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Pre-med Volunteering

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by wahoo321, Sep 7, 2014.

  1. wahoo321

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    Hi!

    I wanted to ask you guys about different kinds of volunteering activities that are acceptable by medical schools.

    I am an undergraduate student right now and unfortunately there are no volunteering spots left at hospitals and physical therapy clinics that were affiliated with my university.

    However, I was thinking about becoming an ESL tutor/joining a pre-med organization. I have done some volunteering at local hospitals, but it was not that much.

    All of my friends got their spots and will be volunteering in clinics and hospitals, but what they do is ABSOLUTELY BORING. There is no patient contact at all and so I decided to do something else.

    So is it OK if I branch out and do other activities? Will medical schools look down upon these kinds of volunteering activities?

    Thanks!
     
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  3. Brain Bucket

    Brain Bucket Oh man, I forgot to bring the marshmallows.
    2+ Year Member

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    No volunteering spots left? Hospitals are turning down free labor? This is new. Find a hospital that isn't affiliated with your university.

    A lot of medicine is spent doing stuff that is ABSOLUTELY BORING.

    Here's a gold nugget: If you don't get used to jumping through hoops with a smile and a 'thank you', Medicine will CRUSH your spirit. To borrow an idea from one of my favorite authors...what I do is split myself in two. The Med Student BB, and the Real BB. While I'm at the hospital, I'm med school BB, I do what I'm told with a smile and follow all the rules. When I'm told something insanely stupid., I smile and nod. When I think I know a better way to do something, I note it down for later, and stfu. When I'm with family and friends, I'm the real BB. I bitch and moan, show off (what I think are) my brilliant ideas, and be awesome in general.
     
    #2 Brain Bucket, Sep 7, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2014
  4. Smurfette

    Smurfette Antagonized by Azrael
    Administrator Physician 10+ Year Member

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    You can do other things, but they will likely want to see you have been exposed to the health care system in some way. If you don't want do the boring stuff (let's be honest, most volunteer stuff is not going to be patient care, which is mostly for people with training.), then do something like volunteer in a nursing home, endoscopy clinic/outpatient center, or other type of related setting. See if you can get a job working for your school's student health department, even if it is just doing reception work. Maybe become a peer health educator at your school. Think a bit outside the literal "volunteer at the hospital/clinic". Sometimes this related stuff makes you stand out more.

    Moving to PreAllo where this thread is more appropriate.
     
  5. kraskadva

    kraskadva ...
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    While you need some clinical experience, volunteering does not have to be clinical.
    ESL tutoring, if you actually enjoy it, would be far better regarded than the ho-hum, check the box, typical hospital volunteer slot that you've already said you don't enjoy. Enthusiasm will shine through, as will apathy. Much better to do something you're enthusiastic about.
     
  6. Dandine

    5+ Year Member

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    From my understanding, this really depends on where you want to apply.

    If there's a "required" volunteering for medical schools, then it's the clinical kind--or, simply put, the ones that expose you to patients. This thread might give you a better idea:

    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/clinical-volunteer-experience-research-experience-emt.578219/

    You may want to check if your school has any clinical volunteering requirements for pre-meds, e.g. if you have to apply to an application committee that is sent to the schools you apply. Some of these committees require you to have a certain number of clinical volunteering hours to apply.

    ESL tutoring would likely be considered service, but that is a huge plus, and you'd likely be getting some leadership experience under your belt as well.

    Also see if your pre-med organization has any service opportunities associated with it. In general pre-med organizations don't set you apart, but if you really enjoy being in it then you can let that help you show your enthusiasm for medicine. It just depends on how much you're involved.
     

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