A Question about Extracurriculars

Hey fellow premeds!

I have a question about extracurricular as a non-traditional student. I am 29. I graduated in 2014 with my degree and I am finishing up the prerequisite work. My GPA is very, very strong so I am not worried about the GPA/MCAT part of the application. I have a decade of work experience as a consultant doing business and finance management for small to medium size businesses including medical offices.

I will start doing on some shadowing, clinical experience, and more recent volunteering this fall. In general, what are medical schools looking for when they ask about extracurricular? I know the extracurricular are going to look different for someone like us who may have had a decade or more in full-time work experience. For the past year and a half, I have been repeatedly asked to assist, tutor, or TA for past professors. I had 3 semester of TAing back when I did my degree and I helped revise a textbook (was added to the authorship). So I am nor sure more of that would help. I keep being told I need to do research. But I plan to apply to mostly state schools and the ones I am looking do not list research as a requirement.

Any suggestions from your experience?


I can’t speak to anyone else’s experience or plans, but from what they’ve said on the podcast: 30 hours of shadowing is good experience. The schools just want to know we want to be doctors, to show our interest even after knowing what we’re getting into. Scribe work part time has been suggested, it gives you direct contact with patients and pays, which is great for us non-trads. I’m going to shadow in a few different settings, like an er and clinic/family practice to get a good well-rounded experience. I was thinking about volunteer work with red cross. I don’t have a lot of access to research either. Good luck. :slight_smile:

You will want to get experiences across a range of types: clinical experiences (hospital volunteering, shadowing, volunteering in a hospice, etc.), community service that is not medically-related (volunteering in a soup kitchen, homeless shelter, etc.), and research (although not technically REQUIRED by all medical schools it is certainly helpful in an application). Perhaps you should transition from the TA experience to tutor underprivileged kids for your community service–it would capitalize on your teaching skills while impacting your community in a positive way.