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Extracurricular Activities for Medical School Admission

Medical schools are looking not only for intellectual ability, but for maturity, creativity, and responsibility, qualities which are often developed on the job, or by participating in extracurricular activities. Admissions committees also want to be sure that their applicants understand the realities of clinical work. In making the decision whether to volunteer or accept a job, consider whether you will have the opportunity to build communication and leadership skills, or benefit in personal growth and fulfillment.

It is important to remember, though, not to let extracurricular activities interfere with academics. Interviews are granted in large part on the basis of academic performance. Few medical schools will give you the chance to describe your outside achievements if you have a poor academic record.

You should also realize that some applicants have been accepted into medical school without extensive extracurricular experience. If you are confident that you can explain your motivation to pursue a medical career, or if you are concerned that extracurricular activities will interfere with your studies, don't feel compelled to take on added responsibilities.

You can also enhance your application by doing research. Many professors are willing to grant academic credit through 199 courses for work done in laboratories. See the academic department for details.

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