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What extracurriculars should I do to get into medicine?

i unfortunately missed out on the school organised work experience due to covid last year and I am not too sure what to do now. What else should I do to increase my chance of getting in? Volunteering? A sport?
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Raquel’s Answer

I don’t know specifics for Australia but in general medical schools look for an applicant who is unique and well rounded, you want who you are to show in your application as well as that you have good experience and commitment. Having a few high quality activities for a long period of time will be more favored than a lot of activities for a short period of time.
Things that medical schools look for include volunteering both inside and outside of the medical community, research experience, leadership roles, and physician shadowing.
Volunteering shows commitment to community and helping others, you can volunteer in hospitals, health departments, or other medical related organizations. You can also volunteer at places like the Salvation Army, humane society, or anything you may be interested in.
Research is an important part of medicine and furthering our knowledge and treatment options. You can get research hours from taking it as an extra curricular course in college or you can look into research that professors at your school are doing and reach out to them for if they can use help. Publications are certainly beneficial but not required. Getting involved and really learning about the research process will provide you with good knowledge and tools for when you get to medical school.
Physician shadowing lets schools know that you actually know what you’re getting into with medicine. It also gives you an opportunity to explore various areas of medicine. You can reach out to hospitals as well as offices to see if you can connect with physicians to shadow for a few hours.
On top of these things you want to show who you are, you can discuss hobbies that you have or join organizations to get involved with others (and gain leadership experience) Getting involved in a sport or club will add unique aspects to your application. Being a part of a group will also show that you can work successfully with others and be a member of a team.
The main thing to keep in mind while deciding what activities to partake in for medical school is that you want to be able to talk about each of them and explain WHY you did that activity and why it matters.

Covid has complicated and put a lot of activities on hold, though many places things are starting to start back up again. If where you are there are a lot of things still closed down you can find many opportunities for all of the things I mentioned online. There are plenty of virtual volunteer experiences and there are a few organizations that do virtual shadowing as well. So there are still ways for you to build your application even with Covid.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for your advice! Yaz
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Valerie’s Answer

Hi Yaz!
This is a great question! It is very understandable you were not able to do much during COVID, and I am sure schools will understand this. Moving forward here are some great activities to do when applying for medical school (these are what I did to get into medical school)
1. I was a peer mentor for freshmen in high school
2.I coached soccer- you just want to show that you are able to be a leader
3. I volunteered in my local hospital, this might be a little hard right now, with COVID.
4. You can tutor other students
5. I excelled with community service hours- this is really important, it shows you are dedicated to your community.
6. If your school has any predmedicine clubs, I would join them.
7. A lot of organizations are offering virtual shadowing (https://www.savvypremed.com/blog/which-virtual-medical-shadowing-opportunities-are-the-best )
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