
Studies have clearly shown the value of study abroad for forming students in valuable skills, and many of these overlap with the competencies that medical schools value.
We validated these findings among our own students, but we chose to focus specifically on the AAMC competencies. As mentioned above, as part of a PhD-authored study, over 1,000 Atlantis alumni rated their progress on a range of core competencies, and the responses were very strong (view study data).
For example, 97% of alumni strongly agreed or agreed that they had a greater appreciation and respect for multiple dimensions of diversity, and 93% said they were better able to adapt effectively to stressful or changing environments or situations.
Watch Video: 20+ Alumni Now In Med School Explain:
Atlantis Is a Major Reason I Got In Here