Question of the Week: Choosing Your Three Most Meaningful Activities

May 10, 2024

What are the best strategies for choosing which three activities are “most meaningful” on the medical school application?

Start by thinking through all of the activities that helped you grow personally and professionally. Your three most meaningful activities should be those that were most meaningful to your development as a future physician. Hopefully, these are also activities that you’re passionate about, where you showed enthusiasm and dedication, as those are often the easiest to write about in an authentic, impactful way.

You may want to aim for a balance of experiences that showcase different aspects of your candidacy and your narrative. What aspects of being a doctor are most important to you (e.g., leadership, mentorship, advancing knowledge, developing longitudinal relationships with patients, working with certain patient populations, innovating, addressing health disparities, improving policy)? Which of your personal qualities do you feel will make you an effective doctor? How can you demonstrate those interests and qualities in the activities you highlight as your most meaningful?

If you’re having difficulty choosing between your activities, try writing out the potential “most meaningful” ones in both the “regular activity” character limit (700 characters, including spaces) and the “most meaningful” length (700 + 1325 characters). You may find you need more space to talk about some than others. Also think about what you’re writing about in your personal statement—maybe one of the potential activities comes across better in that essay than it does in your activities list.

QOTW 2023: Summer Clinical Opportunities
QOTW 2022: Do I Have to Take a Glide Year? and Clinically Focused Postgrad Jobs
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