Documenting your involvement and accomplishments is very important throughout medical school. And, to do your future-M4-self a favor, it would be in your benefit to start early — even as early as M1!
- Start getting involved in volunteer activities. See if your program has a free clinic to provide care to the underserved and uninsured. This is always a great way to get involved!
- Get involved in the leadership opportunities. There are a number of leadership programs — both locally within the institution and nationally. Some of the best ways to learn about these opportunities are attending interest group meetings and talking to your more senior medical student peers.
- Give research a shot. Not every student has a heavy background in research and that’s okay! I did not either. Find some topics of interest to you during your M1 year and/or a mentor you work well with and get involved!
As you find yourself becoming involved in these activities, start documenting them! The items listed below are things you will have to provide when filling out your Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS).
Take note of the:
- Name of the organization.
- Your position/role.
- Dates of involvement.
- Write a short summary/description of each activity.
- Create citations for your research projects.
- List any awards and a short description of the award.
By documenting, you will always have a CV prepared anytime you need it and you won’t forget any of your involvement when it comes time for ERAS! It will save so much time and some anxiety to have these things prepared.