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Extracurricular Activities to Spice up Your AMCAS Application

Unique extracurricular activities

We all know that extracurricular activities are an important component of your AMCAS application. The standard medical school application will include clinical shadowing, medical volunteering, and a leadership position in a group or club—experiences that, though essential, don’t always help you stand out as an applicant.

One thing admissions officers love to ask about during your medical school interview are “unique” extracurricular activities. Learning about distinguishing experiences you may have had as a pre-med helps the interviewer learn more about who you are as a person (and gives you the opportunity to make a more memorable impression). So, you want to be sure to mention these unique experiences and activities in your AMCAS application.

Not sure what to include? Here are some creative and unique extracurricular activities from recently accepted medical students.

Athletic teamwork and determination

Being an athlete during college requires dedication, hard work, and the ability to function on a team. All of those characteristics are essential for becoming a great physician. Becoming an elite college athlete may not be within your reach, but you don’t have to be the quarterback of the football team or the state track star to have athletics contribute meaningfully to your AMCAS application.

One of my medical school friends spoke in their interview about trying for four years to get to the championship with their intramural ultimate frisbee team. It had been a component on their AMCAS application, and the interviewer asked about it. While it may seem insubstantial, the interviewer remarked on the uniqueness of the experience. In a field where most applicants are extremely well-qualified, it’s important to be able to set yourself apart.

Artistic and creative pursuits

Did you choreograph a children’s musical? Did you have your art exhibited in a student gallery? Was your poem published in the school’s literary magazine? Did you create a comic book series? Any of those artistic pursuits would make a fine contribution to your AMCAS application. There is an important role for creativity in medicine, especially since innovation is crucial to advancing healthcare.

Your creativity can be an asset in your overall applicant package. If you’ve dedicated time and effort to an artistic activity, it should be highlighted in your activities section.

Translation and international experience

One of my classmates worked as a non-medical translator prior to medical school. She traveled around translating for business people and ensuring that translated documents made sense. Being multilingual is a huge advantage in the medical field. Hospitals are always in need of people who can communicate with diverse populations and who demonstrate the high level of empathy needed when experiencing cultures outside of your own.

This is a great opportunity to highlight your study abroad experiences in a unique light as well. Many people study abroad, but doing some translation work while you’re there will really help emphasize the value of that experience.

Ready for the next step in your pre-med journey? Visit Kaptest.com/MCAT to view our upcoming class schedules.

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