As pre-med students, there are certain necessities that all of us know to aim for when gathering our credentials for medical school applications. An excellent MCAT score, combined with a strong academic record, research, and volunteer experience (both clinical and non clinical) have quickly become obvious unspoken staples when striving for medical school acceptance. However, presenting a sound application nowadays goes far beyond these basic requirement components.

Made obvious with the recent shift in the MCAT, medical schools are now looking for pre med students who represent the potential to mold themselves into effective and comprehensive physicians. Although having a competitive GPA and MCAT score make you attractive to medical schools, they are also looking for what makes you a unique individual, and how this singularity can help you propel in the medical field. This is why—especially now—it is important to get involved in extracurricular activities when building your medical school resume.

Participating in activities outside the average pre med agenda provides medical schools with a sense of who you are beyond the academic atmosphere. These activities can function as an exemplary showcase of your strengths and what makes you uniquely different from other applicants. Additionally, being involved in other activities illustrates your ability to manage your time and work well with other people, which are necessities once you enter medical school. Staying committed to organizations that fall outside of the medical realm allow you to seem less robotic and more relatable, which is a gigantic factor that has recently began to heavily influence medical school acceptances. Plus, holding a leadership position in one of these organizations is an excellent way to prove that you are capable of handling responsibility and assumes you are an alluring leader in your college community.

When considering these activities, quality definitely takes precedence over quantity. It’s much more beneficial to have a couple of solid organizations that you’ve been involved with over a couple of years and have taken leadership positions in rather than a dozen clubs that you’re infrequently involved in. Not only will this display the characteristics listed previously, but it will also show medical schools your ability to demonstrate commitment and dedication towards what you’re passionate about.

So, take some time out of your schedule to look up organizations that genuinely interest you at Loyola. With a myriad of different clubs spanning numerous different temperaments, it definitely won’t be hard to find your own niche. Not only will this allow you to grow within the Loyola community and meet like-minded individuals who share the same interests as you, but it will also make your road towards medical school acceptance a whole lot smoother.