How Can I improve my volunteer/extra curricular activities? (update)

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Hello all,

I am planning on applying next cycle and was wondering what the consensus was on my volunteer/extracurricular activities. I am not including hospital volunteering/shadowing on this list as it is obviously required. I am looking for additional things to that. Here is what I have so far:

  • Volunteer Coach: Youth Travel Hockey Team (August 2008- June 2009)
  • Secretary: East Carolina University Hockey Club (August 2008- May 2009)
  • Volunteer Coach : Youth Travel Hockey Team (October 2009- June 2010)
  • Vice President: East Carolina University Hockey Club (August 2009- May 2010)
  • Vice President: East Carolina University Hockey Club (August 2010-May 2011)
  • President: East Carolina University Hockey Club (August 2011- May 2012)
  • Secretary: Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity (August 2011- December 2011)
  • Member: East Carolina University Club Sports Council (August 2012-May 2013)
  • Volunteer Hockey Referee: Battle for Our Heroes Charity Hockey Tournament (11 Hours)
  • Volunteer Coach: Youth Learn to Skate (6 hours/week currently)
  • Future: Volunteer Coach : Youth Travel Hockey Team (January 2015)

As you can see, hockey is a major part of my life. Is showing a passion through volunteering a good thing? The only thing I am worried about is the lack of diversity in my volunteering/extra curricular activities. Should I add anything else? I was thinking of volunteering with the ASPCA, as I love animals (cats specifically). I am looking to be competitive as possible obviously, so any opinions would be helpful. Thanks!


Awesome Sauceome

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5+ Year Member
Oct 30, 2013
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Your ECs should absolutely mirror your interests and passions, which they do. I think people on here worry too much about not having like clinical volunteering and stuff, which I think is a load of crap. If you want to be cookie cutter then sure, get regular volunteering at a hospital or something. The only positive reason to do something like that would be if you are lacking in healthcare exposure. You want to have some stuff in your ECs that shows you have had interactions with patients (volunteering, working as a CNA, EMT, nurse, etc) and then interactions with physicians (shadowing or working). So as long as you have some shadowing (so you know what physicians do), and then you have some sort of interactions with patients (so you can prove to adcoms that you even LIKE sick people), then everything else you do should be in the direction of where your passion is at. So I would say so long as you have 50-100 hours of shadowing and then some time spent with patients, then this list is very solid.

If you want to get really frisky then try doing some stuff with habitat for humanity or something like that. I probably learned more from habitat and then volunteering as a cook at a homeless shelter than I did at most of my other experiences. You really learn about what the real world is like through some of that stuff.. there are a lot of people out there with really challenging lives.

For what its worth I have gotten into several schools without even one hour of clinical volunteering.
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Aug 7, 2013
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I agree with AS here. You'd be hard pressed to find a DO school that doesn't have a significant portion of its mission devoted to supplying physicians for the underserved. Maybe something that would combine the two, like YMCA or Boys and Girls Club, even Big Brothers/Big Sisters. These involve kids mostly, but you could find adults in need also of course through organizations like Habitat or a local homeless service provider. My experiences and work in those areas absolutely changed my life in very positive ways.

Good luck and enjoy!