Apr 4, 2010
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I’m in a dilemma.

I really want to do hospital volunteering, and have been wanting to for a long time……….but most hospitals here in Australia require for volunteers to be at least 18, and it turns out I’m 17. Bummer

So I’ve concluded that these are the two options I can take:
1. Look for an alternative volunteering position and wait for a year before I can help in ER, pediatrics etc.
2. Fake my age, forge a driver’s license for evidence, tell all my references to lie about my age and grow out my beard.

To be honest with you………I’m leaning towards the later. But tell me what you guys think, are there any alternatives? If so, what?

I have a passion for service, assisting others and patient care; with aspirations to one day become a doctor of medicine. Having been in hospital many times before for multiple surgeries and other issues, I understand the importance of patient care, the hardships faced through a time of illness and how important and uplifting one little visit from someone can be.
 

Nakato

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Although it may be tempting to lie, I think it would be best to wait the year. You don't want to start off your premed career lying-- even about something relatively small. There are enough premeds lying their way through this process as it is...

Why the hurry? You have plenty of time to volunteer before med school. Adcoms won't give much weight to what you do in HS anyway. (Assuming the process is the same in Australia as it us in the US.) Your passion for medicine comes through, and that's great. Just trust the process. Also, I'm sure they have their reasons for the age requirement. (A lot of it is probably legal-- they have to protect themselves).

In short, it's not worth the lie. Just my opinion.
 

aDreamer

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Although it may be tempting to lie, I think it would be best to wait the year. You don't want to start off your premed career lying-- even about something relatively small. There are enough premeds lying their way through this process as it is...

Why the hurry? You have plenty of time to volunteer before med school. Adcoms won't give much weight to what you do in HS anyway. (Assuming the process is the same in Australia as it us in the US.) Your passion for medicine comes through, and that's great. Just trust the process. Also, I'm sure they have their reasons for the age requirement. (A lot of it is probably legal-- they have to protect themselves).

In short, it's not worth the lie. Just my opinion.
This. The risk is just not worth the gain IMO. Plus, even if it was years later that the hospital found out the truth, it could still hurt you--meaning you'd have to keep things going for much longer than just this summer...

Just play the game the right way. The time will come.
 

ksmi117

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Don't lie. It's not worth the trouble you could get in. Just be patient. You'll have plenty of time later to do the hospital thing. Find some other fun volunteer activity (no necessarily clinical) to do in the mean time.
 

JoshUNCW

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Go out and party. Enjoy being a teenage while you can. Seriously. You'll have PLENTY of time to volunteer after you turn 18. Don't give up your last remaining years to the premed machine!
 

LuciusVorenus

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Not even possible to lie. I don't know how it works in Australia but at my hospital they asked for my SSN to do a background check, which would confirm your age pretty quickly. Unless you also want to tempt federal law and forge that one too :p
 

JoshUNCW

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Not even possible to lie. I don't know how it works in Australia but at my hospital they asked for my SSN to do a background check, which would confirm your age pretty quickly. Unless you also want to tempt federal law and forge that one too :p
Just wanted to add that my hospital also did a background check, which will show your true age fast.
 

lanashif

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As everyone else has said, do not lie. It will end up making things worse, not better. If you really want to volunteer though, you can go volunteer somewhere else until next year, or you can call your hospital, explain your situation, and see if they will allow you to volunteer. Otherwise, just deal. It happens to a lot of people.
 
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background check for me too. better to play it safe. Have some fun while you can, you're only 17 and the med school path is a long and hard one.
 

amine2086

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I’m in a dilemma.

I really want to do hospital volunteering, and have been wanting to for a long time……….but most hospitals here in Australia require for volunteers to be at least 18, and it turns out I’m 17. Bummer

So I’ve concluded that these are the two options I can take:
1. Look for an alternative volunteering position and wait for a year before I can help in ER, pediatrics etc.
2. Fake my age, forge a driver’s license for evidence, tell all my references to lie about my age and grow out my beard.

