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How Important Is It That Ecs Be Medically-Related?


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I'm a pure physics student at U of T who happens to have taken all the lifesci prereqs for most schools. I have grades that are competitive for medical school (3.9+). However, I'm not a traditional premed and didn't seriously consider this career until maybe a year ago.

 

So the problem is, I have a wide variety of ECs, with a strong background in community service (leadership positions in an established charity), etc. I also have research and publications... in particle physics. I have a variety of other experiences that I'm truly passionate about, which, I'm convinced, demonstrate the attribute clusters U of T looks for, for example. But none of them are, even in the slightest, related to medicine

 

When admissions looks at extracurriculars, how important is it that they demonstrate an interest in medicine, versus demonstrating the character values that they are looking for?

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I'm a pure physics student at U of T who happens to have taken all the lifesci prereqs for most schools. I have grades that are competitive for medical school (3.9+). However, I'm not a traditional premed and didn't seriously consider this career until maybe a year ago.

 

So the problem is, I have a wide variety of ECs, with a strong background in community service (leadership positions in an established charity), etc. I also have research and publications... in particle physics. I have a variety of other experiences that I'm truly passionate about, which, I'm convinced, demonstrate the attribute clusters U of T looks for, for example. But none of them are, even in the slightest, related to medicine

 

When admissions looks at extracurriculars, how important is it that they demonstrate an interest in medicine, versus demonstrating the character values that they are looking for?

 

It's not too important that the bulk of your ECs are medically-related - volunteer work is always valued and research in virtually any field counts highly at most schools.

 

However, if you have absolutely no experience in medically-related activities, it does beg the question: why are you interested in medical school and why do you think you would enjoy being a physician? Your experiences, including your ECs, should at least be able to address that question, even if they don't answer it outright.

 

I'd encourage you to do some sort of medically-related EC, even something small, and not just for med school applications. This is a fairly long road and while it's worth it for a lot of people, it's not for everyone. It's valuable to have some idea of what you're getting yourself into.

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Some schools like Dalhousie have a specific Medical Experience section for that reason. While I'm not sure if any other schools do, there should be indication in your EC's about how you have developed an interest in medicine. That being said, specific traits that medical schools are looking for (leadership, collaboration, etc) can be (and often more likely are) found through your non-medical activities.

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