Activities & Experiences
Medical and dental schools want to see applicants who have excellent academic credentials, but they are also interested in applicants that have tested themselves in some way and have interests outside the classroom. Your participation in work or activities can demonstrate your skills in things such as teamwork, effective communication, responsibility and maturity, listening, handling stress, commitment, time management, leadership, etc., that are desirable for medical school students and eventually, health practitioners.
We strongly encourage you to participate in work or activities that interest you. This can take many forms such as clinical experiences, research projects, athletics, clubs or volunteer service activities. Ideally you will have a range of activities or experiences to share on your application, but you need to be careful to balance your academic requirements with your outside interests. A long list of activities that you are not wholeheartedly committed to tells a different story. You will be much better served by participating in those things that motivate and inspire you rather than assembling a long list of activities that don’t mean as much to you.
Direct experience in some aspect of the health professions is one of the best ways to gain a deeper understanding of the field and to determine whether it is an appropriate career choice for you. Clinical experience can also demonstrate that you are aware of the realities of your future practice of and have gained a deeper understanding of the commitment necessary.
At Georgetown, students have gained clinical experiences from working with the Georgetown Emergency Response Medical Service (GERMS), volunteering at the Medstar Georgetown University Hospital or Lombardi Cancer Center, or at other clinics or hospitals in the DC area.
Participation in research activity demonstrates thinking and analytical skills as well as a deeper understanding of the discipline under study. While biomedical research is particularly appropriate, all forms of research are useful in conveying a sense of independent scholarship and advanced achievement. Students who plan to apply to MD/PhD programs will need significant research involvement for their application.
Students from all disciplines may consult the Georgetown University Research Opportunities Program (GUROP), a program that funds students to pursue research projects in collaboration with Georgetown University faculty. Many departments provide research opportunities through a senior thesis or honors programs. Students wishing to pursue research projects should consult with faculty in the science departments or at the GU Medical Center.
Volunteer and Service Activities
Volunteer work is essential in demonstrating empathy toward others and a desire to commit your time and energy to a social issue that is meaningful to you. Opportunities abound both on and off campus, and in your own community. To name just a few:
Center for Social Justice
Hands on DC
American Red Cross DC
Habitat for Humanity DC