It is important for the admissions committee to know if you have experience working with the elderly, volunteering at a boys’ and girls’ club, or shadowing a doctor while you were in high school. These experiences tell the committee that your interest in serving others has been ongoing. As a physician, you will be dedicating your life to serving other people. It is important that you have evidence of this dedication in your application. Even an experience such as waiting on tables shows that you have experience managing your time, dealing with difficult people, and multitasking. These demonstrated skills are important and all say something about you as an applicant.
Include all clinically related or volunteer experiences in the activities section of your application, even if you mention them in your personal statement. It is perfectly acceptable to describe an experience there and also to mention it later in your personal statement. If an admissions officer is scanning your application during an initial review, these relevant experiences may be very easily overlooked. List the experiences. Make them easily identifiable and very clear. Do not make an admissions person search for them. That could make a difference in the outcome of your application.
- Dealing with Word Limits, a blog post.
- Advice for Applicants with Research Backgrounds
- Write Your Way to Medical School, our featured ebook this month. Save 20% when you buy by May 31.
This post is excerpted from 101 Tips on Getting Into Medical School by Jennifer C. Welch, who has served as the Director of Admissions at SUNY Upstate Medical School since 2001.