Book Excerpts Research and Volunteering

Chapter 7 - Research and Volunteering

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Chapter 7"An additional item that Harold (fellow contributing author from dermatology) mentioned was to invent or create something. Of course, this is much easier said than done, and certainly requires the right mentors and a nice chunk of luck. During medical school, I was fortunate to stumble into a few medical device projects, and a software project which I was asked about at almost every interview. Fortunately, I was prepared and brought a small tablet with me to show pictures of all my work in this area. In hindsight, this was a powerful asset for making a memorable impression during interviews. Do I think it was particularly important or stood out on my paper application? Again, that’s hard to say without being in that back room with the selection committees. The theme is to try being creative, pursue your ideas, and pursue them with passion. That’s what program directors care about – taking an idea or project, and driving home to completion or at least showing dedication and commitment to it."

"Before medical school, I raised money for UNICEF and other ancillary projects. Several interviewers asked about those projects, and I think it was important, but more so when it came to getting into medical school. The interviews to get in were a completely different set of interviews compared to those of residency. The residency interviews were really nice, and I liked them a lot, and felt welcomed and wanted. Interviews for medical school were a whole different kettle of fish."

"Research, volunteering, and extracurriculars are important all around. I recommend doing a lot of different volunteer activities and adventures. The more obscure the better. You need to fill a lot of space on your ERAS CV and having random cool things to talk about is what people remember. They don’t really want to talk about your esoteric research. "

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