MCAT Extra Curricular Activities

Allison GrecoAllison Greco has kindly agreed to answer some of the top questions our community wants answered. Allison is a medical student in the class of 2013 and has a great passion for social media. You can follow her on twitter @grecoa3.

I just have a question about extra curricular activities for medical school. I am currently in my second year and haven’t really thought about medical school until now, so I haven’t been doing and volunteering or anything. Is it too late for me start now? Lots of students say that you need to be volunteering for years to make it into medical school, so would that mean I should do another program after my undergrad to accumulate them? My back up plan as of now is to do a masters program of some sort, just so I can have an extra 2 years to get volunteer experience. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

It’s absolutely is not to late to get started! To be honest, I was very much the same way with volunteer work and extra-curriculars. I’m sure you’re also much more involved than you realize. What do I mean? Well, when I was in my early undergraduate years, I still went home every month or so to help out with some of the local organizations that I had been involved in during high school- all of those things went into my AMCAS (American Medical College Application Service- the allopathic medical school online application service).

Additionally, the truth is that if you have great grades, a great MCAT, and an otherwise stellar application, the other things aren’t as important. On the other hand, lots of volunteer experience and extacurriculars can do a lot for an application that is a little on the weaker side.

Finally, I wouldn’t delay applying to medical school just because you think you don’t have enough volunteer experience- you might be surprised! I would put off applying if grades or course prerequisites are an issue, or if you’re not really sure that you want to be a doctor, but not because you’re afraid you might not have enough volunteer experience- especially as a sophomore! Remember- you can always apply to osteopathic medial school at the same time that you apply to allopathic medial school.

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