A Personal Story: Making the most out of your pre-health organization membership
As a pre-med, it was tough trying to balance the academic rigors with enjoying college. Knowing that medical schools would required a strong application outside the numbers, it was important to make sure that everything done was done with a purpose. The biggest thing for me was to make sure that my extracurricular activities were either highly enjoyable (like flag football) or done for a purpose.
I was a member of the Minority Association of Pre-medical Students (MAPS), which is the undergraduate chapters of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA, www.snma.org). So were a number of my friends who were also pre-meds. We all took on leadership roles which is something medical schools like to see. As part of the MAPS chapter, we made sure all the activities we did were done with a purpose. We realized that the meetings we had could be a chance for us to better ourselves as applicants for med school. Each meeting had a purpose. If we knew we were having trouble with writing our personal statement, we asked professors from the English department to come and speak to us about writing and have them edit our essays. When we wanted to strengthen our test taking skills, we invited speakers in to give us technique suggestions. If someone had a question about a career choice, we brought in physicians to inspire us.
Being a member of a pre-health organization is important, not just because it shows med schools you are dedicated to getting into health professions school. It is also a chance to better yourselves and the other members. Be proactive, take a leadership role and use the meetings as a chance to make sure the application is well-rounded and you are prepared.