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How many hospital/clinic volunteer hours should we have?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Allopathic [ MD ]' started by drosefan, 07.05.09.

  1. drosefan

    drosefan

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    Hi All,

    This is a main concern of mine because I didn't decide on doing med til recently (like a few months ago) and I'm planning on registering for med/DO schools and hope to be accepted for Fall of 2011 (so about 2 years from now i hope to be in med school)...anyway, I was wondering how many hours from clinical/hospital volunteering should I have under my belt (what's the norm for most premed students?)

    Also, will med schools look at stuff you do (volunteering, research, etc) that you did your last year of undergrad (considering you've already sent your application-------> I really want to get more experience in the field)?

    Thanks for the help
  2. apumic

    apumic Oracle of the Sheet

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    Numbers vary by person. Most of us probably have upwards of 100-200 hours clinical, 100+ volunteer, 50-100 shadowing, etc. Of course, some of us have in the 1000s of clinical and volunteering hours, so there's a lot of variation. Basically, you should just start getting them under your belt. I've never been much for "counting" your hours. It seems really lame to me. You approximate the # of hours later and it's what you learned during those experiences that matters anyway. In my experience, though, full-time clinical work where you're getting paid teaches you the most.
    Also, research is important at some schools and at least helpful at most. If you just decided you want to do medicine in the past couple of months and are not coming from a field w/ similar req'ts you may not really be ready to apply in 10 months, so just be ready to have to wait an add'l year. Throwing your app together by May seems a bit foolish to me if you haven't already taken most of your pre-reqs and gotten some clinical and research experience under your belt.
    Also, yes, schools do care about what you do that final year (after apps are in). It's critical for interviews, etc.
  3. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers SDN Advisor

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    Rather than hours, think about months.... ideally, I like to see at least 12 mos of experience before the application is submitted. So, generally starting immediately after sophomore year ends - at the latest-if you are going to apply to begin medical school right after college.
  4. vickpick

    vickpick TreeHugger

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    How about shadowing, how much of that would you prefer in an applicant u'll accept..
  5. zerial

    zerial

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    i hope adcoms don't look down too much on applicants with less than 12 months. sigh.
  6. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers SDN Advisor

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    My school has never put much emphasis on shadowing.... we seem to care more about research experience. YMMV
  7. Zoom-Zoom

    Zoom-Zoom

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    Wow, that's nice. I had 4 yrs of research and 1 year of hospital volunteer work and got grilled at a top-10 school about not having enough "clinical"

    It was especially odd considering that I had been working 70+ hrs/week as an EMT for the last 6 months. He was like, "Yeah...but we like shadowing. If you have to re-apply do some more shadowing" :confused:

    This is what I wanted to say...
    Next time, next time.
  8. drosefan

    drosefan

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    I really don't want to wait an additional year, I'm already going to be a 5th year senior before I apply to medical schools because I am a business major.

    Any other opinions on my situation?? Does 1 year of volunteering really look that bad?? Can I add on to my application later on and can't I mention additional volunteer experience if I get an interview?
  9. Zoom-Zoom

    Zoom-Zoom

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    It's ultimately your call. I got in w/ 1 year experience, so it can be done. You are a business major, and as such they will want to know that you know what you're getting yourself into.

    It's ok to add experiences throughout the application year. It works because it actually gives you an excuse to send updates/letters of interest, and also keeps your file on the top of the pile. That's my theory. Adding the clinical stuff later also looks more genuine if you've made a recent change in career path.


    You will be more successful with more clinical experience, but how much more is subjective and it's ultimately your choice.
  10. gnomeski

    gnomeski

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    about the 1 year clinical... how much time per week were you doing?
    Last edited: 07.05.09
  11. erdavis

    erdavis

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    Usually 3 to 4 hrs a week. I did 4hrs 3 weeks out of the month because I knew I would want to study instead of volunteering on exam week and this way I would still have a minimum of 12 clinical hrs per month.
  12. zerial

    zerial

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    so.. other threads on sdn say that 75-100 hours is good, which you could easily do in 7-8 months.

    have other people been "grilled" at their interviews for only having a year or less than a year of clinical volunteering? will adcoms really doubt you because of it?
  13. matth87

    matth87

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    I will have 8 months of volunteering by the time interviews roll around.

    I am volunteering 8 hours a week at two different hospitals so would that account for anything?

    4 Hours in the ER at one hospital

    4 Hours in the neurology ward at another hospital

    Hope I am not in trouble.
  14. greg1184

    greg1184

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    My favorite part of the application process was how volunteer hours was treated like a currency that helps you get into medical school.

    IMO it is not as much the amount of hours of volunteering hours as what you have gotten out of your meaningful volunteer experience. You can do thousands of hours of volunteering, but if you have nothing to write about other than "changing bedsheets" well I am not so sure it is so great.
  15. doraxplorer

    doraxplorer

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    just jumping on the wagon, does being a medical receptionist in a private doctor's office count as clinical experience?
  16. vickpick

    vickpick TreeHugger

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    I started volunteering in May, 8 hrs a week for the summer and then probably 4 hrs a week during school.. and I'll be applying in the next cycle with you... I think a lot of us are in the same boat as u. Don't worry.

    Thank you LizzyM for clarifying about the shadowing.

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