taboo15
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#1
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Okay so... I really couldn't find any threads relating to my question but if there is something and I just overlooked it (and caused you to roll your eyes), my apologies!

I plan to apply to medicine this year and I have really no problems with getting the grades and work experience required (thankfully!) but I'm just worried about my extracurricular activities (a.k.a. as hobbies)... or lack thereof. It's not like I'm an absolute recluse because reading is my favourite hobby hence I was part of my creative writing society, am class rep at my current college etc but it's just, I have done nothing outstanding like playing an instrument or playing sports even(!) etc. To be fair, I never really found the time since I was busy looking after my younger siblings and did most of the house chores when my parents were too busy with work or felt too poorly to do so(which often used to be the case).

Now my question is, how much value do med schools really put on any extracurricular activities one has undertaken? Is this going to lower my chances of getting in because I don't really have hobbies and therefore shows I'm an uninteresting person/unfit for medicine? I keep seeing everyone on tsr having done an insane amount of extracurricular acitvities on top of work experience and i'm just feeling meh about myself now... Thanks for taking your time to read this.
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ax12
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(Original post by taboo15)
Okay so... I really couldn't find any threads relating to my question but if there is something and I just overlooked it (and caused you to roll your eyes), my apologies!

I plan to apply to medicine this year and I have really no problems with getting the grades and work experience required (thankfully!) but I'm just worried about my extracurricular activities (a.k.a. as hobbies)... or lack thereof. It's not like I'm an absolute recluse because reading is my favourite hobby hence I was part of my creative writing society, am class rep at my current college etc but it's just, I have done nothing outstanding like playing an instrument or playing sports even(!) etc. To be fair, I never really found the time since I was busy looking after my younger siblings and did most of the house chores when my parents were too busy with work or felt too poorly to do so(which often used to be the case).

Now my question is, how much value do med schools really put on any extracurricular activities one has undertaken? Is this going to lower my chances of getting in because I don't really have hobbies and therefore shows I'm an uninteresting person/unfit for medicine? I keep seeing everyone on tsr having done an insane amount of extracurricular acitvities on top of work experience and i'm just feeling meh about myself now... Thanks for taking your time to read this.
TSR is definitely not a place to compare yourself to, a lot of people who post on here about what they have done will do so because they have done a lot, and some will probably exaggerate.

Talking about your creative writing society and other things that you do outside of your school work to show that you have interests that will help you to cope with the stress of a medical degree.

If you find that you really struggle to talk about extra-curricular activities, apply to less personal statement-heavy universities. Bristol put huge emphasis on your personal statement, but Leicester don't look at them at all. You definitely aren't unfit for medicine just because you don't do sports or play an instrument.
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StationToStation
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I agree with ax12 - I don't think it would be an issue at most med schools since they're mostly interested in the skills you've gained from your extracurriculars instead of what you actually did, and even this is often overshadowed at interviews by stuff like ethical scenarios and your work experience etc. I'm sure you'll be fine if you avoid ps-heavy unis. As above you should maybe stay away from Bristol, and possibly Edinburgh as well.
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Democracy
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(Original post by taboo15)
Okay so... I really couldn't find any threads relating to my question but if there is something and I just overlooked it (and caused you to roll your eyes), my apologies!

I plan to apply to medicine this year and I have really no problems with getting the grades and work experience required (thankfully!) but I'm just worried about my extracurricular activities (a.k.a. as hobbies)... or lack thereof. It's not like I'm an absolute recluse because reading is my favourite hobby hence I was part of my creative writing society, am class rep at my current college etc but it's just, I have done nothing outstanding like playing an instrument or playing sports even(!) etc. To be fair, I never really found the time since I was busy looking after my younger siblings and did most of the house chores when my parents were too busy with work or felt too poorly to do so(which often used to be the case).

Now my question is, how much value do med schools really put on any extracurricular activities one has undertaken? Is this going to lower my chances of getting in because I don't really have hobbies and therefore shows I'm an uninteresting person/unfit for medicine? I keep seeing everyone on tsr having done an insane amount of extracurricular acitvities on top of work experience and i'm just feeling meh about myself now... Thanks for taking your time to read this.
Why doesn't creative writing or reading count as a hobby?

They just want to see that you're a normal, well-rounded person who knows how to switch off and destress. They don't actually care what you do so long as you can articulate why you think it's important for med students and doctors to have interests outside of medicine and what your particular interests will bring to your life once you're a med student.
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6med
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Hey taboo15 :-) Honestly don't worry about not having grade 8 certificates in five different musical instrument and not being a national swimming champion! There are many reasons that medical schools want to know about extracurricular activities, and it's certainly not just to select people who have done 'outstanding' things.

They want to know that you have interests besides your academic work so that you're less likely to burnout, they want to see that you can commit to something long-term, they want to know about any transferable skills your have gained through your extracurricular pursuits (e.g. working in a team, leadership, time management, learning about/interacting with people from different backgrounds etc.) So long as you can write about them convincingly and passionately in your personal statement, your love for reading and involvement with the creative writing could really strengthen your application.

Alex, 4th year UCL medic
6med
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