BeornBear

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I recently started med school and am engaged in the following activities outside of school:

1. Assistant instructor in martial arts
2. Biostatistician in a genetic epi lab
3. Fundraising for an organization
4. Some miscellaneous volunteering here and there (health fairs, clinics, etc.)

I plan to continue these activities for the entire duration of med school. Is there anything else I should be doing extracurricular-wise?
 

Ismet

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The only extra curricular thing you should be doing in terms of resume is research that can potentially lead to a publication. Everything else doesn't matter and you should do it only if you enjoy it
Research isn't the only thing that matters. It certainly helps and is highly recommended/required for some specialties, but I wish people would stop saying that all you need is research and pubs. This then progresses to people thinking they're failures if they don't have a publication, which is not the case.

Depending on what you want to go into, you really should have extracurriculars on your app.
 
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JP2740

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Research isn't the only thing that matters. It certainly helps and is highly recommended/required for some specialties, but I wish people would stop saying that all you need is research and pubs. This then progresses to people thinking they're failures if they don't have a publication, which is not the case.

Depending on what you want to go into, you really should have extracurriculars on your app.
All you need is research.
 

AugustMCAT

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TBH, those 4 activities won't really benefit you on residency apps.

Miscelleneous volunteering - I actually took off my activities list on apps bc you want to avoid fluffing up the app with unnecessary bs.
Martial arts - will just go under hobbies, not really gonna help
Funraising - see volunteering. Listing it wont help and may even hurt. These are such basic activities that almost all med students do at one point or another
Biostats - potentially beneficial but your time is better spent.

For residency:

#1 - research
#2 - honors societies - gold humanism, aoa, etc. You want to volunteer or fundraise? Commit to it as a top EC priority. Otherwise it's moot.
#3- starting an initiative or getting involved in the society for which you plan on applying to
 

Crayola227

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Total horse**** that those activities will hurt your app.

I just don't see how.

On the other hand, depending what field you go into, research will not be necessary and for others your app goes in the trash without research.

Research never hurts always helps.

The special societies/honors always a big plus, but those are determined by your grades mostly or humanitarian stuff you do for which you then get nominated. So telling you to get the best grades you can is not useful advice towards your question, and doing ECs still stands.

You likely have no idea what you want to do yet, so keep doing what you're doing, try to get early clinical experience to know if you want to be a cutter vs not (I knew my first week of MS1 the first time I stepped foot in OR oh hell no) because that can focus what research you get involved with, because getting the best grades and research is going to keep the most doors open.

I figured out early on no surgery for me, and I didn't have the uber competitiveness to want derm or competitive specialties.

Take the SDN and AAMC specialties tests and whatever career advising you can to at least get a sense of cutter vs generalist vs specialist. Certain fields it will make sense to do more bench vs clinical research, surgical vs epidemiology and the like.

Since you already have the biostat thing going for you, see if you can use those skills in the dept of your choice for research.

I will agree that you are expected to have diverse involvement in all sorts of things, but like being pre-med, pubs, longitudinal involvement, depth of involvement, and general impressiveness of accomplishment matters.

So do what you do but try to find research or a club or other cause to pour your heart into. Aim for leadership positions if you can.

I hate research although I had a bunch pre-med. In med school (keep in mind I was not going for anything lofty) I just did what I actually cared about and without even meaning to it wasnt until residency interviews when the interviewers summed up "wow you are really committed to the underserved," that I realized a pattern had emerged, one which totally supported my choice of field, although it could have worked fine for other fields too. (The poor, disadvantaged, mentally ill, susbtance abuse, minorities, all make you a shoe in for any general fields, or like FM, EM, psych, IM, which I had interest in. Would have helped me with PM&R or neuro or rheum or any specialty that sees people with a lot of chronic conditions that make their lives suck). Would that have helped me get into path or rads? No, not really.

Someone I knew was really into geriatrics from day one, and their interests led to an app that reflected that.

