The Best Hobbies for Medical School Application

August 17

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When applying to medical school, you must take your extracurricular activities seriously. Of course, your GPA and MCAT will get your foot in the door. Still, your extracurricular interests will make you stand out during the medical school application process.

You must discover methods to demonstrate your passion for medicine as a potential medical student through your academic endeavors, extracurricular activities, and hobbies. The most significant elements of your experiences will be highlighted when you write your personal statement for medical school and your entries for employment and extracurricular activities.

Even though you do not need to participate in every extracurricular activity to succeed in medical school, the most competitive students make intelligent choices regarding their hobbies. 

Additionally, they explain how the skills they developed in their hobbies will help them succeed in a medical job. 

For advice on selecting extracurriculars to help you get into medical school, continue reading. 

Learn which hobbies, and how many hours of each, will help you stand out from the competition when applying to medical schools.

Why are Hobbies Important for a Medical School Application? 

Our first advice to any aspiring medical student is to put yourself in the admission committee's shoes. Recognize that they review tens of thousands of applications. And that it will be a massive benefit if you can do anything to make it simpler to comprehend or more memorable in any way.

Hobbies are a crucial component of a resume because they humanize you. In addition, they demonstrate your humanness to a medical institution. Moreover, you lead an existence outside of school.

Additionally, your hobbies indicate the following: 

Hobbies Show Your Enthusiasm

Every medical school looks for applicants who love what they do. Developing a hobby and showing dedication to it demonstrates this. 

For instance, playing the piano for ten years and participating in an annual community concert demonstrates a long-term commitment to an art form and discipline in practice and performance.

All these traits can be used to fuel a love for medicine. 

Be detailed when describing your hobby to highlight your passion. For example, do not just state you like making pasta for yourself and your significant other if you enjoy cooking. Instead, talk about your sources of inspiration, the cuisines you have experimented with, and the tips and techniques you have picked up along the way.

Hobbies Increase Your Human Relatability

Imagine for a minute that you are the medical school interviewer. They have looked through hundreds of applications, all of which most likely share the same qualifications: fundamental science research, clinical volunteering, and significant volunteerism.

All those extracurricular activities are essential for demonstrating interest in medicine. Still, they only sometimes paint a complete image of the person you are. Hobbies and talents come in handy here.

Showing the interviewer that you are comfortable discussing interests outside of medicine displays your capacity for interpersonal relationships. 

In the end, which question would you prefer to ask a student during an interview—their clinical research or how they first became involved in performing magic or fencing?

Hobbies Add Variety to Your Application

The term "diversity" will undoubtedly be used frequently throughout the application procedure. 

Medical schools are adjusting by preparing an equally diverse cohort of students to become the next generation of doctors as the patient community in America continues to diversify.

The aim is to educate students in the art and science of patient care rather than to turn them into a class of book-reading, test-taking robots. 

Diverse interests like learning a foreign language or taking international trips demonstrate that you have accepted cultures other than your own.

Hobbies Show that You Place a High Value on Your Overall Well-Being

Four years of arduous medical school study can quickly become overpowering at times. You must maintain an existence outside medical school and not give up your hobbies and interests.

Furthermore, it is essential to have regular, healthy stress relief. This may involve getting up early twice a week to catch the surf at the beach or having band practice for the weekly all-school talent show. 

Medical schools want to accept students who have figured out how to keep their sanity throughout those 4+ years of undergrad.

How to Choose Which Hobbies to Include in a Medical School Application?

It is normal to feel overburdened when searching for extracurricular activities to include in your med school CV. There are some methods to focus more specifically and decide which extracurricular activities are most likely to impress admissions committees. 

It will help if you choose activities that are genuinely important to you first. 

If you are unsure whether to include a hobby, consider whether it constitutes a worthwhile endeavor. 

Has it instilled principles in you? 

Has it made you more aware of your desire to seek a career in medicine?

Here are a few things to consider when selecting the interests to list on your medical school applications, as many students find it challenging.

