I built it, they came...now what? Founding a Pre-Med club

Hello everyone! I can’t believe how long I’ve been out of touch. Not since the beginning of fall semester, have I logged into OPM. Anyway, I have an unusual set of questions which I think you guys may be able to help answer for me.

Since last summer, I’ve been working on establishing a pre-med club at my university and I finally got final approval from our student activities committee for official recognition. Up to this point it’s just been me doing all the inquiries, holding interest meetings, harassing the committee, writing up bylaws, and securing faculty advisors.

I called up the first official club meeting for this coming Monday in order to start getting membership dues, and hopefully officer nominations among other things. I had a pretty good idea from the start about what I wanted the club to be about, and what we could focus on as far as activities. The question is, where do I begin?

This is the first time I’ve ever put something like this together. I’ve never really had to do something from scratch, and I have no idea if I can get this bird off the ground, so to speak. The ideal goal is to eventually make the club something of a cooperative effort between the members with peer tutoring, referral services for internships, volunteering, shadowing, MCAT prep workshops, mock interviews, community service, med school visits, the works.

So the first hurdle is cleared; our school had no pre-med club, and now I’ve created one. Where should I start? When I attended the OPM conference last May, I got a bunch of contact information from some of the exhibitors, and I wonder if that is a good place to start. Maybe arranging for some of the reps to come and talk to the members about some of the options they may not have considered before?

What do you guys think? I really appreciate and respect your opinions, since you guys have a completely different perspective thanks to your experiences, and I have a feeling some of you may be more savvy at this leadership business than I am.


I don’t have any input but way to go…I am a member of my colleges pre-med club and I absolutely love it! Perhaps I can ask our officers if I can give you their email address privately and they can give you pointers…

Well-done! That is indeed a big endeavor. I’ve tried something similar and it didn’t go as well.

You may want to look to established pre-med clubs (eg pre-med AMSA) for ideas.

One thing that I noticed in starting a club is that things like facebook really do seem to make a difference. It’s actually quite useful for organizational purposes, mail blasts, etc. My group didn’t have one, and I think we did worse because of it.

Good luck! You’ve already achieved a lot, IMHO

Congratulations and kudos on your initiative. It sounds like you are on the right track with your goals and preliminary efforts.

My first recommendation is to democratize the organization as soon as possible. You have the right idea about establishing officers, setting dues and ratifying by-laws. Make these your first priorities. As a founder you deserve to own the accomplishment. But, keep in mind, you don’t need to own the club. That’s critical for its survival.

You have identified some good ideas for services. If you are now going to chair the organization, then be ambitious, but remember you don’t have to have all of the programs in place before finals. Set realistic goals for getting membership benefits online, and recruit volunteers to organize individual functions. Work with your faculty advisors and your membership on ideas for bringing in contributors such as exhibitors, educators, and advisors.

Plan to meet regularly, but don’t let membership or officers’/committee chairs’ responsibilities a burden. You are all students first, and extracurricular activities are just that.

The premed club at my university frequently invites admissions’ officers from nearby professional schools to give presentations on specific topics, eg. interviewing, personal statements. They also invite commercial MCAT prep companies to exhibit. (The members love it when they raffle coupons for free classes or reduced tuition.) They put together exhibits in the student union for national awareness weeks/days like cancer prevention, childhood disease, Smokeout day. Those serve both an altruistic and recruiting purposes.

Finally, once you have a budget - even a small one - consider offering food when you gather. That can be the most effective enticement.