Friday, 19 August 2011

Do non-medical things count on the residency application?

This was question that I recently came across and though merits some discussion.

The programs are always up and up about looking for applicants who are extremely well rounded and accomplished. But there is a caveat. Extracurricular activities are spot lighted only under two circumstances.
1. your rest of the application is very good and its a tie between many great but very similar applications
2. You have an average application BUT are a world expert in your extra-curricular activity of choice, like someone who is world renowned, has international and US awards etc.

If your overall application is poor/average and you are not the best of the best in your activity then think of this as a personal pursuit rather than something that will help you professionally.

To answer the questions, are things like singing, drama, theater, dance looked down upon in your application? No. Will they help you secure a residency interview? That depends on what your accomplishments are. 

These things are definitely encouraged as they will help you keep your mind engaged in non-clinical and non-medical things. Everyone needs a mental vacation from patient care and this has actually been shown to improve patient care because you are not bogged down by the rigors of day to day clinical practice. So while you are taking such classes take them not for the sake of enhancing your chances, do it for yourself. It will be a great way for you to charge up mentally for the many challenges that will come your way. An excellent friend of mine plays the piano (keyboard) in her downtime and she is an eye surgeon. It helps her relax and focus on other things, which go a long way in this career. Another friend of mine is a talented cook and does that in his spare time and he recently matched into cardiology!

So in essence, while for an average applicant extracurricular activity may not be immediately beneficial in securing residency interviews, they will definitely help once you are on the career track to becoming a physician in US. 


Now that we have discussed the role of non medical things in a CV or application, focus on how important is research for IMG to match?

7 comments:

  1. I second this article :-) most of the places I interviewed at seem to be interested in the extra-curricular stuff than the academic. When almost everybody has decent scores, research n LOR's it does make you stand out from the rest of the applicants. I had one of the interviewers in NYC actually tell me that when everybody has a >230 score, these activities are what are going to make programs rank me high. Needless to say that I was mighty pleased.

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    1. Thanks for your input! Good luck for the match

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  2. Absolutely. I volunteered at a nursing home and a hospice. And, I did pedi and menicure for the elderly people. That's nothing or small thing. But, the PD I interviewed liked that part and was interested in it.

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    1. excellent Dr. Unk. Good work and best luck!

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  3. so i had his question in mind it might seem a bit of topic but i am an IMG does GRE scores and MPH scores make for a good CV or are they worthless?

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    1. Hi Thanks for writing. Please check the answer with other answers at http://www.mleresidencytips.com/2014/05/question-and-answer-session-2.html

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  4. In this blog your medical school personal statement help me a lot to write about what i have done in my school career. This will have positive impact on my job.

    ReplyDelete

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