Is volunteering and research only enough?

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New Member
Apr 1, 2024
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Hey, I currently finished my freshman year of college with almost all A’s, and I’m optimistic about my GPA throughout the next few years.

However an area of concern for me is the fact that I do not have much time, the only thing I’m currently doing is volunteering as triage in a free clinic every Saturday (3-4 hours), I know many people who get paid positions such as EMT and CNAs, however I don’t know how I would find time for those things, I take care of my household since my dad is absent, but also I plan on perusing research at my university.

TLDR: Can I use volunteering as a substitute to paid clinical experiences, if it counts as clinical experience in the first place (all I do is take vitals and write down concerns of patient before they are sent to the volunteer doctor).

Thank you

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Most successful applicants have had some research experience. If it interests you and you have the opportunity, go for it.

In the next year, find a way to help a vulnerable population in your area through direct service. Common ways of doing this are through a soup kitchen, food pantry, homeless shelter, or similar social service/outreach.

As mentioned by @Goro, you'll also need to find some physicians who you can shadow. 50 hours should be sufficient and, frankly, I find it ideal to do that in blocks of 5 hours or more so that you see the clinical parts of the day (seeing patients) as well as the non-patient facingl parts of the day such as team meetings, responding to messages (insurance companies, prescription refills, etc) so that you get a feel for what "a day in the life" is really like.
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