Be Mindful of the Hobbies that You Choose

Only include endeavors in which you have proven a sizable time dedication. 

For instance, listing finishing as a hobby if you have only completed it three times will not please the admissions panel. Instead, talk about lifelong endeavors that have molded you over the years.

Additionally, choose hobbies that you can discuss and meditate on with confidence. When you write about your hobbies, you should be able to discuss what you learn from them and how they help you develop personally.

Focus on Quality Over Quantity

Applicants to medical schools frequently believe that the best method to gain admission is to give the admissions committee a long list of extracurricular activities. Wrong!

Content is what counts when it comes to extracurricular activities. So spend time on a few pursuits that genuinely excite you rather than dabbling in dozens of pastimes for only a few hours.

You can avoid mentioning the week you spent volunteering with Habitat for Humanity in other terms. 

But, on the other hand, if you spent two years volunteering with nursing home residents, you should certainly mention that on your application.

Look for "Triangulated" or Multi-Purpose Activities

It makes sense to prioritize activities because your leisure time is probably limited as a premed student. Look for activities demonstrating several skills or talents simultaneously as one of the best ways to enhance your applicant profile.

For instance, by planning a health fair at your school, you can demonstrate your leadership aptitude and commitment to volunteer work. 

On the other hand, tutoring students in math and science is a beautiful way to display your love of medicine, your talent as a teacher, and your dedication to service.

By combining tasks in this manner, you can gain experience in your chosen field while saving time.

Put Emphasis on Meaning

Medical institutions are interested in more than just a student's interests. 

They are also curious about the significance of these pastimes for the candidates. So, instead of naming your extracurricular activities, outline what you learned from each.

The objective is to give the admission committee a sense of the activities that were particularly advantageous to you and helpful on your path to becoming a doctor.

Remember that you can include any interest, regardless of how peculiar or unique it is. Hobbies can take many different forms. As long as they make sense to you and meet the criteria set forth by medical colleges, it will be beneficial to include them in your application.

The Best Hobbies for Medical School Application

The enthusiasm and vigor of the students create the ambiance and allure of a medical school. Many schools encourage cultural celebrations, sports contests, talent shows, art exhibitions, and philanthropic fundraisers to support students' efforts to maintain their well-being and build diverse communities.

While your GPA and MCAT score will satisfy the essential requirements for each school, your interests and extracurricular activities will complete your application and help you stand out as a distinctive candidate.

Here are the best hobbies to make you stand out in your medical school application:

Arts and Entertainment

Premed students lead busy lives frequently consumed by their academic and scientific endeavors. 

Arts and entertainment can appear to be frivolities, but they make fascinating hobbies for several reasons:

  • They demonstrate your relatability.
  • They demonstrate your ability to relate to a variety of people.
  • They show your uniqueness and ability to use a large portion of the pre-med brain.

Even if you do not believe you have a single creative bone in your body, try to appreciate the arts. 

Despite your months of arduous work at the pottery wheel or your hilarious open mic performances, you can still express your wish to broaden your horizons and try new things.


Although your image of "craftsmanship" may be of burly men using power tools in wood sheds, this term can describe anything requiring you to create something from scratch.

What draws admissions committees to this? Finishing a job from scratch and creating something tangible with your two hands requires a lot of perseverance. A willingness to fail, adaptation, problem-solving, and trial and error is involved in these pursuits.

Furthermore, whether it is a portfolio, a YouTube link, an Etsy website, or a publication, the majority of these will produce some evidence you can include in your application. It is always a plus if your hobbies involve more than just reading text on a page.

Performance and Public Speaking

Premed students may be terrified of these hobbies, but that is the idea. 

Choosing a hobby in this group entails some risk because the public eye will frequently scrutinize you.

One former candidate, for instance, had begun an improvised comedy class at his school and performed stand-up comedy. 

Another was a slam artist who used this platform to lessen the stigma associated with mental health. 

A candidate frequently visited his high school to speak to the graduating classes and the sports teams.

