Which summer activity? Hospital volunteering or Camp Counselor for kids with disabilities

  • Hospital Volunteering

    Votes: 3 50.0%
  • Camp Counselor

    Votes: 3 50.0%

  • Total voters
    6
Sep 4, 2006
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Hi! I will be a sophmore in college this fall and I am already considering my options for next summer. I have very little "clinical volunteering" so far in college (although I did do over 400 hrs in high school, I'm not sure if I can put it on my application). My college is in a small town and the only clinical volunteering opportunities are at a nursing home and cleaning/greeting/doing paperwork at the local hospital. I am 99.999% sure I want to be a pediatrician, maybe a pediatric psychiatrist, so instead I have been volunteering at a preschool and at an afterschool program for low income kids. This summer I am completing an internship in the neonatology unit of a large hospital in Mexico (does abroad experience count as clinical?) and solidifying my Spanish fluency. This coming summer I am considering returning to my large home city to volunteer at the same Children's hospital I volunteered at in High School and to shadow. However, I am also considering being an overnight camp counselor for children with social skills deficits (Autism, ADHD etc). Honestly I feel I would be more challenged by and learn more from the camp counselor job, however, everyone here keeps talking about the necessity of clinical volunteering and I feel as if I do not/will not have enough. All advice is appreciated!
What % of the time would you be "greeting" as opposed to cleaning and hospital paperwork, if you took that position. Could you move to another position eventually?

What would the nursing home role entail?

You are right that overnight camp counselor, even for differently-abled kids, would not be considered clinical.

International clinical experience should be supplemental, and not take the place of US experience, though it can be listed.
 
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Sep 4, 2006
34,289
13,741
The Other Side of the Portal
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1) The nursing home role would involve visiting with and helping to lead activities for residents. I'm not sure what % of the time in the other position would involve what, I imagine it would depend on the time of day and how busy the hospital was.

2) Both of my parents are doctors and have advised me to spend all my volunteering time working with kids since that is obviously what I love.

3) The hospital volunteering I did in high school was 1 on 1 with pediatric patients and unfortunately that kind of opportunity is not available in my college town.
1) It sounds like more of a senior retirement center than a skilled-level nursing home if group activities are sponsored. Are positions available for the really sick people, namely those whose doctors are responsible for the day-to-day care they receive? You want to be sure that adcomms will consider your role there to be clinical in nature.

2) As you'll be required to rotate through adult care units as a med student, a broader experience of medicine could be considered desirable.

3) Can you return to this facility while on school breaks?
 
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Mar 29, 2016
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Neither is going to tremendously boost your app, but I would almost think a full time summer job would look better than what you'll be doing while volunteering. The big thing is this: you will love being a camp counselor and probably hate the volunteer position. Take the counselor job and squeeze in some volunteer hours another time.
 
Sep 4, 2006
34,289
13,741
The Other Side of the Portal
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  1. Attending Physician
2) Have med school admissions changed alot in the past 25 years? Both my parents seem to think that clinical volunteering is unimportant as they were accepted (to the state school I want to attend) without any clinical volunteering (but lots of study abroad and other volunteer experience, and we're not URM's)
Yes, things have changed a lot in 25 years. They've changed in the 10+ years I've been on SDN. As med school spots have gotten more competitive, adcomms expectations have evolved.
 
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