Extracurricular Activities for High School Students

07/07/20216 minute read
Extracurricular Activities for High School Students

Extracurricular Activities for High School Students

Amongst preparing for the UCAT and focusing on your ATAR it is important to remember what will help you during the interview step of the admission process.

The interview is important but can be seen as an obstacle to getting into medicine. Extracurricular activities can help you stand out from other applicants during the admission process.

The extracurricular activities we will go over include :

  • Shadowing
  • Leadership
  • Volunteer experience


Shadowing is when you can observe and maybe even assist alongside a practitioner or specialist. A shadowing opportunity is very valuable to understand the day-to-day and build on your knowledge of the medical field. It is a crucial step and can help you determine your interest in the medical field.

Shadowing a practitioner and their staff is a great place to understand how healthcare and the medical field works on a small scale.

Shadowing can benefit you by making connections that will be useful during the admission process more specifically the interview. This is because the admissions team will see your determination and passion.

Below are some useful examples of shadowing within the medical field.

  • The best strategy is to visit your local medical centre in person and speak with the receptionist to then find a time to discuss your reasoning and passion to gain this experience for your future career. It can be daunting to talk to experienced practitioner’s and nurses, yet this opportunity plays a big impact and influence on your med school application.
  • Reaching out to other students who have gained med school admission and discuss their shadowing experiences that they gained prior to getting into med school.
  • A lot of hospitals and non-profit organisations such as community health clinics offer clinical experiences for pre-med students.

You’re not there to learn to be a doctor, that’s going to happen later. - Dr. Freedman


Leadership can demonstrate and prove to the admissions team that you have leadership skills and abilities that are beneficial in a medical career.

Leadership activities can show the admissions team that you are passionate and have dedication.

Joining leadership activities within the medical industry can help you build relationships with healthcare professionals and gain insights from their experiences in the field and how healthcare works.

Alongside all the benefits of leadership activities, they are invaluable opportunities that impact your desire to get into med school and the admission process.

Below are examples of leadership opportunities you can consider.

  • Giving some of your time to communities running fundraisers for healthcare.
  • You can make the commitment to pursue The Duke Of Edinburgh which is the award for leading a structured youth development program. Suitable for all high school students where they can explore their full potential and find their passion.
  • Take on leadership roles and opportunities within your school such as working for your school newspaper or library.
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Volunteer Experience

Gaining volunteer experience is a great way to demonstrate your dedication and commitment to medicine. Volunteer activities can show admissions officers that you are wanting to be involved within communities.

Your volunteer experience will prove a sincere interest in medicine and boost your medical school application at the same time.

You can be exposed to areas of medicine you wouldn’t initially have considered during volunteering, as well as gain more of an understanding of what you wish to specialise in.

Here are some volunteering examples :

  • Sometimes hospitals need volunteers to count inventory and stock medical supplies and help maintain operations.
  • Larger hospitals with many departments are in need of volunteer door greeters as they can be essential to smooth operations. 
  • Hospitals, care homes and birth centres which hold a large scale of patients may need volunteers to help restock patient rooms with items like blankets, pillow and sanitary items. 

Final Thoughts

As you can see extracurricular activities are important to participate in to improve your med school application.

If you’d like to learn more about medical school admissions, check out our free eBooks and blogs!