Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Quick words on research and clubs

Alright people, time to make yourself even more presentable! Last time I covered basic academics. So let’s talk exracurriculars today. The great thing about college life is that you can be as involved as you want to be, and for the most part students take a pretty good advantage of it. Clearly, the amount of available activities varies campus to campus, so I will cover some basic things that every predent should be involved in.

Firstly, join your schools pre-health professions organization and be active – run for an office, organize activities, participate in sponsored outreach programs, etc. I know too many students that simply join and attend meetings. If you come from a big school, simply being a member of a 100-200 member club doesn’t say much. Express your ability to be a leader! The same is to be said about organizations such as your major club or honor society (in my case the Tri Beta Biological Honor Society, for which I was Historian, VP, Pres, and Regional Parlamentarian). The point here for me is not to brag, but to simply show that you want to express commitment year to year – don’t just join your senior year to put that on your application.

Next, let’s talk research. You can find people arguing about the importance of research in at least 2 threads on SDN any time you visit both the Predent and Dent sections. The simple answer is this – it’s better to do it than not to. That said, if you know that research is something that you have no affection for, then don’t do it – go shadow some more instead. I would, however, strongly advise you to give it a shot, just because it was a career shifter for me. So, when/where can you do research? There are many summer research programs available at most college campuses across the nation. Those are competitive, however. You can also approach your department faculty and see if any of them take students. Finally, just make things clear – doing a project for a science class is NOT research.

Well folks, sorry for a short one today, but I have about a million things going on.
Until tomorrow.

-Because I can.


  1. I was recently elected to be the President of our Tri-B chapter. (Though I never held the other positions you held unfortunately...)

    During your interview process, did you feel that the leadership position or positions rather helped you in gaining your acceptances? Did the interviewers express any interest or ask about your leadership experiences at all?

  2. In my opinion, all that stuff matters more in the sense that the adcoms have a better understanding who would be more fitting for their school and helps them decide who to call for an interview. I don't recall anyone asking me about Tri-Beta. I was asked, however, about my leadership experiences, where, among other things, I mentioned BBB.

    When it comes to leadership in general, it's not what you did, but what you learned. It's the whole "work with people", "organize", "communicate" keywords that adcoms look for.

    So, did that stuff help me? I'm sure it didn't hurt me, but I don't think that's THE reason why I am studying for this stupid denture exam at UCSF tonight ;)

  3. What do you think about having leadership positions in clubs that are not particularly health-related (e.g. human rights organization) instead of having leadership positions in clubs like a pre-health society?

  4. Are you still around? It's been so long since we've got a new post.

  5. I am very happy to see the post here.
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