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Extra-Curricular Activities In Medical School - A Hurdle? Or An Advantage?

Discussion in 'Medical Students Cafe' started by Akeel Salahudeen, Aug 17, 2019.

  1. Akeel Salahudeen

    Akeel Salahudeen Young Member

    Aug 17, 2019
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    Everyone who is in medical school or knows someone in medical school can testify to how stressful and busy it is. The workload piles up year after year, and the amount of information you have to retain is indescribable. Life gets much busier between medical school, the wards and lectures.

    With all this in your head you probably would think that extra-curricular activities would hinder your academic work and affect your grades.

    I have come up with a few reasons why extra-curricular activities are important and why they wouldn’t affect your grades negatively.

    "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”

    These words about Jack apply to the future Jack M.D as well.

    The workload in medical school is huge, and not every student is capable of handing the stress equally. Some have a strong support system from home, some have good friends and some are capable of handling a high threshold.

    But even the strongest of us have our weak moments.


    Being healthy is important. But its not only the physical health a medical student should be worried about, its also the mental aspect of health.

    Spending a few hours a week to exercise - going for a jog, pumping iron, swimming, a set of tennis or even meeting up with some friends to play soccer can go a long way in this aspect.

    It not only takes your mind off your stressful routine, but it can increase your endorphins, dopamine levels and serotonin levels, helping you to better deal with depression and anxiety. The increased blood flow through out your body nourishes your brain as well. I don’t have to tell you medical students anything else about the benefits of exercise.

    You can make use of the time you spend in sports to better socialize with your friends and develop better relationships.

    How not to loose your Creativity

    You don’t have to hit a pause on your creativity during your time at medical school. Its better if you can relate your extra-projects to medicine. For an example, if you are good at writing, and if you want to keep writing so as to not loose your touch, you can start a blog. If you think you would end up wandering away, then write a blog about medical content.

    If you have a knack for video-making, start a youtube channel. You don’t have to be a professional at it, but do it because you love it.

    If you like photography, keep doing it! Don’t quit anything because of med school.


    Don’t take your knowledge for granted. You might not have completed medical school yet, but it shouldn’t stop you from teaching someone what you know. Pick a junior in school, a classmate who needs help, or your friends when you study together and start telling them what you know. It will help you develop some very useful communication skills, as a doctor and as a mentor in the future.

    These are just a few of many things that you can do while in medical school. Just know that you don’t have to make big sacrifices to keep your grades high. You should know when to limit what you do and how to make use of your skills and talent to help you be a better doctor in the future.


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    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2021

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