Many dedicated pre-med students take on the “work now, play later” philosophy. They assume it’s best to pay close attention studies and techniques and pay extra-curricular activities no mind.

But the truth is… hobbies are key!

Here’s why:

When it comes to your medical school application, your hobbies are key to revealing your passions, communication skills and how you deal with stress.

In other words, they show admissions committees that you appreciate and understand the value of work-life balance. This improves your chances of thriving in medical school.

Work-Life Balance: Why Hobbies Are Key for Pre-Meds & Medical Students

Work-Life Balance: Why Hobbies Are Key for Pre-Meds & Medical Students. Photo by Jopwell from Pexels.

What Is Work-Life Balance?

Essentially, work-life balance is the even steadiness between the time you dedicate to our personal and professional lives. Administrators want to believe medical students are fulfilled in both areas.

As you make your way through medical school, work-life balance will become more and more important. This is even truer when as you go through your residency and become an attending physician.

In other words, there will come a time in your life when your extra-curricular activities are much more than fillers for your CV. You’ll need hobbies to act as outlets for the daily challenges and stressors that come with working in medicine.

As a medical student, many stress before every test and exam. This is especially true when it comes to the USMLEs. Everyone needs downtime after taking these tests.

Why Medical Schools Care about Your Work-Life Balance

The best way to determine whether or not you reach personal fulfillment is to judge the way you spend your personal time.

Yes, you can always include this info in your personal statement or CV. But there’s no guarantee the admissions administrator will read them before you sit down for an interview.

So, it’s best to create a one to two-minute “elevator pitch” that explains what you do and why. You also need to explain how these activities bring fulfillment to your life.

If it’s fulfilling to you, it’s worth mentioning to med school recruiters. It’s not what you do, but how you talk about it that actually matters:

  • Do you have the ability to explain the hobby in an exciting way?
  • Do your excitement and passion shine when you talk about this activity?
  • Will this activity act as a healthy outlet for you during stressful days as a medical student?

Hobbies Matter for Pre-Meds & Medical Students

Many doctors stereotypically enjoying playing golf on their days off to keep their stress levels down. In time, you’ll find that your hobbies will become more and more important as long as you study and eventually practice medicine.

Hobbies are key to avoiding physician burnout. To help avoid this, admission officers want to know you understand this now, before entering medical school.

Your hobbies help frame you in a positive light during your interview. They show you have an outlet to help you cope with the day-to-day tasks and struggles of being a medical student, and eventually, practicing medicine

So, be sure to take your hobbies seriously when applying to med school. They are just as important to the admissions process as the application itself.

Learn More about Physician Burnout