Several weeks ago I talked about when to start working with us and I mentioned that we helped student understand about “engaging in the right activities”. But that begs the question, what are the right activities? Does such a thing even exist?
The quick answer is that there are right activities when applying to BS/MD programs but they are activities in the broad sense. You need to have health care related volunteering. You need to have doctor shadowing. It is best if you have some type of scientific research.
But what activity you do in each of these broad areas is much more flexible. Health care related volunteering doesn’t just mean hospital based volunteering. It can also be volunteering at a nursing home or facility that cares for children with autism as an example. What is important is getting contact with the patient, not the particular setting of the care.
You need to have doctor shadowing but it doesn’t typically matter what type of doctor you are shadowing or the setting of the shadowing. It may be in a clinic setting or it may be in a surgical suite. Either type of option is perfectly fine for BS/MD admissions. What is important is your experience of understanding what the daily life of the physician is like.
Similarly, BS/MD programs like to see students with some type of research experience in a field of science related to human problems but the particular area of research doesn’t matter. Research is important to show that you understand the scientific process and to reinforce your interest in medicine.
When we work with students we make sure that they have experience in the broad areas of interest to BS/MD programs. And while we help identify the options and what might work for that particular student, we also want the student to understand that there is actually a lot of flexibility in the decision of what activities to engage in when applying to BS/MD programs.
Your application should be about what you enjoy and what you can add to a BS/MD program and not just look like everybody else applying to these competitive programs.