Because they demonstrate self-assurance, risk-taking within reason, social skills, skillful rhetoric and communication, and an aptitude for audience connection, these pastimes appeal to admissions panels. 

This hobby has the added benefit of helping you develop the abilities needed for patient rapport building, teamwork, and conducting interviews.

Athletics and Exercise

Due to their interest in the body and wish to "practice what they preach", pre-meds typically have a strong sense of health. 

Exercise is essential for successful pre-med students, but not all forms of exercise will help you stick out.

The most popular activities include running, weightlifting, meditation, and intramural sports. 

However, a little variety can always make these more attractive. 

You could participate in an intramural activity like croquet or curling, try aerial or karaoke yoga, or run a tough mud race. (Yes, those exist).

Although you do not need anything this extraordinary, you might want to try adding variety if your athletic hobby falls into a popular area.

Research and Writing 

Unsurprisingly, medical schools look for students with research experience, given the importance of research in the medical profession. 

Many students conduct hypothesis-based research projects as part of their coursework. 

Nevertheless, selective medical schools are particularly interested in candidates who have completed independent research outside the classroom. 

Getting your name on a publication is excellent, but medical schools know this is not always feasible. As a result, the caliber of your work is far more significant than publishing.


It will leave a good impression if you are passionate about traveling and have sufficient experience to speak about it in depth and quickly. Traveling and everything it entails cultivates consciousness and broadens the mind. 

Your ability to adapt to new situations, countries, and people will help you develop as a person and become a lifelong learner.

Being tolerant, adaptable, and open-minded will help you succeed as a health professional in the future. These are qualities that will help you communicate, comprehend, and empathize with the diverse people who will be your patients.

Playing an Instrument

The challenging and rewarding process of learning an instrument requires dedication and determination. These two qualities are essential in becoming a doctor in the future. 

If you know how to play the cello, guitar, or even a banjo and are good at it. Include it in your medical school application. 

However, only include this hobby if you are genuinely interested in it. The admissions boards are reasonably intelligent. They can tell if you are pulling something out to make yourself seem "impressive."

Learning New Languages

If you want to advance in your medical school application, you might need more than just speaking English. Portuguese, Arabic, and Chinese are three languages expanding quickly worldwide.

According to studies, acquiring a language improves one's intelligence, memory, and problem-solving skills. These qualities are crucial in becoming a doctor. 

In addition, there is also a likelihood that you will encounter a patient whose first language is not English in the future. Also, there might be opportunities to work or volunteer as a medical professional in another country besides the United States or Canada.


Photography can represent you in more ways than "This candidate likes to take pictures." After all, photography requires creativity, interpersonal skills, and, most of all, attention to detail. 

The best doctors make sure to include all of the details. The admissions committee will greatly be impressed if you are one of these candidates who takes the best pictures while possessing the qualities a future physician should have.


We live in an era where you can reach a wider audience through social media. This includes blogging and vlogging. And this is something you will have shreds of evidence to present to the admissions committee. 

Showing them how articulate, passionate, and creative you give you a significant advantage in your medical school application process. 

Remember that your content does not have to be anything medical-related. It could be about anything you are passionate about. Once you are in medical school and a doctor, you will have more than enough content to focus on.

Final Thoughts

Some pre-med students believe that admissions panels should not consider extracurricular activities. 

This reasoning has some validity: no matter how fascinating your hobbies are, they cannot compensate for a weak science GPA. Hobbies will not make or break your entry to medical school.

However, hobbies are one way to relieve stress, and medicine requires medical professionals who know how to do so. In addition, it demonstrates to admissions committees that you are like any other typical student and that your life does not center entirely around being a pre-med student.

As a candidate, you will undoubtedly have more to boast about the older you are. 

However, there are plenty of topics for undergraduates and younger students to write about. So do not be put off by this part. There are lots of hobbies that will give you an edge on your medical school application. Be creative!


You're no longer alone on your journey to becoming a physician

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