The preclinical years of medical school are important for students considering a career in Neurology.
Neurology 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 54% of programs as a factor used to make interview decisions.
Demonstrated involvement or interest in research is cited by 35% as a factor used to make interview decisions.
Volunteer/extracurricular activities are cited by 43% 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 Neurology as a Preclinical Student
Research in the field can provide significant exposure and the opportunity to work closely with faculty members. In many schools, students can perform research in the summer following first year. Funding to support research may be available through schools or through external sources such as the American Academy of Neurology (AAN). Students who are members of their school’s Student Interest Group in Neurology are eligible to apply for the Medical Student Summer Scholarship sponsored by the AAN.
With over 150 chapters in the United States and Canada, it's likely that your school has a Student Interest Group in Neurology (SIGN). Membership allows opportunities to shadow neurologists, learn more about the field through lectures and presentations, and apply for SIGN scholarships. For information on starting or running a chapter, the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) has developed the SIGN Reference Manual, available at their website.
The AAN holds its Annual Meeting in April. The AAN and the Association of University Professors of Neurology have combined their efforts and make scholarships available to fund students interested in attending the meeting.