As I go into the residency application season, I think back about applying to medical school. Everyone at the time had high MCAT scores, and it was known to list 15 work, volunteer, or extracurricular activities. In medical school, while applying for residency, this is simply not possible. There just isn’t enough time in the day to spend as much time on extracurricular activities. So here are a few pieces of advice for M1/M2s looking to get involved:
- Find one organization you are really interested in and invest your time in it. Residencies like applicants who’ve shown longevity in the commitment, rather than just 1-2 years. Besides school and sleep, this is your focus. Get involved in the leadership of the organization.
- Showcase results. If you started an organization, what tangible actions did you complete? Was it successful– how do you know?
- Don’t join too many organizations casually. Directors will see a long list of organizations and will immediately question how this is possible to be committed to these groups?
- If there is an interest group in your academic specialty, join it. Even just as a member, this is important to show interest in the field.
- Do what you love. If there is not an organization that you’re interested in, start it.
- Make sure to take care of yourself. Joining organizations does take time, and with the little time available in medical school, taking time to sleep/workout/cook is essential.
What other advice to people have about extracurriculars while in medical school?