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What are some solid extracurriculars for medical?

I am currently a sophomore in highschool and I am wondering what are some solid extracurriculars that revolve around medical? I am currently in the IB programme and trying to maintain high grades, but I don’t think my grades solely will be able to get me into a good university. Another question is would it be better to focus on my grades and try to get them to near perfect with simple extracurriculars? Or should I maintain the grades I have now and add unique extracurriculars?

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Madison’s Answer

Finding a passion project in your community I think always looks great. This doesn’t necessarily need to be medicine related but if there is a local organization you can be involved in a truly be passionate about that always looks good to have 1-2 long term, passionate commitments that help your local community.
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Scott’s Answer

Hi Ginna,
I am a recently retired internist and in my opinion there is really no right or wrong answer to this. Doing something medically related such as volunteering at a hospital may help you decide if medicine is the field for you. My suggestion is to expose yourself to many different types of areas to find where your true interests lie. If you are considering a career in medicine, medical schools also value well rounded individuals, not only ones who have done a lot of medicine related activities. Good luck!
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hi there, Ginna!

If you're dreaming of a career in medicine, you're on a fantastic journey! Along with keeping your grades up, having a diverse range of extracurricular activities can really make your application shine when it's time to apply to universities and medical schools. Engaging in activities related to the medical field shows your dedication, leadership, and most importantly, your passion. Here are some top-notch extracurricular activities you might want to consider:

1. Volunteering at a hospital or clinic: This is a popular and rewarding choice for many pre-med students. It gives you a chance to see what it's like to work in healthcare, interact with patients, and watch healthcare professionals in action.

2. Shadowing doctors: This is a great way to see what a day in the life of a doctor is like. You'll get to watch as they diagnose and treat patients, and learn about different specialties in medicine. Reach out to local hospitals or clinics to see if they offer shadowing opportunities.

3. Getting involved in research: Doing scientific research can show off your problem-solving and analytical thinking skills. Look for opportunities at universities, hospitals, or research institutions where you can either join ongoing projects or start your own under the guidance of a mentor.

4. Joining a healthcare-related club or organization: Many schools have clubs like HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) or Red Cross clubs. These groups often host events, workshops, and community service projects related to healthcare.

5. Doing community service: This not only shows your dedication to helping others, but also lets you develop important communication and interpersonal skills. Think about volunteering at places like nursing homes, homeless shelters, or organizations that offer healthcare services to underserved communities.

When it comes to balancing grades and extracurriculars, it's all about finding the right mix. While good grades are key for getting into competitive universities and medical schools, having unique and meaningful extracurricular experiences can make you stand out from the crowd. Admissions committees love to see well-rounded individuals who show a real interest in medicine.

Top 5 Trusted Reference Sources Used:
1. American Medical Association (ama-assn.org)
2. Association of American Medical Colleges (aamc.org)
3. U.S. News & World Report - Education Section (usnews.com/education)
4. Khan Academy - Medicine Section (khanacademy.org/medicine)
5. National Institutes of Health (nih.gov)
Thank you comment icon I'm excited to put your great advice to good use! ginna
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hi Ginna,

Howdy! It's fantastic that you, as a high school sophomore, are already looking forward and considering activities related to the medical field. Here are some excellent extracurricular activities that can give your med school application a boost:

🔹 Volunteering: Try to find chances to volunteer at nearby hospitals, clinics, or nursing homes. This will introduce you to the healthcare world and offer a chance to interact with patients and medical professionals.

🔹 Shadowing: Following healthcare professionals like doctors, nurses, or other medical staff can offer a wealth of insights into various medical careers. You'll get a glimpse of their daily routines, ask questions, and learn from their experiences.

🔹 Medical clubs or organizations: Many schools host medical clubs or organizations that invite guest speakers, arrange visits to medical facilities, or take part in local health fairs. Joining such a club can help you meet students with similar interests and gain practical experience.

🔹 Science fairs or competitions: Taking part in science fairs or competitions can highlight your scientific skills and knowledge. You can present research projects related to medicine, such as disease prevention or treatment.

🔹 Research opportunities: Keep an eye out for research opportunities in medicine, like internships or mentorship programs. These can help you hone your critical thinking and research skills, and also expose you to the latest medical technology and techniques.

Remember, it's crucial to keep your grades high for med school applications, so make sure to balance your extracurricular activities with your academic duties. Aim to build a well-rounded profile that shows your love for medicine, commitment to learning, and ability to tackle challenges.

To back up my suggestions, here are three authoritative reference books:

1. "The Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR)" by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) gives a thorough overview of med school requirements and application processes.
2. "The Official Guide to Medical School Admissions" by the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) provides insider tips and strategies for applying to med school.
3. "The Premed Playbook: Guide to the Interviews, Clinical Experiences, and Courses Needed to Get Into Medical School" by Joseph E. Kerschner and David M. Harris offers practical advice and guidance for pre-med students aiming to strengthen their applications.

Always remember, the key is to choose activities that truly excite you and align with your goals. By engaging in these extracurricular activities, you'll not just boost your med school application but also gain invaluable experiences and skills that will benefit you in your future career.
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Davina’s Answer

Community Service, Health Explorers (thru Boy Scouts of America), Volunteering at a local hospital or clinic
Thank you comment icon Hi Davina, can you give more specific details about what additional types of community service would be good to explore? Sharyn Grose, Admin
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