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What are good extracurricular activities to have for a medical school application?

My biggest mistake with high school was waiting too long to begin things thus the depth of my application for college was nonexistent. I am an entering freshman for college but I do believe that there may be things that I can begin to do now so that I can begin to shape my medical school application. I am set on the path of becoming a medical surgeon, and medical school is the next big milestone. Applying to undergraduate universities took a big toll on my mental health as the results were not what I expected. I would like to get a head start before I go through that process again.
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As a third-year medical student, first, I would say keep your mind open about what medical specialty you're interested in. I have met many physicians who said they entered medical school set on becoming a surgeon and who changed their minds and now practice in a different field of medicine. Second, seek out the pre-med advisor at your university to make sure you are on the right track with coursework and pre-med requirements, including a timeline for coursework and taking the MCAT. Keep up your grades and your spirit as you go through those classes. You do not need to major in biology unless you love it; many of the most interesting and successful medical students majored in other fields (e.g. Russian language, philosophy, psychology, English literature.) Katarzyna C.

Third, find activities you are interested in. Try to build a life that reflects who you are and what you care about. If it's medicine, then find a way to participate in medicine-related activities. You won't be doing surgery, but you can be interacting with patients. For me, that meant I was an EMT and had ambulance shifts weekly throughout college. I also volunteered with cancer patients on Tuesday evenings and inpatient psychiatric patients on Friday afternoons. Katarzyna C.

Other free time went to my other interests: poetry, photography, and theatre. I did research on Russian immigrants to the U.S. and their experiences with the U.S. health system. Some of my peers did research in laboratories on campus (mostly basic science.) Think about what you're interested in and what opportunities there are at your university (university official or student-organised groups), local hospitals, and research laboratories. Wishing you all the best! Katarzyna C.

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David’s Answer

Paramedic! I have never seen a paramedic not get accepted into medical school. If you want to be a surgeon, Surgical Tech. programs are available. Become a tech in the E.D. (Emergency Department) UCLA Center for Pre Hospital Care, may still have classes. Become a scribe. Where you follow the doctor around with a computer. You will enter diagnosis and treatments into the computer. And you will listen to patient complaints. I don’t think medical school can prepare you to be a doctor better than this. Http://scribeamerica.com/

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Richard’s Answer

Medical schools love to see their applicants engaged in research opportunities, volunteering, and work experience. These are all best if they are related to the medical field, which makes them count for more. Many pre-med students spend a lot of time volunteering in hospitals with patients. Good work experience is working as an EMT.
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Rachel’s Answer

A research publication is looked very favorably on by admissions committees.

Otherwise, GPA and MCAT are by far the most important aspects of your application.
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