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Preclinical Years

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The preclinical years of medical school are important for students considering a career in Family Medicine.

Family Medicine residency programs value involvement in extracurricular activities, community service, leadership, and research. According to the 2018 NRMP Program Director Survey:


  • Leadership qualities are cited by 60% of programs as a factor used to make interview decisions.

  • Volunteer/extracurricular activities are cited by 68% of programs as a factor used to make interview decisions.

In our book, Success in Medical School: Insider Advice for the Preclinical Years, we provide you with a detailed blueprint on how to do just that. 

The preclinical years are an excellent time to build these credentials

3 ways to Build your Credentials in Internal Medicine as a Preclinical Student

  • You can learn more about the specialty by joining your school’s Family Medicine Interest Group. For information on how to establish or maintain an FMIG at your school, a useful resource is the FMIG Manual. If your school has an established group, you'll have the opportunity to run for officer positions, such as president, community service coordinator, and student membership coordinator.

  • The AAFP holds its annual meeting in the fall. It also holds the National Conference for Medical Residents and Students in August. The AAFP Foundation provides scholarships for students to attend the National Conference. The AAFP writes that these funds enable students "the opportunity to explore Family Medicine through clinical sessions, procedural workshops and interaction with family physicians across the country.” The American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians holds its Annual Convention in March. The convention’s Residency Fair allows students to meet with program directors and residents representing many of the 150 AOA-approved programs.

For more information on how to stand out in  Family Medicine as a preclinical student, turn to our book Success in Medical School: Insider Advice for the Preclinical Years

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