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International Medical Volunteering?

mreyno18

Full Member
May 29, 2020
50
4
26
  1. Pre-Medical
Last December I went to Guatemala for one week on a medical volunteer trip. I had a great experience.

My partner and I helped in an elderly care day center. The center relies on volunteers to come and help, otherwise they cannot care for each of the “Abuelitos” that come.

Our roles were to assist the medical staff by taking basic vitals (heart rate, blood pressure, temperature) and to apply lotions and antibacterial ointments as needed.
We also worked to promote good health care throughout the elderly community.

I’ve been hearing that trips like these have gotten a really bad rep, because people have been going and doing things that they have not been trained for, but my experience was nothing like that.

Besides the trip, I have another 400 hours of clinical volunteering, so it is not my only source of experience. However I do really want to include it on my am as application, because it was a great experience and one of my only experiences with diversity. I’m from a rural Midwest town and go to a fairly rural college as well, so diversity is not something I have a lot of experience with. This trip was one of handful of times that I’ve been international and experienced different cultures.

However in the end, I really just don’t wanna jeopardize my application by adding this. What should I do?
 
Upvote 0
Sep 4, 2006
34,974
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The Other Side of the Portal
  1. Attending Physician
Last December I went to Guatemala for one week on a medical volunteer trip. I had a great experience.

My partner and I helped in an elderly care day center. The center relies on volunteers to come and help, otherwise they cannot care for each of the “Abuelitos” that come.

Our roles were to assist the medical staff by taking basic vitals (heart rate, blood pressure, temperature) and to apply lotions and antibacterial ointments as needed.
We also worked to promote good health care throughout the elderly community.

I’ve been hearing that trips like these have gotten a really bad rep, because people have been going and doing things that they have not been trained for, but my experience was nothing like that.

Besides the trip, I have another 400 hours of clinical volunteering, so it is not my only source of experience. However I do really want to include it on my am as application, because it was a great experience and one of my only experiences with diversity. I’m from a rural Midwest town and go to a fairly rural college as well, so diversity is not something I have a lot of experience with. This trip was one of handful of times that I’ve been international and experienced different cultures.

However in the end, I really just don’t wanna jeopardize my application by adding this. What should I do?
I think it's fine to include this on your application, but as a Volunteer-Not Medical/Clinical activity (as it would be considered if experienced in the USA). If you speak Spanish, use this as an opportunity to highlight your usable language skills, in addition to the cultural experience.
 
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