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Are premed clubs even worth it?

Plue00

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I'm sure all of you guys have all these premed clubs that try to help premeds by giving them advice about applying and what you need to do to get into med school.

I joined one last year (I think it was AED or AMSA) and I didn't find it that helpful. Some med school deans came in and talked about what they wanted for their med school but it wasn't anything I couldn't find on SDN or a simple Google search. I stopped going to meetings after a couple of weeks and the activities were pretty pointless.

Are most of you guys in it? Is it worth joining one and being part of it? I only ask because I overheard some premeds talking about how great it looks on your app, which I highly doubt. But maybe that's just my thinking.
 
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TheKDizzle

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I'm sure all of you guys have all these premed clubs that try to help premeds by giving them advice about applying and what you need to do to get into med school.

I joined one last year (I think it was AED or AMSA) and I didn't find it that helpful. Some med school deans came in and talked about what they wanted for their med school but it wasn't anything I couldn't find on SDN or a simple Google search. I stopped going to meetings after a couple of weeks and the activities were pretty pointless.

Are most of you guys in it? Is it worth joining one and being part of it? I only ask because I overheard some premeds talking about how great it looks on your app, which I highly doubt. But maybe that's just my thinking.

No, it's really not worth it unless you simply enjoy being in the club. It doesn't look good on apps (pre-med clubs fall in the category of "filler activities"), and like you said it usually doesn't provide any information that you couldn't find talking to an advisor, an informed person, or online.
 
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cerno

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I can't comment on whether it's worth it from an admissions standpoint, but I have always thought that it is largely a moot extracurricular. However, I do attend a very large school, and they do kind of keep us up to date about volunteer opportunities, and help to get us involved. In that regard, it is somewhat useful. Otherwise, not really.
 
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I'm sure all of you guys have all these premed clubs that try to help premeds by giving them advice about applying and what you need to do to get into med school.

I joined one last year (I think it was AED or AMSA) and I didn't find it that helpful. Some med school deans came in and talked about what they wanted for their med school but it wasn't anything I couldn't find on SDN or a simple Google search. I stopped going to meetings after a couple of weeks and the activities were pretty pointless.

Are most of you guys in it? Is it worth joining one and being part of it? I only ask because I overheard some premeds talking about how great it looks on your app, which I highly doubt. But maybe that's just my thinking.

No. Premed clubs won't help. As KDizzle said, it's a filler.
 
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OCDOCDOCD

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I'm sure all of you guys have all these premed clubs that try to help premeds by giving them advice about applying and what you need to do to get into med school.

I joined one last year (I think it was AED or AMSA) and I didn't find it that helpful. Some med school deans came in and talked about what they wanted for their med school but it wasn't anything I couldn't find on SDN or a simple Google search. I stopped going to meetings after a couple of weeks and the activities were pretty pointless.

Are most of you guys in it? Is it worth joining one and being part of it? I only ask because I overheard some premeds talking about how great it looks on your app, which I highly doubt. But maybe that's just my thinking.

You're right to be dubious. Med schools don't care about how many clubs you're in. They only care if you do something significant in them like get a leadership role, but even then they won't be too impressed unless you actually did something noteworthy while in your position in the club (a lot of clubs are just resume boosters with so few members that everyone is an officer).

Even if they did care about clubs, a pre-med club is probably the least impressive of them all due to how blatantly self-serving and one dimensional it is. At least other clubs prove you have some kind of interest outside of academics. All a pre-med club shows is that you're really obsessed about getting into medical school.
 
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Veillantif

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No, it's really not worth it unless you simply enjoy being in the club. It doesn't look good on apps (pre-med clubs fall in the category of "filler activities"), and like you said it usually doesn't provide any information that you couldn't find talking to an advisor, an informed person, or online.

What exactly counts as filler? I'm guessing things that you don't take an active role in?
 
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GopherMD

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Yes, because
A) made some great friends
B) was able to participate in volunteer opportunities that I probably won't have done/ known about if I was on my own

But most importantly...
C) I received the Kaplan MCAT prep course for only $350 instead of $1900 :) :)
 
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Spinach Dip

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In my experience, pre-med club serves no purpose but for premeds to get together and compare stats and discuss what classes to take next term. They are about as helpful as a premed adviser who only knows about med school requirements based on the pamphlets they send out each year.
 
