Difference between shadowing and voltmeter hours?

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Jun 30, 2014
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Clearly there's a difference between observing a doctor and volunteering in a health setting. My question is, do the application reviewers see a huge difference between the two? My pre med advisor told me on my application I will talk about my 3 most beneficial experiences so I feel like it would be redundant to talk about observing and volunteering in some aspects whereas clearly having both couldn't hurt. I've begun shadowing, but have yet to find opportunities for volunteer work. Would it be completely detrimental to my cause if I were to sink more time into shadowing in many different settings for a plethora of hours or should I try to volunteer? Also, is there a quantity of volunteer or shadowing experience hours that sticks out or is it more about the overall experience and benefits? I want to do all I can do and want to remain open minded, but I don't want to talk about an experience only to have a reviewer think of my essay involving a particular experience as invalid because I didn't do it long enough to really gain anything from it. Overall, if I choose to not volunteer but shadow a lot, will I be a strong applicant? I really don't think med schools expect every person to volunteer. Although, I'm open to suggestions of volunteer work I could do in order to express involvement- and how I might go about getting into that sort of deal.


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2+ Year Member
May 27, 2014
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Medical schools like to see an applicant that has volunteered before. Medicine is a service oriented profession and one of the best ways to show your commitment to service is through volunteering. Shadowing does not really show this commitment, but rather demonstrates that you've observed the profession and have a bit of insight of what you'll be getting into instead of going in blind. Additionally, longer term volunteer commitments are valued much more favourably compared to that one day volunteer event.

P.S. This should probably be in the pre-med allopathic [MD] forum, not the school specific forum.


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7+ Year Member
Aug 22, 2013
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you should try to get as many VOLTMETER hours as possible :)

someone needs to take a break from mcat/physics studying
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