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If I'm not getting any meaningful experiences in my clinical volunteering position, should I drop it after amassing enough hours?


Full Member
Jun 17, 2019
  1. Pre-Medical
^ title

I know we're amidst a pandemic at the moment, but just doing some thinking. I was doing a clinical volunteering position at a hospital that's like a 10 minute walk away prior to it, and it was pretty uneventful and it's not really meaningful either. Sometimes I'd see some cool things, but most of the time I sat there for 4 hours doing typical hospital volunteering responsibilities. I know the point of clinical volunteering is for exposure to medicine, and after doing it for a year now, I definitely still would like to become a physician.

Now there's another clinical volunteering position I have debated applying for, which is a clinic that deals primarily with the underserved. People I've talked to who have volunteered there say they've had meaningful experiences. I have a passion for working with the underserved and would like to eventually make it the highlight of my application, but this clinic is a 10 minute drive on the freeway (not accounting for traffic) and I can't drive so I would take the bus, which makes the clinic 45 minutes away. Would it be worth it for me to volunteer there?

I read over Planes2Doc's premed missteps thread and he makes a point about volunteering in it since it takes time away from studying, but should I be choosing convenience or choosing a place that can grant me meaningful experiences?
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the evil queen of numbers
15+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
  1. Academic Administration
Why can't you drive? No car? Never learned? Health issue precludig licensure? If you don't have a license but are eligible to learn to drive, I'd recommend getting a driver's license as a lack of one will hold you back eventually from professional opportunities.

Devoting 70 mnutes per volunteer session on the extra time required when using public transportation seems to be a high "cost". Is there any way to car pool with someone who can drive?

Is there a way that you can change departments within the hospital to engage in an activity that is "more meaningful" whatever that means to you?
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Full Member
2+ Year Member
Aug 8, 2017
  1. Medical Student
Real honest; while I agree with the highly intelligent people above me, the first and foremost rule you should ALWAYS follow when volunteering or doing EC's, is to NEVER do something that you are not passionate about.

Do not volunteer just to be volunteering to check boxes off. Eventually, that will come back to bite you in your rear end. Do things because YOU want to, that you find fun, enjoyable, and you're passionate about, then you won't have to worry whether it is meaningful or not.

I promise, following that advice will make you a much better candidate when it finally comes time to apply.
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