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911 Turbo

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Strong NO op

please dont join op


the two organizations i hate most in all of college are the premed organisations (AMSA being on one of them)


brb too many weird premeds
brb too many people wanting to go into medicine because of House/Greys
brb fake leadership roles

honestly i could go on and on about how much i hate these groups... but im not in the mood tonight.
 
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Ismet

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It depends on your school and what they offer. The pre-med organization I was in during undergrad was not just a "filler" and I actually listed it as one of my most meaningful experiences (3 years of real leadership in a very large club, assisting in the planning of a conference with over 300 people and 18 medical schools attending, a lot of community outreach, etc). If you're not going to at least get a leadership experience out of it or even enjoy it, it's probably not worth your time or the space on your application, but that doesn't mean there aren't worthwhile pre-med clubs out there.
 
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Strong NO op

please dont join op


the two organizations i hate most in all of college are the premed organisations (AMSA being on one of them)


brb too many weird premeds
brb too many people wanting to go into medicine because of House/Greys
brb fake leadership roles

honestly i could go on and on about how much i hate these groups... but im not in the mood tonight.

Ha, yep. When I attended an info meeting for one of these at least 12 people introduced themselves as some sort of leader.
 
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lobo.solo

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Strong NO op

please dont join op


the two organizations i hate most in all of college are the premed organisations (AMSA being on one of them)


brb too many weird premeds
brb too many people wanting to go into medicine because of House/Greys
brb fake leadership roles

honestly i could go on and on about how much i hate these groups... but im not in the mood tonight.

I second this.

I don't why I dislike groups like this so much. I overheard this girl from a premed club saying that she knew an adcom at a med school, so she felt confident it will help her get into that school...
 
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I second this.

I don't why I dislike groups like this so much. I overheard this girl from a premed club saying that she knew an adcom at a med school, so she felt confident it will help her get into that school...

Someone I know actually claims to have spoken on the phone with the director of admissions at Harvard and asked him/her if his ECs were good.. :rolleyes:
 
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TheKDizzle

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What exactly counts as filler? I'm guessing things that you don't take an active role in?

I would define them as activities that involved little real commitment and resulted in little positive outcome.

Even if there are some "active" premed clubs around the country, they as a whole have a reputation as being filler activities and most people would be better suited to list a different, more meaningful activity if possible.
 
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OCDOCDOCD

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:laugh: I wonder what's their thought process when they say things like this :rolleyes:

I'd imagine the guy who does that is also the same kid we all knew back in 5th grade who claimed his dad worked for Nintendo and that's how he knew you could get mew by using a level 100 rhydon to push the pickup truck parked near the SS Anne.
 
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katymalady

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Actually I'm a huge proponent of joining these premed clubs. I suggest you go to the first meeting, take a seat, and let the neuroticism around you just soak in. Breathe in the paranoia deeply. Listen intently to the "what can I do to get into med school omg" questions. You'll only have to listen to that same question from 14 different people by the end of the meeting. Be careful not to miss it, as they'll only ask it a mere 27 times again at the next meeting.

Only until you have done this can you get on with your premed career knowing fully well what you're in for and what people you'll be in class with during the rest of your undergrad career. :thumbup:
 
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MaenadsDance

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The AMSA pre-med chapter on campus has just started running a doctor shadowing program in coordination with the nearest med school and a local hospital. I had no shadowing hours prior to joining the shadowing program; now I have 16 and the opportunity to gain more throughout the semester.

The club is also a good place to meet with other engaged students and make friends. The school I go to is not a cut-throat place, and most of the pre-meds here seem to have a collaborative and friendly approach (with a few notable exceptions).

As a new student and a student new to the biology major, I have found the club helpful and worthwhile. I also got invited to join on as an officer fairly early into my first semester here, and I've been trying to coordinate volunteering and scholarship/internship info for the club.
 
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CsHead

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Yeah.. going to also disagree with many of the earlier posts.

These orgs are a great way to get involved in other stuff. Underserved mission trips, volunteering, free food, talks & shadowing... all at minimal cost to you.

Well minimal then... I don't know anything about today's college world... and a lot of stuff can be location specific.
 
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darklabel

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Mission trips aren't really high on the Adcom's list of meaningful experiences. While I'm not saying they're worthless, it definitely can't compare to something like helping serve food to the homeless and such. Also, these trips are notorious for doing things outside their student's training ability.

I disagree with Pre Med clubs, but I come from a different school. I can't stand the neuroticism and most of the leaders don't even get into medical school themselves. I also personally hate most other pre meds because of the competition factor. There are tons of non-pre med specific clubs that can help OP with volunteering, leadership and such.
 
