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How important are extracurriculars in med school?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Ludy, Aug 25, 2001.

  1. Ludy

    Ludy Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 29, 2001
    Just wanted to get some opinions on how important extracurriculars are in terms of residency applications and such... When I have some free time, I'd rather NOT spend it doing something medical with the same people I see all day every day in class. I'd rather visit friends from undergrad or go to movies or just hang out with my close friends in the class. Given the limited amount of free time I have, that doesn't leave a lot of room for being a student group leader or organizing health fairs. Does that stuff really matter in the long run? thanks...
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  3. Ludy

    Ludy Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 29, 2001
    Please? Any opinions at all? Maybe the residencies forum would have been a better place to post this...

    I'm not looking to study non-stop or completely slack off and hang out at the bars, but I'd rather do something outside of medicine in my free time, like take a salsa dancing class or learn how to sail. But I'm afraid having no medically-related activities will hurt me at interview time. Thoughts, anyone?
  4. BeckyG

    BeckyG Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 5, 2001
    Hi GP20,

    From what I have heard (I do not know first hand), what matters most for residency are:

    -- your board scores
    -- faculty recommendations (especially in the field you are applying for residency)
    -- research and papers published

    The rest is less important. Also, it depends on which residency (competitiveness) you are applying to.

    Hope this helps!

    -- Becky
  5. lilycat

    lilycat Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Aug 12, 2000
    I would say this really depends on the type of residency you are applying to, and it varies from program to program.

    I met with the director of a very competitive peds program last year -- the top factors for them were clinical grades/evals, the interview, recommendations, and ec involvement, and to a lesser extent board scores and research. I'm not sure if he was purposely downplaying the importance of board scores at that program, or if they just operate under the assumption that everyone who is competitive for that program will have the requisite board score. Again, this is where the variability of the programs comes into play -- this residency director was very keen on the point that not everyone excels at standardized tests, and thus a poor performance shouldn't negate excellent clinical skills, etc.

    Anyways, ec's can still be very important, but I think the best source of info. on this subject would be one of your Deans of Student Affairs -- at least at my school they do the residency advising as well. They can probably give you a more definitive answer.

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