Medical schools care about leadership and so should you. As a physician, you will be leading patient treatment plans. You are one member of a large medical team; your leadership skills will be important for coordinating and carrying out the treatment plan, which requires delegation, teamwork, and strong communication. Luckily, you don’t need to wait to medical school to start working on your leadership skills. Leadership is something you can learn from any a variety of sources, including student leadership, managerial duties at work, teaching/tutoring, or team sports participation.
Leadership experiences can be a great asset to draw from for applications and interviews. A large part of leadership involves teamwork. Every medical school, hospital, and corporation wants to select applicants who can work in a team. Every year, teamwork becomes increasingly important in the medical world. As the complexity of medicine continues to grow, the care of a patient involves larger healthcare workers who must work together effectively. Learn how to communicate with a team; learn how to start new initiatives with a team; and learn how to solve problems with a team. These skills will serve you well as a physician AND provide interesting stories for the medical school admissions team to prove your maturity.
Understand that numerous activities count as leadership. Here is a list of great leadership positions: shift manager, head of a research project, school club leader (school doesn’t have a club you like, start one!), volunteer coordinator, sports team captain, event organizer, band leader, religious organization leader, and community leader. As a guiding principle, find what interests you and pursue it.
As always, good luck and let us know if you have any questions!