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Understanding MOC Requirements
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This is a very broad question and is very dependent on the
program. As far as extracurricular activities, they are much less
important for residency than for application to medical school. I
am less interested in a list of hobbies, but am interested in
aspects of people's lives outside of medicine which help define
them. Leadership positions are good to highlight. Activities which
show one's ability to work in a team are an example of how an
activity can be used to emphasize desirable skills and attributes.
This is probably more important than the activity itself.
Passion. I find that I am unable to motivate or inspire
residents who do not already have the passion to pursue their
academic goals, mature their career interests, etc. Extracurricular
activities can be examples of how a student matures their interests
and can demonstrate passion. Rather than stating that they enjoy
reading or tennis, it is more impressive if they write that they
enjoy reading 19th century historical novels, or they play USTA
level 3.0 tennis. Believe me, 3.0 is not particularly skillful, but
it does show that a student is serious to the point of getting
him/herself ranked and into a league.
The best answer for this one is for the student to do their
homework. Every program is different, and even different tracks in
the same program (Like a Research Pathway, and Med-Peds) may have
different personalities and priorities. Read the web page
information for the program you are interested in. Talk to current
residents and your student counterparts at that institution.
Qualities that programs are looking for vary between programs.
One factor that we look for is how people may "fit" into the
program at our institution. Extracurricular activities are somewhat
important in that they show a little about the personality of the
person, especially if the activity was personally meaningful to the
student. I think the absence of activities would be a slight
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Ask the Program Director is a new feature that focuses on
providing medical students practical advice to help them navigate
the process of obtaining a residency position in internal medicine.
Issues covered include: CV development, writing a personal
statement, the Match process, residency program interviews, and
March 2012 Issue of IMpact
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