Clinical Volunteering/Underserved Communities

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Stoasty

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chilly_md

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You could use part of the description on providing context for what patients you usually see and whether you are at a safety net hospital. Just be sure to still include what your responsibilities are, especially if they are more involved than being a greeter or bringing water to patient families in the ED.
 
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Stoasty

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You could use part of the description on providing context for what patients you usually see and whether you are at a safety net hospital. Just be sure to still include what your responsibilities are, especially if they are more involved than being a greeter or bringing water to patient families in the ED.
I definitely did. My responsibilites were mostly assisting the Nurses or CNA in cleaning/moving them/helping them use the bathroom (either by walking them there or with a bedpan), ambulating them, feeding them on my own if they were incapable of feeding themselves and adjusting heart rate monitor leads on them when the monitor tech needed me to among other things. I honestly feel like I'm a lot more involved helping homeless people at my hospital than when I serve at the soup kitchen.
 
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So I've heard that clinical volunteering hours are seen as a bit more selfish than nonclinical volunteering hours, which I understand. However I'm curious how much I should highlight that most of my clinical volunteering was with underserved communities, even if that wasn't the specific goal of it, as most of my volunteering hours are clinical.

I volunteer a lot at my County Hospital and because my county is majority Latino (>70%), and it's in a metropolitan area most of the patients I assist with are Hispanic and a significant amount of them are homeless as well (maybe one out of every three patients I interact with is). Is this something that I should highlight? I don't speak Spanish. I am URM (not Hispanic, AA) if it's relevant. I was suggested to try to volunteer with AA communities as well, which is something I'd love to do but if I'm being honest there's really not many at all near me, as my county is <2% AA (it's very rare that I'm not the only black person in the room wherever I go). I'm worried a lack of service to my own ethnic community might be concerning.

Thoughts? Thank you for reading.
A terrific activity, but rather than inserting the word "underserved" in your description, I'd rather see a more succinct version of your description of the hospital population (which you provided).

The rarity of your ethnic group locally might be mentioned elsewhere in your application or on Secondaries, assuming suitable prompts.
 
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Stoasty

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I haven't heard this reasoning. Tell me more.
Just something I've seen from forums. I assume the logic is because clinical volunteering can be seen as a bit more selfish than nonclinical because the volunteer is getting more out of it personally aside from pure altruism, i.e learning from a hospital/opportunity to network with hospital staff/interest in medicine. I don't think I agree with this in all situations and I'm not saying it's true it's just what I've seen posted as to why nonclinical volunteering is also essential.

Do you disagree?
 

LizzyM

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Clinical volunteering is sometimes seen as a "two birds- one stone" situation where you are getting clinical experience you need, so there is a benefit to you, the future applicant, and some benefit to the recipients of your volunteerism. In non-clinical volunteering, there is less benefit accruing to the applicant and they are just doing it to help others (or, ahem, because it is an unwritten requirement). So consider it a demonstration of your willingness to help others or your willingness to jump through the hoops required to be admitted to med school.
 
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