To be honest with you………I’m leaning towards the later. But tell me what you guys think, are there any alternatives? If so, what?

I have a passion for service, assisting others and patient care; with aspirations to one day become a doctor of medicine. Having been in hospital many times before for multiple surgeries and other issues, I understand the importance of patient care, the hardships faced through a time of illness and how important and uplifting one little visit from someone can be.
This.
 

MedStudentWanna

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If you even have to consider doing something that devious, you obviously don't have any character.
 

ksmi117

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If you even have to consider doing something that devious, you obviously don't have any character.
I think that's a bit drastic. It is for volunteering after all. It's not like all of us have never lied. This just has the potential of more punishment for getting caught in a lie.
 

Janieve

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I'm really hoping the OP here is a troll. If not, I'm scared for the future of medicine.

Why do you think you have to be 18 to volunteer? It's mostly a liability issue. If you stick yourself with a syringe, for example, and your volunteer waiver is invalid (as a 17 year-old, you cannot waive anything without parental signature), the hospital is liable for any illness or complication that comes of it. The hospital may use your photograph for a campaign, and again if your waiver is invalid, they are legally responsible for anything stemming from that.

Furthermore, this would be a complete abandonment of integrity. Yes, volunteering is great. But frankly, this won't even count towards your med school application - I'm assuming you're in high school, after all! And I could give you my 'advice for all pre-premeds' lecture, but that's a bit beside the point here.

One key character trait med schools look for in your application and interview is integrity. You do the right thing. You keep your word. You don't weasel your way into things you're not qualified to do. You do not lie. You try to get this volunteer job by lying and your integrity is irreparable. If it goes on your record, med schools will wonder what else you're lying about. Are you academically dishonest? What about these other volunteer hours - did they really happen? And the time you spent in the hospital yourself might never have happened in their eyes. You lie about one thing and everything you ever say is questioned.

So the short answer is no. Don't lie to get this volunteer position. Get another one or wait until you've started college in the first place.

(Here's hoping you're a troll!)
 
D

da8s0859q

If you even have to consider doing something that devious, you obviously don't have any character.
I'm scared for the future of medicine ... this would be a complete abandonment of integrity.
Of course the OP shouldn't bull**** his way into some 18+ volunteer spot (hey, OP, that's an entirely ill-advised idea for a variety of reasons; don't do it), but wow, you two. If you were to post some of the more questionable things you've done in your lives, would it be accurate of us to say that you don't have any character? We don't know you any more than you know the OP.

I'm scared for the future of medicine if it consists of premedical students so willing to throw the first stone at a complete stranger.
 

MedStudentWanna

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I think that's a bit drastic. It is for volunteering after all. It's not like all of us have never lied. This just has the potential of more punishment for getting caught in a lie.
Oh really? When was the last time you forged a driver's license, which by the way, is a felony? Not to mention involving letter writers to lie for you? It's a conspiracy to defraud, not a "I left my homework at home" lie. Let's not sugarcoat it, huh?
 

ksmi117

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Oh really? When was the last time you forged a driver's license, which by the way, is a felony? Not to mention involving letter writers to lie for you? It's a conspiracy to defraud, not a "I left my homework at home" lie. Let's not sugarcoat it, huh?
Dude, the OP wants to do it so he can volunteer. Yes, it's wrong, but it's not like he's managing an undercover drug operation. He's (hopefully) not going to do it anyway.

Besides, I can totally see how the OP would think that he needs to volunteer ASAP with the way people act on SDN. There's really no need to question his character because of it.
 

MedStudentWanna

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Of course the OP shouldn't bull**** his way into some 18+ volunteer spot (hey, OP, that's an entirely ill-advised idea for a variety of reasons; don't do it), but wow, you two. If you were to post some of the more questionable things you've done in your lives, would it be accurate of us to say that you don't have any character?
Of course not because I DO have character. I've never forged a document in my life, government issued or otherwise. I've never asked others to lie for me, nor put their reputations on the line because of my lie. The OP is an immature kid who SHOULD NOT be involved as a volunteer as he/she doesn't have the maturity yet to take such a job seriously if he/she is willing to do this just to do it.

