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Importance of extra-curriculars in matching...

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by AK_MD2BE, Apr 29, 2007.

  1. AK_MD2BE

    AK_MD2BE New Member
    10+ Year Member

    Jul 31, 2006
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    Medical Student
    As pre-meds, we all (well...most of us) did an extraordinary amount of extra-curricular activities (volunteering at the hospital, leadership positions, community service...kissing babies, etc.) to make our CV that much more impressive so that we could be admitted to medical school.

    Question 1: Well, does the same hold true for residency? For those of you who have been throught the interview process, or who can speak intelligently on the matter, how much do extra-curricular activites matter to residency directors and/or getting a good residency? Is it just fodder for conversation in the interview, or does it really matter?

    Question 2: What are some good extra-curricular activities do get involved in as a medidcal student?

    Thanks for your time:)
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  3. soeagerun2or

    soeagerun2or Membership Revoked
    Removed 2+ Year Member

    Sep 27, 2006
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    Research is really the only extracurricular which will make a significant impact. The rest (AMSA, class president, club president, homeless clinic, etc.) make up about 1% of your application.
  4. njbmd

    njbmd Guest
    Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    May 30, 2001
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    Attending Physician
    If you are applying for a competitive residency (or a non-competitive residency but in a very desirable location) and you are close to the average grades/board scores but a bit below, then you need "enhancements" to your application. These enhancements in terms of importance are research (good project and publication) and extracurricular activities (activity in specialty interest group, class office).

    If you are well below in terms of average grades and Board averages in terms of the most competitive specialties (derm, optho, ortho, neursurgery), extracurriculars are not going to offset your deficiencies. If you are borderline for these specialties these things can help make you stand out.

    The main criteria for getting into a competitive residency are grades and board scores with board scores (Step I) taking an edge over grades. You cannot overcome a poor Step I performance or poor performance in your coursework by doing extracurricular work. Set your sights on something less competitive that you can love.

    Extracurricular activities carry far less weight in terms of residency application than just doing well in your courses especially third year.
  5. chandelantern

    chandelantern MSI at Mayo in August!
    5+ Year Member

    Jul 16, 2005
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    From what I've heard it depends on the specialty you are seeking. Some are really numbers-driven (you don't have the board scores, well move along honey) while others put more emphasis on extracurriculars. I don't think that EC's are as important as they were in undergrad, but i do think the lack of any EC's would raise some questions. research/publications are probably first on the list, like already mentioned, but other things like long-standing community service involvement or leadership positions aren't bad either.
  6. naegleria brain

    2+ Year Member

    Dec 24, 2006
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    community service can be helpful for community-related residencies (ie, it wont help for orthopedic surgery)

    extracurriculars are meant for enjoyment. you've been told all along to do stuff for your enjoyment as admissions people can tell. we know its bull****. i shined in some nonsense creative writing class and won first place at a speech competition even though i was premed (yeah i put the entire speech major to shame, friggin idiots).

    but honestly, at med school, it really IS for your enjoyment. med school is tough and extracurriculars can be a nice break thats educational and enjoyable. it doesnt mean much, and shining (ie winning that speech competition) wont do a whole lot, but if you love the rush, go ahead and do it.

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