Question about Residency Apps

I have a question for those of you that have done residency applications-- does any ‘pre medical school’ stuff go on it it? I’m thinking specifically about research and other academic/leadership type experience. Prior to medical school I published, but I haven’t been doing research while in medical school, to this point. Also, while I am involved in several student organizations, including leadership positions, I am wondering how much is enough, given the amount of experience many of us non-trads already have.
One of the advisors at school indicated that with my experiences/background I didn’t really need to worry about building a resume in the same way my younger classmates do, but I’m wondering if the residency programs do really look at that ‘pre medical school life’. If I need more current research experience, I could easily be involved in that during my 3rd and 4th years, but frankly if it isn’t necessary I’d rather focus my efforts on an area where I’m just learning, not one where I’m fairly accomplished.
Any firsthand experience to offer?

You’ll have a place to put your publications, and you’ll also be able to list any and all experiences that you think are pertinent to your current situation. My resume as built by the on-line ERAS application included pre-pre-med stuff as well as current things.
How much resume building you need to do depends on what you’re thinking you might go into. I can’t really speak to this part of it, as my impression is that it varies a lot by specialty. It’s always good to plan on a visiting rotation at a program you’re really interested in. Hope this helps!

Hi there,
How much research experience you need is really residency dependent. Academic surgery programs always require research and most have research years built into the residency so you don’t need to worry too much about your pre-medical experience. On the other hand, academic Internal Medicine programs are not that interested in you having too much research but really focus on your medical school grades and USMLE scores. Most of the research in medicine will come at the fellowship level while surgery is just the opposite. Community Internal Medicine and General Surgery programs require none but put the focus on clinical performance. Most people who plan to do a fellowship above General Surgery or Internal Medicine will apply for academic programs but good solid community programs (like Inova Fairfax) do not exclude you from fellowships either.
What you will need is solid performance in both your pre-clinical and clinical clerkships. It really is your performance during your third year that can determine how competitive you are going to be for residency. An excellent performance during third year can literally wipe out a less than stellar first and second year performance. It is also your third year clerkship performance that will get you the letters that you need for a good Deans letter.
When you start medical school, your slate is essentially clean. Your traditional classmates and you are dead even at this point. If you have earned a Masters or Ph.D in a pre-clinical science, you might have a slight edge when it comes to residency applications but not much if the rest of your residency application isn’t competitive.
Most program directors look at USMLE scores and medical school performance in that order. Being non-traditional has less to do with residency application than with medical school application. There are other things that make you very competitive like AOA (Alpha Omega Alpha) selection at the beginning of third year,summer research and summer honorary fellowships (like the Mitchell-Kirnan General Surgery fellowship and the American Society of Clinical Pathology). When you honor second-year classes, you become eligible for the paid fellowships between your second and third year. (You have to take USMLE Step I very early which may or may not be something you are able to do if you want to take a review course like Kaplan).
At this point, there is literally nothing that you can be doing that will affect your application to residency. You need to be enjoying your family and getting your life as simple as possibe for the start of medical school. Once you start, you can never get this free time back.

Thanks Mary and Natalie. I guess I’ll just focus on successfully finishing second year and preparing for boards (yikes, only six months!).