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Das it mane
10+ Year Member
Dec 14, 2009
Snap city
Resident [Any Field]
Lowly M1 here. I wanted to get the perspectives of current M4's/Interns/residents/attendings on the value of non-research EC's in the ortho match. Things like student government, transcript service, IT representatives, curriculum committees etc... that (in my cynical opinion) are just quasi-administrative bullsh!t. In terms of "setting the table" for residency, is it worth devoting time to these types of activities? Does being involved in these activities make an applicant look more "engaged" or show leadership? Frankly, I think they're pretty meaningless, but I'd be very interested to hear what everyone else's opinions are.

I'm waaaaaayy more interested in research, free-clinic volunteering and outside hobbies (amateur grappling tournaments, traveling, marathon running etc...). Should I be striving to get more formally involved?

Thanks for the tips, and sorry for the annoying question.
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bone breaker
Moderator Emeritus
15+ Year Member
Jan 23, 2005
Attending Physician
Its better to do what you are passionate about because when you are asked about it during your residency interview that passion will be readily observable. So overall do what you like to do, because you like to do it, not because you think it will help you for residency, because you are right, it probably won't make much of a difference.

With that said, during my interview the majority of the questions they asked me came from my "Interests" section, including my love of smartphones and watching the show "24". There is no way that I could have put these on my application because I thought it would help me. It just shows what I like, and therefore gives them an insight into who I am.


Med Student
10+ Year Member
Jan 1, 2009
Resident [Any Field]
MS4's opinion: Any activity will say more about you than no activity. Student government and administrative committees demonstrate interest in your organization and are likely viewed as an inclination to become a future leader in your academic institution.

That said, they likely won't make you a better orthopaedist, but neither will excelling in grappling competitions or marathons. These things all just add to programs perceptions of your personality. You view those things as "quasi-administrative bullsh!t", then I don't think you'll be selling yourself as being interested in those things anyway. Do what you care about so you can at least talk passionately about something when the time comes to interview.
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