LilBowWow

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 9, 2006
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Hi.

This may come across as a lame question, but what is the minimum number of hours one should work/volunteer at an animal facility in order for it to "count" in the eyes of admissions committees?

I know there are a lot of variables involved, including preferences of individual schools. So here is my specific case:

I want to do small animal medicine (how exotic!) but I know that many if not most schools want to see diversity, so I'm hoping to put in a few hours in at a therapeutic riding facility. The place is a long commute from where I live, but I have the opportunity to house-sit for a week for someone who lives right down the road from this facility. If the managers will let me, I'm hoping I can volunteer with them for that week. That could translate into anywhere from 20-40 hours. Is that sufficient, or will that barely register as large animal experience? (I've heard from more than one admissions counselor that schools just want to know that the small animal people are not going to flip out when they go near a horse or other large animal. So 20-40 hours may be more than enough, or at the other extreme, it may me look flaky or like I can't handle it.)

Thanks for your advice!
 

PAThbrd

LA Surgery Resident
Moderator Emeritus
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7+ Year Member
Aug 9, 2004
694
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Massachusetts
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Veterinarian
LilBowWow said:
Hi.

This may come across as a lame question, but what is the minimum number of hours one should work/volunteer at an animal facility in order for it to "count" in the eyes of admissions committees?

I know there are a lot of variables involved, including preferences of individual schools. So here is my specific case:

I want to do small animal medicine (how exotic!) but I know that many if not most schools want to see diversity, so I'm hoping to put in a few hours in at a therapeutic riding facility. The place is a long commute from where I live, but I have the opportunity to house-sit for a week for someone who lives right down the road from this facility. If the managers will let me, I'm hoping I can volunteer with them for that week. That could translate into anywhere from 20-40 hours. Is that sufficient, or will that barely register as large animal experience? (I've heard from more than one admissions counselor that schools just want to know that the small animal people are not going to flip out when they go near a horse or other large animal. So 20-40 hours may be more than enough, or at the other extreme, it may me look flaky or like I can't handle it.)

Thanks for your advice!
I think the general advice if you're getting a letter of rec from them is at least 100 hours but I've never really heard of needing a minimum to put it on VMCAS or anything if youre not getting a LOR. I could be wrong there, though. If you explain that you spent the week there in the explanation box and thus that your 40 hours wasnt spread out over years but a concentrated legitamate experience they should see the validity of it. I think they just don't want you to be like "This one time I spent an hour with my friend petting her horse" and passing that off as LA experience.
 
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