Finding Medically Related Extracurricular Activities and Experiences

by Sarah
(New Jersey)

Hello! I'm a high school junior, and I'm looking forward to applying to some accelerated medical programs. I have all the stats, but there's one thing that I'm missing: extra circulars that are directly related to medicine.

Do you have any suggestions for medically related EC's that I can do over the summer/senior year to boost my application? Or is all hope lost?!

All hope is never lost until you give up. There are a lot of options available to you to get the medical experience that you'll need.

One place where you can definitely make an immediate impact is volunteering at a nursing/retirement home. I always say to choose one of these facilities over volunteering at your local hospital emergency room.

The reason being is that hospitals have a high patient flow and their objective is to treat patients as fast as they can which leaves very little time for them to work with and teach volunteers/premeds. Besides medical schools realize that volunteering in the emergency room is NOT a meaningful experience because most likely you are running errands or doing something other than truly learning about medicine.

Nursing homes on the other hand are generally understaffed and always seeking additional help. The staff will welcome you and they will be eager to teach you a lot. You'll end up learning much more at a nursing home in comparison to volunteering in a hospital setting.

If you are in close proximity to a major college/university you may find that they have summer programs geared specifically for high school students who have an interest in medicine. I would definitely look into these options and see if there are still slots available for this upcoming summer.

Shadowing is a great way to learn more about the medical field as well. Try to get in touch with some physicians and see if they would be willing to have you shadow them throughout the summer and/or into the regular school year.

If you are able to immerse yourself in a medically related activity for an extended period of time it will really show the admissions committee that you are serious about becoming a doctor and will do much to boost your standing outside of performing well on the SAT/ACT and having a great grade point average (GPA).

Overall, I think you have a lot of options and will be pleasantly surprised to learn what is available to you. I do encourage you to contact as many individuals as you know and tell them what you are trying to accomplish because you never who knows someone or is looking for help. This means contact your physician, high school guidance counselors, the colleges/universities near your home and simply being proactive to get where you need and want to be.

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Aug 17, 2011
Activities on Medical School Application
by: Anonymous

If you have a similar set of activities you will generally group them as one experience on your medical school application. For example, if you shadow several physicians you would not complete a separate activity for each of those shadowing experiences because to the medical schools they are basically the same activity.


Jun 11, 2011
Thank You!
by: Anonymous

Thanks! Great suggestions and encouraging!

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