extracurricular

Is It Okay to Use Bullet Points in Your Work and Activities Section for Medical School?

Is It Okay to Use Bullet Points in Your Work and Activities Section for Medical School?

By: Ryan Kelly

Imagine you’ve worked hard for months on your AMCAS application, and you’re showing it to your pre-health advisor for the first time.

“What is this?!” he asks, pointing an accusatory finger at your work and activities section. “Bullet points? You used bullet points? Completely unprofessional! You need to rewrite these pronto, or you’ll never get into medical school.”

How to Be Pre-med While Still Being Yourself

How to Be Pre-med While Still Being Yourself

By: Ryan Kelly

200+ hours of clinical volunteering and shadowing - Check!

200+ hours of service - Check!

At least six months of research - Check!

Elected leadership position - Check!

Do you check off all the typical pre-med boxes? That’s great - they will help ensure that you’re viewed as qualified by the admissions committees.

5 Pre-med misconceptions that can cost you

5 Pre-med misconceptions that can cost you

Every kid learns you can’t fold a piece of paper more than seven times. A childhood adage, just like “don’t cross your eyes or they’ll get stuck that way,” and “all girls have cooties.” Everyone knows these ideas. And yet, they’re not true.

If you’re a high schooler with ambitions to be a doctor, prepare to have your mind blown! Seriously, we’re about to flip the script on all that you’ve been told.

Volunteering, Research, Community Service: Great Ways to Get Rejected from Medical School

Volunteering, Research, Community Service: Great Ways to Get Rejected from Medical School

By: Ryan Kelly

Do any of the following sound like you?

You’re volunteering every week in the hospital to get enough hours to put on your medical school application. You’re pushing through your research internship even though you don’t like it much - because you know medical schools want students with research experience. You’re volunteering your time at a homeless shelter or attending blood drives to get your hours above the threshold most medical schools seek in their applicants (roughly 200 hours if you’re curious).

I have bad news. This will probably get you rejected.

Job Titles Don’t Make Great Leaders; Impact Does.

Job Titles Don’t Make Great Leaders; Impact Does.

By: Ryan Kelly

“Assistant Regional Manager.”

“No, it’s ‘Assistant to the Regional Manager.’”

Fans of The Office will be familiar with Michael and Dwight’s frequent, petty banter over job titles. The humor is spot-on. For better or worse, people love fancy titles, clinging to them with utmost pride or admiration.

Quiz: Are You A Pre-Med at Risk for Severe Burnout?

Quiz: Are You A Pre-Med at Risk for Severe Burnout?

By: Ryan Kelly & Rob Humbracht

Are you a boiled frog?

Imagine a pot filled with cold water, with a frog peacefully swimming in it. A fire is lit under the pot and the water becomes lukewarm. The frog finds this rather pleasant and keeps swimming, but then the temperature keeps rising. As the water turns hotter, the frog grows uncomfortable, but it also becomes weak, so it stands the heat as long as it can and does nothing.

4 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Doing Community Service for Medical School

4 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Doing Community Service for Medical School

By: Ryan Kelly

Community service should only feel obligatory when it’s court-mandated. If your service in college feels like the metaphorical equivalent of picking up trash on the freeway, then you’re doing something wrong. 

The biggest mistake pre-meds make is treating community service as a requirement, as opposed to an activity they’re genuinely passionate about. Yes, you need community service to get into medical school, but if you do it just for the sake of it, you’ll probably have little to say or show for your efforts.

5 Creative Ways to Improve Your Interview Skills

5 Creative Ways to Improve Your Interview Skills

By: Ryan Kelly & Rob Humbracht

Most pre-meds start preparing for their interview a few weeks before their actual interview at a medical school. If you’re adept at talking to strangers and feel comfortable thinking on your feet, this approach will work just fine for you.
In our experience, though, most pre-meds aren’t. Many pre-meds lack the basic skills to succeed in the interpersonal interview (to say nothing of the MMI). Others COULD be good interviewers but get undermined by a lack of confidence or a surfeit of anxiety.

The 5 Necessary Factors for Getting Into Medical School

The 5 Necessary Factors for Getting Into Medical School

By: Rob Humbracht

Getting into med school is simple.  Just get A’s in all your classes, ace the MCAT, devote hundreds of hours to community service, take lots of leadership positions, get published in a leading medical journal, and learn to speak and write about your accomplishments eloquently.  Ta da.  You’re in.

Oh, right.  You’re a human being.  There are only 24 hours in a day, and at least four of those should probably be devoted to sleeping.  How do you decide how to spend your time if your end goal is medical school?  How do you make sure that you’re in the coveted 40% of all applicants who get in each year and not one of the many qualified students left out in the cold?

The Zen Valedictorian, Decreasing Your Stress without Decreasing Your Ambition

The Zen Valedictorian, Decreasing Your Stress without Decreasing Your Ambition

By: Ryan Kelly

When people hear the word ‘valedictorian,’ they might think of a hustling overachiever who participates in every possible organization or activity. Others might picture the opposite--the highly gifted coaster who gets by on nothing but his or her natural ability.

But the truth is, if you want to be a successful pre-med, you should find the happy medium between these two extremes.