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How To Choose The Right Extracurricular Activities For Med School

Discover the Surprising Tips to Choose the Perfect Extracurricular Activities for Med School Admission.

Choosing the right extracurricular activities is crucial when preparing for medical school. Not only can it enhance your application, but it can also provide valuable experiences that will help you become a better candidate for admission. But with so many options available, how do you choose the right ones?

Firstly, it’s important to understand what medical schools are looking for in their applicants. While academic achievement and test scores are important, they also want to see evidence of leadership, community involvement, and a passion for healthcare.

Extracurricular activities can showcase these qualities and demonstrate that you are well-rounded and committed to making a difference in the world of medicine. In this article, we’ll explore some tips on how to choose the right extracurricular activities that align with your interests and goals while also impressing med school admissions committees.


  1. Understanding What Medical Schools Look For In Applicants
  2. Identifying Your Interests And Goals
  3. Choosing Extracurricular Activities That Showcase Your Strengths
  4. Frequently Asked Questions
  5. Conclusion

Understanding What Medical Schools Look For In Applicants

Aspiring medical students often wonder what extracurricular activities they should pursue to increase their chances of acceptance. Understanding what medical schools look for in applicants can help guide this decision-making process.

Interview tips from admissions officers reveal that medical schools value well-rounded candidates who are passionate about their interests. This means that simply participating in a variety of activities is not enough; instead, students should focus on pursuing activities that align with their personal passions and goals.

For example, if a student is interested in pediatrics, volunteering at a children’s hospital or mentoring youth could be meaningful experiences to highlight on their application.

One common mistake that applicants make is focusing solely on science-related activities and neglecting non-medical pursuits. While it is important to demonstrate academic excellence and proficiency in the sciences, medical schools also want to see that applicants have strong communication skills, leadership abilities, and empathy for others.

Thus, extracurriculars such as debate club, student government, and community service can showcase these important qualities.

Identifying Your Interests And Goals

I’m sure many of us have thought about what extracurricular activities to pursue in med school, but it’s important to take some time for self-reflection first.

It’s important to consider your interests and goals and how they align with the activities you’re looking into.

Once you have an idea of what you’d like to do, do some research to make sure you pick the best option for you.

After that, you should set some goals for yourself – both short-term and long-term – to make sure you stay on track.

That way, you’ll be sure to get the most out of your extracurricular activities.


Looking for the right extracurricular activities to boost your med school applications can be overwhelming. However, self-reflection is a crucial step in identifying your interests and goals.

The benefits of self-reflection are numerous, including helping you understand your strengths and weaknesses, prioritizing what is important to you, and gaining clarity on your passions.

To conduct effective self-reflection, start by finding a quiet place where you can think without distractions. Take some deep breaths and clear your mind. Write down what makes you happy or fulfilled outside of academic work. Consider how these hobbies or interests align with the qualities that medical schools value in their applicants.

Additionally, reflect on any challenges you have faced and how you have overcome them.

Finally, as you identify potential extracurricular activities, keep in mind that quality over quantity is key. You want to choose activities that demonstrate commitment and depth rather than trying to do too many things at once. Additionally, consider how each activity complements your academic goals and personal values.

With thoughtful self-reflection, you can find the extracurricular activities that will not only enhance your application but also bring meaning to your life beyond academia.

Researching Options

Once you have identified your interests and goals through self-reflection, the next step is to research options for extracurricular activities that align with them.

Online resources can be a great starting point, as they provide a vast array of information on different organizations and opportunities.

You can also reach out to personal connections, such as friends, family members, or professors who may be able to offer insight or recommendations.

Attending extracurricular fairs and informational interviews are other effective ways to learn more about potential activities.

Extracurricular fairs often feature multiple organizations in one place, allowing you to gather information and ask questions directly.

Informational interviews involve speaking with someone who is already involved in an activity you are interested in.

This can provide valuable insights into the experience and help you determine if it is a good fit for you.

As you research options, keep in mind the importance of quality over quantity.

It is better to choose a few activities that you are truly passionate about and committed to rather than trying to do too much at once.

Additionally, consider how each activity aligns with your academic goals and personal values.

By taking the time to research your options thoroughly, you can find extracurricular activities that enhance your application while also bringing fulfillment and purpose outside of academia.

Setting Goals

Now that you have identified your interests and researched potential extracurricular activities, it’s time to set goals for yourself. Setting goals will help you stay focused and motivated throughout your involvement in these activities.

One important aspect of goal-setting is creating a timeline. Determine when you want to achieve certain milestones or complete specific tasks related to your chosen activities. This will help you stay on track and ensure that you are making progress towards your goals.