Someone else was obsessed with audiology and that led to ENT.

Another it was women and children and they ended up in ob/gyn.

Another did a path year and ended up in peds.

Others showed up for path stuff, of the 10 like 3 made it their thing.

Some people knew day 1 it was derm ortho or surg, and half of them changed by the time of grad.

Some people did a 180 that surprised me, some went for what they thought day 1.

But everyone that put themselves out there according to their interests and tried new things found their way.

It's your first year and you're not professing a big passion here. Get involved in as much as you can if you don't have a field and just whittle it down from there.

You could use this first year to do as much ECs, clinic experiences, elective courses, as possible before picking a research path way for the summer.

You could also see if there's a more short term research project for this year or the summer that could turn into more.

You're not married to whatever research project you start as long as there is an understanding of time frame and responsibilities between you and the project and you follow through on what you do. Better to do a 3 month chart review project for surg and decide it's not for you and move on to something new than sign up for something that's very focussed and wants a 1 yr commitment and bail early.

Hope this helps you chew on what to do next.
 
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Crayola227

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If by summer and start of second year you have figured it out to do some serious research to do second year that you could continue in a scaled back manner years 3 and, while maintaining some resume fluff, you'll be set. Digging in hard to research 2nd year is more than enough time, that could lead to trailed off involvement yrs 3 and 4 or expanded involvement by doing a research year then, before grad, or even after grad depending on what you end up wanting to do and how the match goes. Or you dig into it 2nd yr, hate it, finish it, and do different research 3rd or 4th yr or not at all.

It's good timing because it lets you explore year 1, get things in place for flexibility year 2 when you know more what you want, and then you can fall back on doing more research or less depending.

Just don't let others make you feel like you need to be doing research now unless you already know you want a field that needed you to have started research yesterday, like neurosurgery or derm or ortho or optho or the like.
 

Psai

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Research isn't the only thing that matters. It certainly helps and is highly recommended/required for some specialties, but I wish people would stop saying that all you need is research and pubs. This then progresses to people thinking they're failures if they don't have a publication, which is not the case.

Depending on what you want to go into, you really should have extracurriculars on your app.
Research is the only thing that matters. Other extracurriculars are just fluff. You don't need research but it's the only thing pds care about
 

Ismet

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Research is the only thing that matters. Other extracurriculars are just fluff. You don't need research but it's the only thing pds care about
From speaking with a PD in my intended field, research is not the only thing PDs care about. I'm not saying that ECs are incredibly important, but it helps to show your interests and passions outside of studying and research. If you have a lot of teaching/mentoring experience, that's certainly a plus. However this is only coming from one field so it's possible that other fields don't give a crap.

I've also been told that for interviews, you end up talking more about your hobbies or interesting extracurriculars than you do anything else.

There are fields out there where not everyone has done research, and fields that actually value the words in your clinical evals instead of just the grade.
 
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Research is the only thing that matters. Other extracurriculars are just fluff. You don't need research but it's the only thing pds care about
To quote your own advice, "If you don't know what you're talking about, it's probably not a good idea to be sharing your opinion with people who do know what they're talking about." @Ismet is absolutely correct on being more asked about your hobbies and interesting extracurriculars. If you're going to mansplain to someone who has talked to their PD, you should be correct.
 
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I recently started med school and am engaged in the following activities outside of school:

1. Assistant instructor in martial arts
2. Biostatistician in a genetic epi lab
3. Fundraising for an organization
4. Some miscellaneous volunteering here and there (health fairs, clinics, etc.)

I plan to continue these activities for the entire duration of med school. Is there anything else I should be doing extracurricular-wise?
To answer your question, I think #1 and #2 would be really interesting to talk about when asked on interviews. #3 and #4 aren't that special, but you should still do it in med school if you enjoy it. Only thing really left is research in an area you want to go into, which #2 would be helpful for.