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Best Place To Volunteer In Addition To The Hospital?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Confused 20, May 5, 2007.

  1. Confused 20

    Confused 20 Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Can anyone give me advice on where one could volunteer in addition to the hospital? Which place would medical schools look most favorably upon? Is the Red Cross the best choice or is another place better? Is it essential to volunteer at a place in addition to the hospital? If not essential, is it a big plus on an application if one volunteers in a place in addition to the hospital?

    Any input will be appreciated. Thank you.
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  3. hj7korp

    hj7korp 2+ Year Member

    Apr 21, 2007
    I would say what you like the best is the most appropriate.
  4. bluesTank

    bluesTank Zombie 5+ Year Member

    Feb 2, 2007
    College Station, TX
    Something that YOU want to do is the best. If it is something you enjoy doing, then it will be easier and more fun to do, and you can talk about it more and be more enthusiastic about it in your interview.
  5. OncDoc19

    OncDoc19 MS4 7+ Year Member

    Feb 6, 2007
    I don't think volunteering at a hospital is essential. In fact, I think its better if you do medically-related volunteering someplace other than the hospital and not necessarily in addition. I volunteer at Hospice because I am interested in end-of-life care. Pick an organization that you are passionate about.
  6. emaj1n

    emaj1n M1 2+ Year Member

    Oct 16, 2006
    Ask yourself what you would in life if money wasn't an issue. Oh wait, this is volunteer work. So just ask yourself what you like to do.
  7. Anastasis

    Anastasis caffeinated for safety Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Agreed - I did clinical work in a free health clinic. Much better experience than a hospital, IMHO.
  8. twohearted

    twohearted The whistle go . . . 2+ Year Member

    Oct 26, 2006
    Free clinics are definately the way to go if you want to do more than hand out books and fold linens.
  9. WCGee

    WCGee Super Awesome Person 5+ Year Member

    Aug 15, 2006
    I worked at a clinic also and actually go to DO things. At the hospital, on the other hand, I emptied linen baskets and brought water.
  10. lina123321

    lina123321 ralph: im a unitard 5+ Year Member

    Jun 20, 2006
    over the rainbow
    this is gonna sound like a stupid question, but where do i find a list of clinics that are willing to take in volunteers?
  11. twohearted

    twohearted The whistle go . . . 2+ Year Member

    Oct 26, 2006
    Werd. Hospital in most cases = free maid.
  12. geogil

    geogil Still training. 7+ Year Member

    May 1, 2006
    unless you find restocking pens and linens rewarding, stay away from teh hospital. Even if you're in the ED, you'll still only be turning over rooms. Is there an HIV clinic? Homeless shelter? food bank? you could always use the internet to search out things in your area. try googling free clinics in your area.
  13. tredici

    tredici Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 14, 2006
    volunteering in hospitals is horrible. one time they had me dig through a bag of trash to find any paper with sensitive information on it to toss in the shredder. it was like opening a box of cereal to claim your prize, but only in this case the prize was bloody gauze and used hypodermic needles! i quit shortly after when the volunteer coordinator didn't help when I spoke with her, she only said she would look into it. and so when I was asked to dig through trash again and the coordinator wouldn't place me in another department, I left.
  14. Stversko

    Stversko 2+ Year Member

    Mar 17, 2007
    those are some pretty grotesque hospital volunteering stories.

    At my hospital; on the weekend i get to choose any department i want and i usually get stuck doing clerical work ie (stamping charts, admitting patients etc.)

    On weekdays i get a list of patients, and i have to go around to each patient and ask several questions about the services they received.

    I guess the responsibility you acquire is determined by your volunteer coordinator, and your persuasiveness to have patient contact.

    Volunteering at a hospital is not as important, as doing something you like in any other medical atmosphere.
  15. WCGee

    WCGee Super Awesome Person 5+ Year Member

    Aug 15, 2006
    I eventually quit volunteering at the hospital and instead began working at a free clinic offered by our county as well as a Planned Parenthood that was in a nearby town. I got loads of patient contact and I never once had to act as a maid.
  16. lilnoelle

    lilnoelle Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    Volunteer work doesn't have to be medical either. I thought I had none until I got to my interviews and they started asking me questions. I'd been working in my church's nursery for the last two years and also did quite a bit of tutoring with grade school age kids in college. Also I did mission trips with my youth group. My interviewers liked these activities - and I was surprised that they were considered as a part of my application (if I had known that stuff was important to I would've included it in my AMCAS application as well as my secondaries).
  17. riceman04

    riceman04 10+ Year Member

    Mar 21, 2005
    Los Angeles
    That is refreshing to hear. I have done some volunteer work in a clinical/hosptial setting, but I have also done alot of tutoring and mentoring in the community. Until you explained your situation I assumed that that volunteering would just be glanced over.
  18. lilnoelle

    lilnoelle Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    Glad to help. I think it definitely is important. Especially after rethinking the issue after my interview. Community volunteer work may seem a little more genuine than medical volunteer work. I don't know that for sure, but it seems like since volunteerwork is "necessary" that individuals do it to pad their application. However, a person who has been involved in volunteer work for an extended period of time, (I guess that could be medical or non medical) they may seem more sincere.
  19. speedyE

    speedyE 2+ Year Member

    Oct 11, 2006
    So true. I think people often get caught up with this notion that all medical schools want to see is everything medicine. True, some sort of clinical experience is pretty much required to be competitive, but this can be accomplished through so many different ways: volunteer work, shadowing, employment (tech, EMT), clinical research, etc. It definitely doesn't have to consume your application.

    When considering any activity, do it because you have a genuine interest in it, not simply because you think it will impress some adcoms. This will lead to an extended commitment and therefore seem more "genuine." The enthusiasm will also be apparent in your interviews when you are able to discuss the activities (and they most likely will come up).

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