Clinical vs Non-clinical Volunteering

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You need to feed the adcoms BS. Just go to a soup kitchen once a week for like an hour.

You might run into a bleeding heart like me who looks at your hospital gig and goes "cool, homie has clinical experience" but then sees you didn't do community service and trashes your app.

Now, given what you wrote here, yeah, I completely see what you're saying, but to prevent Murphy's law you should absolutely have non-clinical volunteering.

This post also kind of smells fishy. But I don't know you so I won't judge you.
 
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Hell, I help the less fortunate every day as an MRI tech, it’s one of the reasons I enjoy my job.

What do you mean by this statement? Why do you consider these people “less fortunate” , part of the unserved/underserved, migrant , homeless, medically neglected, hungry population? We know they have access to health care because you are working with as a MRI tech. So they are way ahead than most underserved/unserved people.

You also shouldn’t consider your clinical volunteering a mistake. Why? Every opportunity you take you take something away.

You state you have 60 hours of non clinical volunteering from a couple of years ago. What did that consist of. Could you go back to that place or a similar place and spend the next 14-15 weeks picking up hours?

Medicine is a service profession. You have to,show ADCOMS that you can deal with all kinds of people, not just people like yourself . When you are a doctor you have to be able to step out of your comfort zone and help people at their very worst and their sickest.

I kind of agree with @HallowKnight. There is something strange here but I can’t figure out what.
 
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I help the less fortunate every day as an MRI tech, it’s one of the reasons I enjoy my job.
How does your role alleviate others' distress? How do you advocate for them to others?

Have you talked with current medical students about what they do for community service outside of clinics regularly? What have admission deans told you about community service?

What do you do for others outside of your full-time job? 4000 hours is 2 years, so what other activities do you do that define who you are other than just a MRI tech?

 
I just honestly don’t see how my clinical volunteering isn’t community service. I started doing it long before I knew there was even a differentiation between the two types of service, and when I had to volunteer at night. I also did my clinical rotations there so it was just easy. Just can’t believe that mistake will cost me, because even if I start at the soup kitchen tomorrow, it won’t be enough “non-clinical” time to prevent getting screened out.
No school that I’m aware of is screening people on service hours. That’s asinine.

You just don’t want someone looking at your app, realizing you don’t have any at all, and then trashing it.

Look, I was working with the underserved and raising money for cancer patients in high school because zi enjoyed it. I didn’t even want to be a physician at that time. I’m not trying to toot my own horn here, but having a servant’s heart is something we look for in this profession, and reading your posts, it sounds like you’re trying to check a box here
 
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Hey I have a serious question, I have very limited non-clinical volunteering. Like 60 hours, and it was 2 years ago. I’ve been volunteering for 4 hours a week for a year at my local hospital, and about a year and a half more for 2 hours a week. I also happen to work at another nearby hospital as an MRI tech.

I’ve never done my clinical volunteering to get health care exposure, it’s always been to help the less fortunate. Hell, I help the less fortunate every day as an MRI tech, it’s one of the reasons I enjoy my job. Not like I need clinical hours, I have 4000 so far. It’s my full time job. I don’t even know if I’d consider my clinical volunteering very clinical either. I cuddle babies in the NICU and pass out tea to inpatients at night. Only thing clinical about it is it’s happening in a hospital. I’m getting suggestions that I should do non-clinical volunteering to beef up my app before I apply in June. I just don’t see the point. Am I out of my mind in thinking that my actions demonstrate altruism? I feel like the selfish and thus less altruistic thing to do at this point would be to quit my clinical volunteering to do non clinical volunteering simply to have it. What do you think? Do I feed the adcoms BS or do what I enjoy???
Clinical exposure = paid or volunteer.

Nonclinical is just that. You need to show off your altruism in a manner that is working with people who are not like you. Medicine is a service profession, after all.

So no, a nurse with ten years experience and no nonclinical volunteering would be dinged badly in admission, like it or not. Many med schools are, in fact, service loving.
 
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Nonclinical service is about more than just demonstrating altruism. It is also about helping you understand social determinants of health so you can take better care of underserved patients in the future. Obviously you get some of that in your clinical experience, but you will get a whole different perspective if you see that NICU baby's family at the domestic violence shelter or the food pantry, or the homeless patient at the shelter or the soup kitchen, or the refugee patient at an ESL class or on their first trip to an American grocery store. If you truly have a heart for service, view this as an opportunity to get a deeper sense of what these patients face and how you can support them as a (future) physician rather than just another hurdle to jump over to get into med school.
 
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Some adcoms look at non-clinical volunteering as a greater service because it is not a double-dip. Whereas you get clinical hours AND volunteer hours concurrently with a hospital-based volunteer gig, serving in a soup kitchen, food pantry, homeless shelter, is not clinical and therefore a purer form of helping without getting a benefit yourself (the benefit being clinical hours).

Just explaining the thinking I've heard from some adcoms.
 
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When I did MRI and my clinical volunteering it was never a box check, I genuinely enjoy these parts of my week. Now, I certainly am trying to check boxes before I apply. This process has been convoluted, and I fear that I will be dinged for bizarre reasons. One of them being that my volunteering isn’t outside of a hospital.
It is also helpful to show that your life involves something outside of medicine.
 
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I think the questions you ask here are great and I hope I can answer them in my app. Honestly, if I had admissions deans and medical students to talk to I wouldn’t post on this forum, but I don’t have those resources.
Well, you should still post on this forum to help others who may not have the resources either. :)
 
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Everybody box checks a little bit. I hated research but I did it, and I even did a little in med school, since I think PDs want to see that stuff for some reason.

Just don't be one of those people who has an entire lie for a life story haha
 
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