ERAS: Include College Activities?

Discussion in 'ERAS, SOAP, and NRMP Match' started by Coastie, Sep 3, 2006.

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  1. Coastie

    Coastie Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 17, 2005
    About to submit, my buddy tells me to include things from my undergrad days.


    I think knowing about all my different jobs, my "research", and my "volunteering" wouldn't be that important, especially since I have plenty of all of the above in medical school.


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  3. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Lifetime Donor SDN Chief Administrator 10+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2000
    hSDN Member
    Unless it was a significant medically related experience (ie, resulted in a publication), I would not include stuff from undergrad.

    Residency applications are, for the most part, different than medical school. We don't really care about your volunteering or "research" from before medical school.
  4. Pox in a box

    Pox in a box 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 7, 2005
  5. filter07

    filter07 10+ Year Member

    Aug 30, 2006
    My thinking was similar to what Dr. Cox posted. However, when I showed my CV to my Chairman, he suggested that include all things relevant to medicine, including research and volunteering. I think the best thing to do is to include things if you think they are significant enough for attention. The individual programs can decide if they want to look at it or not.
  6. fourthyearmed

    fourthyearmed Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    Aug 5, 2004
    Most everyone I know included their college activities (volunteering, research, honors, etc.) because none of us had time for this stuff in med school but it showed what kind of things we liked to be involved when we had the time to do so.
  7. Rook16

    Rook16 Neophyte 2+ Year Member

    Aug 22, 2006
    I threw in some college stuff. Could it really hurt? I figured worst case scenario they just skim by it. Best case scenario athletics/ volunteership/ research turns out to be fodder for interview discussion. I am I misguided on this point?
  8. randomedstudent

    randomedstudent Member 7+ Year Member

    May 4, 2006
    What if this seemingly insignificant "research" is the only research you have? It seems better to include it rather than leave the section blank. At least it shows some initiative and interest in future research. What do you think in this situation?
  9. future_MD_doc

    future_MD_doc New Member 2+ Year Member

    Jul 23, 2006

    Completely agree...
  10. sophiejane

    sophiejane Exhausted Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Sep 18, 2003
    Waco, TX
    Here's a thought: The activities and former jobs you put on your CV are pretty much at the bottom of the list as far as importance in matching goes. It's not going to tip you over the edge.

    Research, of course, is different. But that has its own section.

    If you have something really interesting in your past, in might stand out. Otherwise, it's small beans, people. Include college, don't include it. It hardly matters.
  11. raspberry swirl

    raspberry swirl 7+ Year Member

    Jun 6, 2003
    la-la land
    i also struggled with this ... what i ended up doing was including everything that was significant to me, whether it was from undergrad, or not related to medicine, i decided i didnt care. i didnt include every piddly little volunteer thing i did, but i figured that anything i put in my CV was something that i felt was important to me and that i could talk about in detail if asked about. like the other poster said, worst case scenario is they skim over it and pay no attention, or they ask me, why did you put all this in? to which i feel i have an adequate reply. my job in education for 2 years may not be relevant to medicine, but its relevant to working with people, and it was important to me. one of my volunteer activities i did during undergrad was for 10 hours a week for an entire year, and although it had nothing to do with medicine, it was very significant to me. so i put it in. IMHO, its just important to make sure your CV isn't full of overwhelming nonsense ... keep it concise and neat and only put in important things that you can discuss.
  12. 48 hours

    48 hours provider of mexcellence 2+ Year Member

    Sep 14, 2006
    I definitely included undergrad activities for all of the reasons mentioned above.

    I didn't use everything I had on my med school app or anything. Just important stuff.

    I decided that it was important based on time spent.... for instance, I did research for all 4 years in undergrad w/ the same person, so I thought this was significant, you know?

    But if it was only for a few months or whatever, I left it off.
  13. ChocolateKiss

    ChocolateKiss Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jan 2, 2006
    What if it was pure science (molecular biology) research that resulted in a first author publication in undergrad? How much less is a publication valued that was obtained in ugrad vs. med school?
  14. slim shanie

    slim shanie 7+ Year Member

    Apr 20, 2002
    North Carolina
    This is an interesting topic... our school suggested ONLY putting medical school stuff on our application.

    Then I went to the Resident/Student Family Practice conference in Kansas City and some program directors suggested putting in college stuff.

    Dammit it's confusing! haha I decided I had enough from medical school so I didn't put any college activities.
  15. sophiejane

    sophiejane Exhausted Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Sep 18, 2003
    Waco, TX

    If there is this much confusion, it can't be that important.

    We aren't having these discussions about whether to send medical school transcripts or board scores, so that should tell us something about importance.
  16. filter07

    filter07 10+ Year Member

    Aug 30, 2006
    I'm not sure we can really assign a concrete value to these parts of the application. Each part contributes to a gestalt impression that the reviewer gets when looking at the application. My guess is that anything that contributes positively towards that overall impression should be in the application. For example if you only did research in medical school but had some volunteering activities in college that showed your altruistic side more, you should include that. On the other hand, if you went to various countries on humanitarian missions during medical school but didn't do any research, you should probably include your research from college.

    Everything basically comes down to making a first impression to the reviewer, who likely spends very little time to come to a snap decision about your file. Although people do claim certain aspects are more or less important than the other, you have to impress people not just at the conscious/rational level but at the unconscious level as well. Never underestimate the value of the first impression.

    This is not really an endorsement to include or not include, but a rule of thumb. Obviously, if one includes a lot of insignificant things, it will only serve to dilute the more important things the applicant wants to emphasize.

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