Feb 11, 2013
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Hi all,

I am a second year student looking for ways to boost my future residency application and was wondering if you guys have any tips. What extracurriculars did you do that stood out to your interviewer? I realize how important it is to have a deep background in EM and am looking for things that I can do that will show my strong interest in the field. Here is what I have done so far:

Summer research in the EM department at VCU
EM mission trip to the Dominican Republic
EM club at school (working on becoming an officer)

I'm also thinking about attending the EM conference in FL this year.

Any help would be appreciated!
 
Aug 11, 2011
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Just do what you love. ECs should be something that you are legitimately interested in and not something to pad a resume. That's part of the appeal of EM - for the most part, it's normal people with normal interests. There seems to be a disproportionate amount of people who like outdoors, but other than that I haven't seen any trend.

Heck, half of my interviews were about the type of beer I like, prognosticating the likelihood that my college football team will do well next year, what type of food I like to cook/eat and what the most recent book I read was.

Have fun. Good luck.
 

DreamingTheLive

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Agree.

focus on some combination of:

surfing and/or skiing
weight-training/running or some fitness endeavor
college football
craft beers
mountain biking, climbing, hiking
sports in general
travel
 
Mar 13, 2011
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For what it's worth, I actually had very few of the laid-back "tell me about your hobbies" type interviews that the above posters described. I had a few EM-related research projects under my belt and also lots of ultrasound experience. My interviewers typically spent the time asking me about those things rather than fun stuff. Interviewers will ask about whatever piques their interest in looking at your app. It varies tremendously based on where you're interviewing and who's interviewing you.

I agree that you should work on putting together an app that gives them an idea of who you really are whether that's someone who's dedicated to research, someone committed to community service, or someone that's an outdoor junkie. Really, you want to be at a program that's a good fit for you and the only way that will happen is if they can tell who you really are and where your priorities lie.
 

DreamingTheLive

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Spottieottiedopaliscious. . .
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For what it's worth, I actually had very few of the laid-back "tell me about your hobbies" type interviews that the above posters described. I had a few EM-related research projects under my belt and also lots of ultrasound experience. My interviewers typically spent the time asking me about those things rather than fun stuff. Interviewers will ask about whatever piques their interest in looking at your app. It varies tremendously based on where you're interviewing and who's interviewing you.

I agree that you should work on putting together an app that gives them an idea of who you really are whether that's someone who's dedicated to research, someone committed to community service, or someone that's an outdoor junkie. Really, you want to be at a program that's a good fit for you and the only way that will happen is if they can tell who you really are and where your priorities lie.
Agree, earlier response was more tongue in cheek. Basically, 98% of my interviews consisted of talking about college football, weight-training or travel. That being said, I'm sure having multiple publications, years of volunteer experience, etc. helped me land said interviews. What are you passionate about? Research? Great, then contact your EM dept. and get involved. Community Service? Great, there are literally unlimited ways for you to satisfy this. International service? Great, again contact your school and get involved.

The take home point is, find something along the lines above that honestly tickles your fancy and then do it. If you're truly passionate about whatever it is, it'll shine during interviews. Doesn't at all have to be Emergency Medicine related either. Just get involved with something you love!
 

Arcan57

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If you can't talk passionately about your interests then you are going to run into some degree of difficulty discussing them in interviews. This makes things you are actually interested in (other then universal no-no's like LARPing or cat collecting) better resume builders than things you think sound good but don't excite you.
 

Transmogrifier

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I had one or two non-academic extracurriculars that got a lot of attention in my interviews. I think the EM things are good to show commitment to the specialty, but having something unique is very helpful.
 

sylvanthus

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Agree with the above, but also want to add that you could take a look at the AAEM RSA and EMRA and run for office or join a committee.
 

sylvanthus

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EMRA medical student council apps are due feb 15 so if you are debating doing that get it in ASAP. Also you could look at being an AMA MSS Delegate. But really like others have said do something you enjoy.
 
OP
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Feb 11, 2013
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Thanks for all of the helpful responses. While I love weight lifting, college football, and things of that nature, I didn't realize this kind of stuff was application worthy. Good to know that personal hobbies are important too.