Is hospital volunteering alone inadequate for clinical experience?

chinesedude

2+ Year Member
Aug 30, 2015
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I'm aiming for top to mid tier schools and the only clinical experience I currently have (and plan to have) is hospital volunteering. I am a patient hospitality volunteer and an ED volunteer and have 200 hours.

I've been planning to switch my focus to more research oriented activities but I'm beginning to feel that volunteering at a hospital alone is not enough.

Can anyone provide some advice?
 

oOKawaiiOo

7+ Year Member
Jan 21, 2011
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If you wanted to win a breakdance battle, you can't win by only top rocking every round you get.

Add more flavor into your presentation. Its the consistency, dynamic style, and flow that gets you the acceptance.

All in all, get research, nonclinical volunteer work, be a leader of something, help the needs, dedicate your time!
 
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ndafife

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Jun 16, 2014
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I'm aiming for top to mid tier schools and the only clinical experience I currently have (and plan to have) is hospital volunteering. I am a patient hospitality volunteer and an ED volunteer and have 200 hours.

I've been planning to switch my focus to more research oriented activities but I'm beginning to feel that volunteering at a hospital alone is not enough.

Can anyone provide some advice?
I had 30 hours of shadowing, that was it for clinical experience. I ended with 3 acceptances last year. I certainly don't recommend doing that (actually for anyone reading this GET MORE THAN THAT), but the point is not to get super caught up in numbers and the amount of experiences you have. Get to the point where you can talk meaningfully about your experiences and where you can truly say you know you want to be a doctor. It is all about how you can explain what it meant to you
 

BurghMed

Shaka Bra!
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Feb 3, 2013
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It's been suggested on SDN to get 50+ hours of physician shadowing as a rough benchmark. I think it's also beneficial to shadow more than one specialty if possible.

Hospital volunteering is enough for clinical volunteering (IMO), but not in terms of clinical experience.
 

Goro

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Jun 10, 2010
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That's fine. You don't need to do surgery to get clinical experience. the whole purpose of clinical volunteering to is demonstrate that you know what you're getting into, and that you really want to be around sick people and their families.

I'm aiming for top to mid tier schools and the only clinical experience I currently have (and plan to have) is hospital volunteering. I am a patient hospitality volunteer and an ED volunteer and have 200 hours.

I've been planning to switch my focus to more research oriented activities but I'm beginning to feel that volunteering at a hospital alone is not enough.

Can anyone provide some advice?
 
  • Like
Reactions: chinesedude

Cotterpin

Gluconeogenesis Evangelion
2+ Year Member
Jun 18, 2015
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If you wanted to win a breakdance battle, you can't win by only top rocking every round you get.

Add more flavor into your presentation. Its the consistency, dynamic style, and flow that gets you the acceptance.

All in all, get research, nonclinical volunteer work, be a leader of something, help the needs, dedicate your time!
Solid advice. I'm gonna remember this the next time I find myself in a breakdance battle. :thumbup: