Intro & Disclaimer
Path to Medicine
Course Work & Degree
GPA & MCAT
Volunteer and Service
Leadership & Multitasking
Med School Statistics
Med School Diaries
Money and Finances
Taste of Med School
Leadership & Multitasking
This is an area that includes things like tutoring, student government positions,
supervisory positions (can be at work or elsewhere) of any kind, church or other teaching assignments and positions,
military service or anything like it. It's beneficial to be able to show these on your application.
For University of Utah School of Medicine, as an example, you have to show a specific number of
positions you have held over the years to be considered. However, most medical schools may not be as
stringent on this requirement, but rather consider these good experiences that will strengthen your application.
See what successful applicants had in Leadership Experience.
Medical school is tough. You are enrolled in courses totaling about 24 credits per semester of upper division science courses and labs to go with them.
If you have only taken 12 credits per semester during undergrad, you need to be able to show
that you have kept an otherwise busy schedule, indicating that you could handle 24 credits per
semester if you had to. If 12 credits per semester took all of your time and maxed you out,
medical school will probably be a bit much (the admissions committee may think so).
Showing that you worked 20-40 hours a week, took 12 credits and did various other activities
for some number of hours each week shows that you can handle it and that you can multitask.
Balancing family responsibilities (if you have kids) also counts as time spent multitasking and is justification for having
taken a less intense class load during undergrad.
So, bottom line, you don't have to take 24 credits during undergrad in any one semester, but be sure to demonstrate
that you can handle a busy schedule in your life.
Other extra-curricular activities
Most of the discussion about extra-curricular activities has focused on pre-med specifically or activities (volunteer,
shadow, do research, etc.) which
can directly benefit your application by involving you in some aspect of medicine. There are certainly many
other activities, including athletics, getting involved in politics or participating in other clubs and organizations
which may have nothing to do with medicine at all.
These are also worthwhile extra-curricular activities.
All of these activities take a lot of time out of your busy schedule and show commitment to a cause. They also
make you unique and set you apart from other applicants. They show that you also have other interests besides medicine
and that's important. It's not good if you cannot show much else on your application besides studying at the library.
However, another important point to keep in mind: Don't sacrifice your good GPA for too many extra-curricular activities.
So, you still want to maintain a good GPA (see the GPA and MCAT discussion).