I'm scared for the future of medicine if it consists of premedical students so willing to throw the first stone at a complete stranger.
Sorry, but I won't shed one minute of compassion for someone willing to forge a driver's license all so he/she can volunteer a year early. Hospitals have rules for a reason and in the case of this person, for a GOOD reason. Anyone willing to go to such extremes just for one extra year of volunteering is a gunner to the 100th degree. No respect, no sympathy, no coddling, no BS.
 

MedStudentWanna

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Dude, the OP wants to do it so he can volunteer.
As if that makes any difference whatsoever? If he's going to forge a license just to volunteer, what makes you think he won't forge charts to cover up a mistake when he actually has some responsibility?

Besides, I can totally see how the OP would think that he needs to volunteer ASAP with the way people act on SDN. There's really no need to question his character because of it.
Well, guess what, I DID question his character and I continue to do so. I'm not telling you that you have to, but I did and will continue to. I'm just amazed that you don't think lying about something like this, to the point of committing a felony, is a reflection on a person's character.
 
D

da8s0859q

Sorry, but I won't shed one minute of compassion for someone willing to forge a driver's license all so he/she can volunteer a year early. Hospitals have rules for a reason and in the case of this person, for a GOOD reason. Anyone willing to go to such extremes just for one extra year of volunteering is a gunner to the 100th degree. No respect, no sympathy, no coddling, no BS.
Nobody's asking you to, and I'm as against it as you are. I'm just saying that citing his post as a reflection of a complete lack of any character whatsoever is a little bit of an exaggerated knee-jerk reaction. It's an admittedly sleazy idea, but still.

Then again, I did somehow overlook the "forge a driver's license" part of his post. Yeah, that is pretty bad... not smart, OP.
 
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How about just talking face to face w/ the volunteer coordinators instead and let them know how passionate you are about volunteering at their hospital. Be professional and serious and see what happens. Compromise if you have to and work at the gift shop or delivering mail to the patients ;) and if that doesn't work out find out if they have a teen volunteer program or volunteer at other health institutions and if all of that fails just remember your 18th b-day is right around the corner.
 

MedStudentWanna

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Nobody's asking you to, and I'm as against it as you are. I'm just saying that citing his post as a reflection of a complete lack of any character whatsoever is a little bit of an exaggerated knee-jerk reaction. It's an admittedly sleazy idea, but still.

Then again, I did somehow overlook the "forge a driver's license" part of his post. Yeah, that is pretty bad... not smart, OP.
I stand by what I said. If he was simply planning to fill out an application and put 18 as his age instead of 17, I'd call it unethical. But committing a felony by forging a driver's license and asking others to lie on your behalf, putting their reputations on the line, just to volunteer some place, shows a lack of character, IMO.
 

JoshUNCW

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I stand by what I said. If he was simply planning to fill out an application and put 18 as his age instead of 17, I'd call it unethical. But committing a felony by forging a driver's license and asking others to lie on your behalf, putting their reputations on the line, just to volunteer some place, shows a lack of character, IMO.
It shows a lack of a life.
 
Feb 15, 2010
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Just wait, over in the U.S there is reason you HAVE to be 18. It's a legal issue, what if you get hurt at the hospital? A lot of crap will hit the fan.
 

Elpenor

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Everyone who posted in this thread is an idiot
 
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Ah, you just reminded me why I didn't get a job/volunteer position in a hospital my freshman year of college. I had totally forgotten about that. Pissed me off so much, since some of the nurses I talked to said they could get me a job and then it was like "oh, you're not 18? later."
 

298609

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there are lots of things you can do before you're 18. i suggest researching bugs and sticks...there are many varieties available--they're in the butts of some of the posters here.


but really, most people are more willing to ask forgiveness than permission, the former of which is harder to come by. i suggest, like one poster above, speaking face to face with hospital HR and asking advice if s/he absolutely refuses you.