General Extracurricular Activities
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It should be emphasized that, beyond academic performance, professional schools are very concerned with the quality of the whole person they are admitting. You are encouraged to be actively involved in extracurricular activities that show breadth of character, especially social maturity, leadership and organizational skills, and a clear ability to relate effectively to others. Activities that show a sense of commitment to the community are very desirable. However, extracurricular activities do not substitute for solid academic performance. Professional schools appreciate proven intellectual ability plus “citizenship,” but do not admit on the basis of citizenship alone.
Nine social competencies identified as important in the medical school application process that can often be reflected in your extra-curricular choices are: service orientation, social and interpersonal skills, cultural competence, team work, oral communication, integrity and ethics, reliability and dependability, resilience and adaptability, and capacity for improvement.
Of all the things you might choose to devote your extracurricular time to, taking advantage of opportunities to gain healthcare-related experiences is the most important. You may choose to volunteer through one of the local hospitals (there is a student volunteer coordinator for MaineGeneral Hospital in the Colby Volunteer Center), seek opportunities to shadow medical/dental professionals and observe in a variety of medical/dental settings, look for study abroad experiences that relate to healthcare or public health, participate in health-related research on or off campus, obtain your EMT certification and join CER on campus, become an active member of SHOC, or choose from a variety of other experiences. The important thing is to be able to demonstrate a serious and consistent interest in the medical/dental field over a period of time before you apply to medical or dental school.
IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT THE HEALTH PROFESSIONS COMMITTEE CHAIR, CATE TALBOT ASHTON, IN THE COLBY CAREER CENTER FOR ASSISTANCE.