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What are STEM-related activities I can do outside of college classes that help me become a successful medical school applicant?

I will be attending Northeastern University next year, and I would particularly love to get advice or suggestions for opportunities that are located in the Boston area. I plan to co-op during my undergrad, but are there other important things I can accomplish as a premed student?
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Helga’s Answer

Don't discount volunteering at the elementary level!

As an elementary educator with a certificate in STEM education, we could use volunteers like you! I currently oversee First Lego League Robotics in my district and I coach a team as well. We solicited for high school and college volunteers to help the students either design, build, or program the robots, or help teams with researching for their topics (my students chose to investigate how to minimize depression and loneliness during deep space travel and could have used an aspiring medical professional). Some even assisted with giving presentation tips while they practiced their speeches.

Volunteering at the elementary level does more than simply help blazes paths. My students bombarded the volunteers with questions and it only fueled their desire to move towards careers in STEM... to me, this is what sets candidates apart from the rest. It's one thing to volunteer to fulfill a need; it's completely another when you can encourage and inspire others!

Helga recommends the following next steps:

Consider reaching out the teachers of younger relatives, see if there is a need. Most schools are pushing 21st century skills and would love to have authentic guest speakers/volunteers. You'd need to have clearances, of course, but it's worth it!
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Duy’s Answer

First, congratulations on your acceptance. I'm sure you worked very hard!

To answer your question, freshman students often look for volunteer opportunities within research. You will have biology professors who conduct research in addition to teaching your class. Ask them if you can volunteer. After getting some research experience consider finding a contact at the Northeastern med school to see if a doctor there has research you can get involved in.

Finally, I'd like to suggest that you add other activities apart from research. While it is important, doing something that you are passionate about matters much more. My partner did no research during his undergrad but started a dance team and choreographed for 3 years. He's graduating this month and starting his psychiatric residency next month.

Best of luck!

Duy recommends the following next steps:

Seek out contact info for your biology professors
Email them and ask them to talk about their research
If research is interesting ask about volunteer opportunities
Remember to explore other interests/passions you may have
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Richard’s Answer

Try to find opportunities to pursue research.

Volunteer at your local hospital or low-income clinic. Ask physicians, PAs or other clinical providers if you can shadow them.

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Mr.’s Answer


There is not too much activities that STEM offers for a premed student. But at this level that you are in life you can always participate in becoming a volunteer mentor, compete in national competitions or create your own activity maybe dealing with biology, physics etc etc anything that you see your school is missing. I wish you the best on your journey.