In addition to setting timelines, seeking guidance can also be helpful in achieving your goals. Consider reaching out to mentors or advisors who can offer support and advice as you navigate your extracurricular pursuits. They may be able to provide valuable insights or connect you with resources that can aid in achieving your goals. Additionally, they can serve as a sounding board for ideas and help keep you accountable.

Remember, the process of identifying interests and selecting extracurricular activities is ongoing. As such, setting goals should also be an ongoing process that evolves over time as you grow and learn more about yourself and your interests. By continually assessing your progress and adjusting your goals accordingly, you can ensure that your extracurricular activities are fulfilling, rewarding experiences that enhance both your personal growth and academic pursuits.

Choosing Extracurricular Activities That Showcase Your Strengths

When it comes to choosing extracurricular activities for med school, it is important to select ones that showcase your strengths. One way to do this is by seeking out leadership opportunities. These experiences demonstrate your ability to take charge and make decisions, which are valuable skills in the medical field. You can seek these opportunities through student organizations or volunteer work.

Another way to showcase your strengths is through community service projects. Working with underserved populations or participating in health-related campaigns shows your dedication to helping others and your understanding of the importance of preventative care. These experiences can also provide you with valuable insights into healthcare disparities and how they affect different communities.

Ultimately, the key to choosing the right extracurricular activities for med school is finding ones that align with your passions and strengths. By doing so, you will not only stand out in your application but also gain valuable experiences that will prepare you for a career in medicine.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Include Non-Medical Extracurricular Activities On My Med School Application?

Yes, you can definitely include non-medical extracurricular activities on your med school application.

In fact, balancing both medical and non-medical extracurriculars could showcase a diverse range of interests, which is often viewed positively by admissions committees.

Additionally, exploring transferable skills gained from non-medical extracurricular activities can help demonstrate your potential for success in med school. For example, if you were involved in a debate team, this could highlight your critical thinking and communication skills- both important qualities for a physician.

Ultimately, it’s important to choose extracurriculars that align with your passions and allow you to cultivate valuable skills that will benefit you as a medical professional.

How Many Extracurricular Activities Should I Participate In To Impress Med School Admissions?

When it comes to impressing med school admissions with your extracurricular activities, quality should always be prioritized over quantity.

It’s better to have a few meaningful experiences that you can speak passionately about rather than a laundry list of shallow involvements.

Additionally, it’s important to balance your workload and not take on more than you can handle.

Admissions will appreciate seeing that you can excel in both academics and extracurriculars without sacrificing one for the other.

Remember to choose activities that align with your passions and demonstrate your unique qualities as a candidate.

Should I Prioritize Leadership Positions Or Community Service Hours In My Extracurricular Activities?

Leadership vs Community Service: Which Matters More?

When it comes to extracurricular activities for med school, students often wonder whether they should prioritize leadership positions or community service hours. The truth is, both are important and can demonstrate different aspects of one’s character and abilities.

It’s all about balancing medical and non-medical activities. Leadership roles can showcase one’s ability to lead and work as a team player, while community service hours demonstrate a commitment to giving back and empathy for others.

Ultimately, it’s up to the individual to decide what matters more based on their strengths and interests. However, it’s important not to overload on extracurriculars and instead focus on quality over quantity.

Can I Still Be Competitive For Med School If I Don’t Have Any Medical-Related Extracurricular Activities?

If you’re worried that not having any medical-related extracurricular activities will hurt your chances of getting into med school, don’t fret.

Admissions committees are interested in well-rounded applicants who have a variety of experiences and interests.

Volunteer work and hobbies outside of school can be just as valuable as medical-related activities, as they demonstrate your commitment to service and your ability to balance multiple responsibilities.

So don’t feel like you need to limit yourself to only medical activities – pursue what interests you and what allows you to make a meaningful impact in your community.

How Much Weight Do Med Schools Give To Research Experience Compared To Other Extracurricular Activities?

When it comes to extracurricular activities for med school, research and volunteering are often seen as the most valuable experiences to have.

While research experience can demonstrate your ability to conduct experiments and analyze data, volunteering shows your commitment to helping others and contributing to the community.

However, med schools also value non-medical activities such as leadership roles in clubs or sports teams.

Ultimately, the impact of your extracurriculars is more important than their specific category.

Admissions committees want to see that you have made a meaningful contribution and developed skills that will help you excel in medical school and beyond.


In conclusion, choosing the right extracurricular activities for med school can be a daunting task. However, it is important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. It ultimately comes down to your personal interests and strengths.

Don’t be afraid to include non-medical activities on your application if they demonstrate skills or qualities that are relevant to being a successful physician, such as leadership or teamwork.

Balance is key – don’t overload yourself with too many activities or prioritize one aspect over another.

Remember, med schools are looking for well-rounded individuals who will make a positive impact in the medical field. So, choose activities that you are passionate about and stay committed to them throughout your journey towards becoming a doctor.