So, finally, you have decided to become a doctor. It sounds very promising. Being a premedical student, it is important to decide which goals and activities you need to target in your college life. Aside from getting impressive MCAT scores and getting a good GPA, there are a lot of things that premed students need to master when applying to medical school.
Securing a spot in medical school is no easy feat. Along with an impressive academic record, premedical students need to engage in a lot of activities to make their medical school application compelling. You can outshine the competition by shadowing a physician, volunteering, conducting research, working in premed clubs and doing other activities.
If you want to become a successful medical school applicant, there are a lot of extracurricular activities premed students can participate in to stand out from the rest. Have a look at some awesome extracurricular activities for premed students that make your application compelling to admissions committees.
1. Physician Shadowing
Believe it or not, physician shadowing is one of the most exciting opportunities every premedical student should consider. It gives premedical students a great way to understand how to observe patients and prescribe medications.
Try to find some physician shadowing opportunities in different specialties, such as primary care, emergency medicine, hematology, hepatology, emergency medicine or any other field you want to pursue your career in. Furthermore, highlighting the shadowing experience on your application will definitely make you stand out from the rest of the applicants.
The goal of physician shadowing or gaining any other clinical experience is to learn about a particular medical specialty. It will help you learn about the profession and make you a well-informed decision when it comes to choosing the right residency program.
2. Working in Different Medical Settings
Make sure to gain experience in different hospital settings, including outpatient, inpatient, emergency room, operating room, community clinic to get a better idea of how to work in each setting. By working in different clinics, medical centers and labs, you can easily demonstrate to medical admission officers that you are well-acquainted with different clinical environments and are ready to attend clinical rotations.
Working in different clinical settings will help premedical students gain patient exposure that is important for becoming competent doctors. You can also work in rehabilitation centers, hospice care centers, assisted living facilities, or volunteer as an Emergency medical technician (EMT). These clinical opportunities provide premed students with a chance to work with physicians, lab technicians, physiotherapists, and paramedical staff. Working in different clinical settings will help you get a glimpse into the daily lives of medical doctors and other hospital staff.
3. Volunteer Work
Medical school admission committees look for candidates who have the qualities to become good doctors. When evaluating candidates, admissions officers look for several qualities, such as commitment, compassion, empathy. You can polish these skills by doing some volunteer work. Find nonprofit opportunities that are looking for premedical students for community work.
4. Listen to Podcasts
Every pre-med student who wants to get into medical school to fulfill the dream of becoming a doctor is advised to increase their medical knowledge. Podcasts are undoubtedly an exciting way to improve your basic knowledge and learn some interesting things about medical school life. The best thing about podcasts is that they can be listened to on the go while doing your assignment or your favorite activity.
The internet is filled with a number of informative medical podcasts that premedical students can tune into to get a better idea of the medical school admission process, school life, residency, and healthcare career. 2 Docs Talk, Bedside Rounds, The Premed Years, All Access: Med School Admissions and The Undifferentiated Medical Student are a few best podcast choices every pre-med student should listen to.
5. Find Research Opportunities
Getting involved in research activities is indeed a great idea to prepare yourself for the adversity of medical school. Many hospitals and medical schools offer a variety of research opportunities for undergraduates, premed and medical students. Premed students should look for research opportunities to gain some work experience in the medical field so that they can better form research projects during their academic and career life.
Some universities held professional development workshops; some programs focus on field-based research projects to make sure your interests align with the medical specialty. Many universities offer to teach assistant and lab assistants jobs to help students learn about how to work in a laboratory or assist teachers to complete a lab’s project.
6. Follow YouTube Channels
It’s no secret that YouTube is one of the most famous and reliable ways to get informative content. You will find hundreds of thousands of videos on every topic and healthcare is no exception. There are a number of channels that provide detailed and advanced knowledge of medicine and healthcare. All you need is to find the famous medical YouTube channels for medical students and get quality information on a number of medical fields.
Watching YouTube videos is one of the most interesting ways to absorb useful information and prepare yourself for academic success and career life. Aspiring healthcare professionals and doctors can subscribe to these medical YouTube channels to make learning simpler, easier and fun.
- One Minute Medical School
- Interactive Biology
- Harvard Medical School
- NIH US National Library of Medicine
7. Follow Physicians on Social Media
Okay, it is one of the most exciting activities for premed students that can help them acquire useful information and learn about the latest advancements in the medical field. Many influential physicians stay active on social media and regularly share health news, recent advancements in the medical field, such as advanced surgical procedures, tools or technology used to treat complex diseases. Follow physicians, doctors, residents, surgeons, radiologists, physiotherapists and other healthcare professionals on social media and stay up to date with the latest happenings in the medical field.
These are a few interesting activities for premed students that help them prepare for the medical school admission process and perform at their best during their academic life.