When I was in high school preparing for college and eventually medical school, my dad always encouraged me to get involved with activities that would help me stand out from other students. He said it was important to showcase yourself as a well-rounded student, and not basing all your strengths in academics alone. I began shadowing physicians in other fields that I was interested in, to gain exposure and to network at an early stage in my life. I also found volunteer opportunities where I was able to work with members of the community in assisting alongside many different tasks, from community service activities to volunteering my time in medical clinics. Another option could be to take a trip to a foreign country and assist in medical clinics or medical trips to help those less fortunate in other countries. This can be an eye-opening experience, as well as life-changing in so many ways.
As a future med student, the opportunities are endless for you to put yourself out there and gain invaluable experience. Volunteering and job shadowing are two great ways to do so, all while helping others and learning hands-on skills for your future as a physician. There are endless outlets and organizations where you can put your skills to work, all while gaining experience for your future career in medicine.
Originally from South Carolina, Ashleigh is a second-year international medical student. She graduated from Clemson University with a degree in Spanish and International Health with Emphasis in Health Administration. Before graduation, she had the opportunity to spend a semester abroad in Costa Rica, where she became fluent in Spanish.
Ashleigh is currently preparing and studying for the USMLE Step 1. In her spare time, she is a petsitter and dog walker. She also loves traveling, reading, experimenting with new recipes, and writing for her personal blog, www.IslandMedStudentBlog.com.