Hello. My name is John Joseph - I am a first year Medical Student at SUNY Downstate. I just had a few questions about residency placement. I am very interested in pursuing a residency in Surgery, perhaps one of the specialties. I just wanted to know what the important factors are in residency applications. I know that grades, especially during the clinical years, as well as the USMLE Part 1 scores, are very important. However, I was wondering how important other factors, such as Extracurricular Activities (i.e., being an Officer of a Club) are. It seems like in order to receive honor grades, I don't have the time for extracurricular activities. Are they really as important as they were for getting into medical school. Also, is research important, and, if so, should I pursue a research project in the Surgical Department. I would greatly appreciate if any knowledgeable medical students or physicians could answer some of these questions. Thank you very much.