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Opinions on Online Volunteering?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by aegistitan, Aug 12, 2015.

  1. aegistitan

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    I want to start volunteering for a crisis hotline, unfortunately the one hotline by my school is not accepting volunteers at this time. I'm interested in some exposure to mental health, so I was debating volunteering for the crisis textline: http://www.crisistextline.org/

    The volunteering would consist of me responding to people through text and videochat. As such, it doesn't require me to go to a specific location, I would volunteer from my home. Would adcoms dislike the idea of volunteering from your home, and "online volunteering"?

    Also, what are your opinions on volunteering for a crisis hotline being a topic to write about for the diversity essay?

    Edit: This would not be a standalone volunteer activity. I have two ongoing clinical volunteer activities, and a couple other nonclinical volunteer activities. I primarily want to do this to the mental health exposure, and so I can talk about something extra for the diversity essay and several of the AAMC competencies.
     
    #1 aegistitan, Aug 12, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2015
  2. Catalystik

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    Just some thoughts:
    Volunteering from home and helping others is a fine idea, but it does nothing to assure adcomms that you have appropriate interpersonal skills. Thus, IMO the activity should not stand alone as a source of community service/volunteerism, and certainly not as a source of "medical/clinical experience".

    Also, would the sponsoring organization be able to provide you with someone who can be contacted to attest to your dates and hours of involvement, which the application requires?
     
  3. allantois

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    I donated cat food to an animal shelter, can that count for volunteering?:rolleyes:

    It did for my college scholarship!
     
  4. aegistitan

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    The activity does not stand alone. I also volunteer in a hospice and hospital for clinical volunteering. I would put this under the category of nonclinical volunteering.

    The organization would provide me with a contact person also.

    Do you think ADCOMs would not take this activity seriously because it is an online activity?
     
  5. aegistitan

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    I sense sarcasm, does this post mean that you don't think this is a valid volunteer activity? Could you elaborate on why or why not?
     
  6. allantois

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    I do think it's a fine activity and a great experience that not everyone would be able to do. As long as you do other more "traditional" volunteering, it can only add a positive to your application. It's all about experience and what you write about it; regardless of how we classify it.
     
  7. Holmwood

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    Even if it is via video chat?
     
  8. Catalystik

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    It seems like a relatively new initiative, with which many adcomms will have little experience. If you want it taken seriously, you'll need to discuss your training, results (if monitored) and accountability (if any).
     
  9. Catalystik

    Catalystik Platinum
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    This organization counsels via text messaging.
     
  10. GonnaBeADocOneDay

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    Perhaps look for a mental health hospital in your area. I worked as a mental health assistant for a few years and had no medical experience other than volunteering before I started. It would give you direct patient care hours and you would definitely better understand mental health.
     

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