15+ Year Member
- Apr 4, 2007
- Reaction score
How do admissions committees view intercollegiate athletes? Does it matter if they are division 1 or division 3? All-american, all-conference, or a bench warmer?
I think my involvement in athletics (d1 cross country and track) has hurt my GPA a bit but also has taught me a lot and played a great role in making me the person I am today. However, with regard to medicine and why I want to be a doctor I have other things I'd rather talk about. I just don't want my athletic career to be overlooked or underappreciated because it has been a huge part of my life in college. The problem is, all I have to "show" for it is one honorable mention all-conference award from my freshman year. What about the year round 70+ miles a week of running, the ~30 hour/week overall time commitment, the plain old physical exhaustion?? Should I squeak that in somewhere or is it not impressive, important, or worst of all would it make it seem like I am whining or making excuses? (Because with those factors comes leadership, time management, dedication, perserverance...) Basically - I don't have space in my personal statement to talk about my running but I feel that it deserves more recognition than will come from just listing it alongside the rest of my activities. Advice? How important is it really, and what do you guys already know or assume about student-athletes?
Also, I have been VERY involved with athletic extracurricular activites - I was on a national committee for the NCAA and was also involved with the campus and conference athletic administrations. I am worried that it is almost going to look bad, like I should have been doing something medically related with that time instead? I have research and clinical experience, too, but I just want to make sure...
THANKS! (And sorry for such the verbose thread!)
As with all "how do adcoms see?" questions, there is no one answer. Every admissions committee is made up of a group of individuals who respond to the things they read in a unique way. Furthermore, events are seen in the context of the whole application, not as isolated events.
However, in general, I can tell you that unless one was at an olympic level, sports participation are not really viewed as a major mitigating factor in poor grades or in otherwise not doing the things that premeds usually do in terms of shadowing, etc. It is part of who you are and will, as with other activities, gain you respect for what you accomplished, but it can not be expected that most adcom members would consider this a reason not to expect the same application experiences related to medicine as any other applicant.
You should certainly discuss your athletic participation in your application if you wish as this was clearly important to you. However, like all applicants, you need to explain what experiences you've had that make you believe you are prepared to enter medical school.