A successful applicant does not just bring strong numbers (GPA and MCAT) to the table; a successful applicant can also demonstrate a commitment to community service, a familiarity with the profession and a realistic understanding of the career choice, and an extended commitment to serving others through one or more health-related, “clinical” opportunities.
It’s also appropriate to explore some “fun” experiences which are not clinical, which offer opportunities for you to be involved with activities or experiences that you enjoy, or that can help you to mature and grow – such as athletics, arts, or musical, religious, or political organizations. These activities also provide opportunities for leadership, mental and physical refreshment, and other avenues of interest to pursue with future patients and co-workers.
Your experiential preparation may include some or many of the following:
- Extra-curricular activities
- Volunteer/community service
- Research – research is NOT a requirement for entry into med school.
- Summer Opportunities
Please note that the MCAC does not provide shadowing opportunities for our applicants. That is an important step for students to take on their own.
Students often obtain shadowing or volunteer opportunities during the summer in their hometowns or neighboring towns. Start with asking your own doctor or health practitioner, or perhaps volunteering in a local hospital, clinic, rehab place or senior residence. Places that help the poor, disabled, or the homeless may need help. While gaining “clinical” experience would seem to be appropriate, HIPPA laws can restrict students from gaining actual “clinical” experience; at most, they can observe clinical situations. Much more important is to demonstrate a service commitment, since medicine is a service career. That being said, students do find some situations with a clinical aspect to it – but usually only after they have demonstrated to their mentor the sincerity and depth of their commitment to service. One experience can lead to others, either at the same site or at another one.