Updated: Mar 7, 2019
Checking boxes for medical school? Besides shadowing, I really don’t give into the perception that premeds have to do it all. If medicine is the right path for you, that will show through with the things that you CHOOSE to do.
Medical schools now more than ever are looking for diverse applicants. If I could do it over again, I might have majored in the humanities because it’s something I’m passionate about. One of my acquaintances was a fine arts major and got into an elite medical school, so I think that having non-medical interests could serve as a plus rather than a concern.
This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t volunteer or do research. I’m just saying that you should clearly ask yourself if it is something you are passionate about, or if you are doing it to check a box. I was doing biochem research because I thought medical schools wanted to see super hardcore science applicants. There came a point where I realized it wasn’t me and it made me question everything.
For no reason other than it was something I’m passionate about, I decided to become a psychology research assistant and work with the LGBTQ+ community. I also love working as a crisis text counselor, even though this isn’t medicine.
I feared that med schools would see my sorority work and my deep involvement with Greek life as a negative. Maybe admissions won’t love it, but I can’t say that I care. I want to attend a medical school that accepts me for my true passions and my life experiences.
For all the younger pre-meds out there: your four years in undergrad aren’t for box checking. Do something you are passionate about and that wakes you up in the morning. I believe that people respond more to this and will see you for the unique human being who you really are. Check out the About Us page to see how Compare Medical Schools started with an undying passion for change (https://www.comparemedicalschools.com/about-us).
(Note: this is an opinion piece and I am not qualified to give advice on medical school admissions. I always encourage talking to a trusted advisor or mentor when making big decisions.)