How to Choose Extracurriculars as a Premedical Student

You may have heard that there’s a “perfect formula” of undergraduate extracurricular activities sought by medical schools. Research experience? Check. Hospital volunteering? Check. A summer internship in a lab or clinical setting? Check.

While these endeavors might demonstrate your interest in and commitment to clinical medicine, the idea of selecting your extracurricular activities solely based upon this perfect formula ignores one key trait that medical school admissions committees are looking for in their applicants: authenticity. As you navigate your pre-medical years, you may be wondering how to cultivate a resume that evidences your investment in medicine but also leaves plenty of room for pursuing your other interests. The key to selecting your extracurriculars is to not treat these two intentions as mutually exclusive—medicine can overlap with your other interests (and vice versa). Check out these suggestions for choosing your undergraduate extracurriculars in a way that will please both you and admissions committees.

Read more

8 Ways to Make “Typical Premed” Activities Exceptional

Medical School

It’s hard to be a pre-med. There are high expectations for the types of experiences you need, the classes you have to take, and the quality of person you become through it all. But for how hard it is to be a pre-med, it’s pretty easy to come off as “typical”.

Here are 8 key activities, experiences, and essay topics that can make you read as a “typical pre-med”, unless you take the following advice:

Read more

Non-Academic Ideas to Boost Your Med School Chances

non-academic ideas

At this point, you are probably already aware of how competitive medical school admissions are. For instance, you may already know that the most competitive med schools boast acceptance rates of nearly 3%—that’s almost half the acceptance rate of Harvard College. Pretty dire, right?

The truth, however, is that while medical school admissions are and will continue to be incredibly competitive, there are a number of steps you can take throughout college to distinguish yourself from the enormous pool of hyper-qualified candidates. Along with doing the typical extracurricular activities for med school like lab research, teaching experience, etc. the best candidates think outside of the box to make their extracurriculars stand out.

Read more

Four Ways to Practice Teaching as a Medical Student

During the first years of medical school, we are taught a huge volume of material, covering basic sciences and organ systems. It is not until our clinical rotations that we truly begin to experience medicine in real time. Over our clinical years, we learn how to become comfortable with patients and help them become comfortable with us. Ultimately, we hone our ability to communicate knowledge to our patients. In modern medicine, we work as a team with our patients toward improvement of their health. We are the scientific experts, but require the patient’s help to learn about their expertise: the patient’s own body. For a patient to make the best decisions, we need to effectively teach patients about their situation at a level where the patient can make an informed, proper decision. How can we practice our teaching skills as medical students?

Read more

How to Have a Successful Premedical Freshman Year

premedical freshman

The transition from high school to college is stressful for many students, and perhaps more so for those who already have their hearts set on attending medical school. For newly-minted premedical students, the first two semesters of college can represent the first steps toward their professional goals, and the prospect of doing less than their anticipated best is daunting. If you are one such new premedical student, you may be asking what steps you can take to maximize your success in your freshman year of college. How will you manage a new kind of social life? Which clubs and outreach activities should you consider? And most of all, how will you navigate your first academic course load as a premedical student? If you’re pondering any of these questions, read on for some tips about how to have a successful first year in college.

Read more

Humanitarian Opportunities for Medical and Pre-Med Students

Although repeated to the point of being cliche, “to help people” is one of the most popular answers would-be doctors give when asked why they want to go into medicine. The great news is that there are many humanitarian work opportunities for pre-med students, med students and even new doctors to undertake that will not only hone their clinical skills and make them more culturally competent physicians, but also allow them to give medical care to those who might not otherwise receive it.

Read more

Chronicles of a Med Student: Making Every Moment Count

Chronicles of a Med Student

I was ringing in the New Year with a friend when suddenly it hit me that it was 2016. I still feel like 2015 is in the future and it’s already 2016. I’m not getting any younger, but more importantly, how fast am I getting older? My birthday is close to New Year’s, so my biological clock is really in sync with the calendar year. Now that I’m in medical school, time flies faster than ever. It’s important for me to keep track of what I’m doing and to make sure I savor every moment. In order to do this, I want to make sure I make every day count by doing something useful so when I look back, I know I’ve spent my time wisely even while in school. I decided to take a quick look back at my last year to reflect on my highlights!

Read more

6 Ways to Make the Most of Your Summer

Summertime on your mind? You’ve worked hard this semester and have earned some well-deserved time to sit back and slow down for a change. While summer is your time to relax and recharge, it’s also a great opportunity to start focusing on rounding out your medical school applications. So how do you do that? We’ve come up with 6 ways to help you make the most of your summer.

1. Volunteer: Volunteering in a healthcare facility or organization not only enhances your medical school application, it’s a chance to see if you enjoy working a medical setting. It’s also an opportunity to network with peers and possible mentors, take on increased responsibility and leadership roles over time, and build your resume. Learn how to find a volunteer opportunity.

Read more