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CsHead

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Mission trips aren't really high on the Adcom's list of meaningful experiences. While I'm not saying they're worthless, it definitely can't compare to something like helping serve food to the homeless and such. Also, these trips are notorious for doing things outside their student's training ability.

I disagree with Pre Med clubs, but I come from a different school. I can't stand the neuroticism and most of the leaders don't even get into medical school themselves. I also personally hate most other pre meds because of the competition factor. There are tons of non-pre med specific clubs that can help OP with volunteering, leadership and such.

Probably should have used better wording/choice.. I'm not talking about medical mission and other things like that.. I'm talking about inner city/habitat for humanity/these people need help and we'll give u a free ride type stuff.
 
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AsianPersuasion

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Honestly, there are some components that I like about the club like our advisor has a list of physicians and surgeons who's willing to let student job shadow which to me was a huge help cause I really hate cold calling and emailing random doctors. But other than that they try to give info/stuff etc but like OP said it's not anything I can't find online.
 
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Alejandro

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It's not what club you're in, but rather what you do.

From an admissions standpoint, the goal is to get to know more of who you are-

"Does this applicant demonstrate leadership ability?"

"Does this applicant do other things outside of the classroom?"

"Does this applicant do something interesting other than medicine-related activities?"

And while AED and AMSA experiences can be hit/miss, what everyone wants to know, as with all other activities, "WHAT DID YOU GET FROM THIS EXPERIENCE?"
 
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Doctor Strange

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I've been in my school's Pre-Med Society for all four years and have been treasurer, vice president, and now president. I was asked at most of my interviews about that experience, and I was able to talk a lot about what I learned from being a leader in the organization.

In short, it's really only worth it if you can get into leadership positions, and, even then, some campuses have really lackluster organizations that don't really do much.
 
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Alejandro

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Here's one way to look at it.

If the organization is awesome, and you're able to get a lot out of it, then great! You'll have something to reflect on.

However, as many have mentioned, if the organization is lame or doesn't get you involved, then that just gives you more reason to make something happen.

Some people think leadership is just the title. No, it's what you do when you have the title that matters. Heck, if I were an undergrad, I'd probably try to make a shadowing/networking service possible, or have an ethics case study/review, or something. Maybe find some neat ways to volunteer in both health capacities and non-health capacities. Sometimes I find the problem when I say this is that most people are like, "what do i do?"

Be creative and innovative. It's what will help you stand out later down the road.
 
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HughMyron

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Yeah, I mean, being a President is cool because you get to talk about leadership experience, but let's be honest, some "leaders" just don't give a crap. Instead, they ***** out their club to Kaplan or TPR, and every "meeting" is a sales rep coming over and pitching MCAT prep materials.

I don't have a problem with that, and I understand that the MCAT is a big deal. But there is a problem when your club doesn't do anything besides assemble people to hear sales pitches.
 
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cheechootrain

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As long as you can do something meaningful with it, then it's worth it to join. But if you're just going to eat pizza and follow the same mundane train of tasks, then don't join it. I joined mine, became an officer, and then helped hold a premedical conference where we had local doctors come and speak.
 
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OwlPower22

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I was in a pre-med club for four years and was quite active during my first two years. However, I didn't list it in my AMCAS application, because I feel the activities were not as significant as other activities I was involved in. I ranked my teaching positions and volunteer activities as much, much higher than being in a premed club for four years.
 
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Blown Away

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I don't waste my time with them. It's a bunch of kids stroking each other's egos day in and day out. AED at my school does not do jack **** in terms of volunteering, helping the community, etc. They just hold socials and party events that they formally dress up for. For what? A ****ing circle jerk.
 
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qwe7791

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Yes, because
A) made some great friends
B) was able to participate in volunteer opportunities that I probably won't have done/ known about if I was on my own

But most importantly...
C) I received the Kaplan MCAT prep course for only $350 instead of $1900 :) :)


That's why you have friends in those clubs and you don't actually join them yourself. haha.
 
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Aerus

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That's why you have friends in those clubs and you don't actually join them yourself. haha.

There's really no difference. You don't have to put these clubs on your application. I made it a goal to avoid joining typical "Premed information" clubs because most people don't do many meaningful things in them, but I know friends who join just because of the volunteer opportunities and others for leadership opportunities. You can list those opportunities but not the actual club itself, if you want.
 
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