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biophysicianai

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Don't really have many ECs. Problem?

My grades are good, and I'm taking a very heavy and challenging course load, so I'm pretty busy. I have the "basic" pre-med ECs - research, hospital volunteering, lab tech (for $$$, which i need) - but thats about it.

I've found that most clubs are kinda BS. People join just to say they're in a club. I don't want to be that guy. However, I know my resume is looking rather barren as a result. Is this bad?

I really don't want to join anything just to have it garnish my CV, but I almost feel impelled to because, well, "everyone else is doing it"

Should I hold steady, or give in? Put another way, can an adcom see right through the nonsense anyway, so I wont have to add it on there?
 

Dr Lyss

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IMO, clubs are BS so yes your instincts are right about that. The purpose/importance of ECs is to add weight to your argument that you know medicine is right for you. Try looking at it from the perspective of getting more insight into your future career and experiencing diff types of medicine & do ECs that do that/interest you. On the surface your activities look good but if you feel like you need more try to find an interesting health related activity 1x a week or so
 

unsung

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Don't really have many ECs. Problem?

My grades are good, and I'm taking a very heavy and challenging course load, so I'm pretty busy. I have the "basic" pre-med ECs - research, hospital volunteering, lab tech (for $$$, which i need) - but thats about it.

I've found that most clubs are kinda BS. People join just to say they're in a club. I don't want to be that guy. However, I know my resume is looking rather barren as a result. Is this bad?

I really don't want to join anything just to have it garnish my CV, but I almost feel impelled to because, well, "everyone else is doing it"

Should I hold steady, or give in? Put another way, can an adcom see right through the nonsense anyway, so I wont have to add it on there?

Well, you don't have to join school clubs if they're pretty much "BS"/poorly run/uninteresting or whatever. But how about hobbies that you pursue outside of school? I started a language club in the city for the hell of it because I'm interested in the language. It's not affiliated through any schools but it makes for an interesting EC. Do you like to travel? Do a study abroad program for a semester or just go on your own. Do you play an instrument? Sport? Point is, ECs don't have to be "Treasurer for Pre-med Club", etc. Just pursue whatever it is you're interested in, and make something of it.
 
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CourageKid

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You will get asked on interviews "what do you do in your spare time" and you don't want the answer to be only science/medicine/studying. A challenging workload is commendable, but it is also important to say "this is what I care about outside of medicine and this is how I invest time in pursuing that."
For instance, my senior spring semester, I walked dogs at the Humane Society once a week. My only rationale to do it was because petting dogs makes me happy. I ended up adding it to my app only b/c I had one space left in my AMCAs activities section that I didn't want to leave blank. And multiple interviewers have commented on it even though I doubted anyone would even read it.
 

HeatherMD

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I hate clubs too, but I found a good one this year. Maybe you just have to look around?

just stay away from student government. THAT is BS!
 

Mobius1985

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You need to seek out a leadership experience. It need not be as a club officer. Mentoring or tutoring qualify, or fund raising, or anything where you take responsibility and inspire others to do the work.
 

batch5000

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You can also get leadership in a clinical setting by supervising and training other volunteers. Same thing with research. You can teach new members how to run protocols, etc. I agree with the club comments.
 

Greonis

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Also, remember that quality will always trump quantity. If you find something that suits you well and simultaneously demonstrates leadership/interest in medicine, do not be afraid to stick with it for many years over abandoning it for something else that is similar. It is in no way necessary to "saturate" the experiences portion of your AMCAS application (I know many people - myself included - who filled out less than 10 of the potential 15 experience slots and have been quite successful nonetheless).

I'll also second the notion of ignoring "filler" activities. For example, I would not put down that I had joined a "pre-med" club unless I were an active member with a highly supportive role that demanded a lot of time from me.
 

DrMattOglesby

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im surprised with the amount of detest for school organized clubs around here...

i think they are valuable and contribute positively to the student life at a given campus. When I completed my undergraduate education (granted I wasn't premed at the time--a factor that probably has a lot to do with my enjoyment of the ECs I pursued), I was active in many school clubs. I enjoyed them all.

I suppose the concern comes from persons who feel less than enthusiastic about participating in the organization (maybe they feel pressed to pad an application with EC activities perchance, and thus only volunteer their time reluctantly). That being said, take some advice from previous posters and earnestly pursue whatever excites you.
 
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