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Question about volunteering?

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MedQuest

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I am going to start grad school this fall and i am also shadowing/assisting a doctor 3 times a week. I am planning to volunteer on the weekends but do not know where. Any Suggestions? How does becoming a big brother sound? Or should i do medically related stuff. Thanks
 
J

jot

you'll probably be a lot more useful as a big brother - and it maybe a lot more rewarding. doing something that actually has the possiblity of affecting change always seems a bit more worthwhile.
 

MedQuest

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don't adcoms prefer to see medically related volunteering over big brother?
 

Street Philosopher

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try the human resources dept at the hospital. they might be able to get you some paid positions, but most are full time or night hours.

try websites like www.volunteermatch.org or www.idealist.org. they have listing for volunteer positions in your area, and you can contact them and set up something.
 

Adcadet

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I started a master's program last fall, and faced a similar situation. I continued a medical volunteer position and a non-medical one - I did both for >3 years in college. I must say, I've learned more from the non-medical one lately, and it's the basis of many of my secondary essays.
 

Smurfette

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Do what you really want to do. Don't do medical volunteering simply because you think you have to...do something different and something more rewarding for you. Sounds like you're getting a lot of medical exposure anyway...being a BB is a wonderful idea!

reasons why being a big brother looks good to adcoms? 1. it makes you more unique...they like people who stand out and do things that are different 2. it shows you have other interests and priorities 3. it gives you something to talk about in your interview 4. it implies a higher level of commitment (i.e. volunteering at a hospital or clinic a few times at your leisure versus having a kid out there whom you regularly make time for). I could go on....
 

Keith

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I was a big brother for 2 1/2 years. I did it before I developed an interest in medicine. I had no medically related volunteer time and was still accepted to several schools. (my orientation begins next Tuesday)
I did have community volunteer experiences, and Big Brothers/Sisters was a great experience. ADCOMs don't want cloned pre-meds. Don't do something to impress them, do it because you are interested in a particular program and want to help.
One of the biggest motivations for them asking about medical volunteer time is to establish if you have any idea what you are trying to get into. If you already have some exposure, you don't have to do more medical volunteering. (i just left a career in which i received a lot of exposure to medicine) It wasn't even a real issue in my interviews.
 

chopsuey

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i volunteer for a bunch of orgs covering the range from tutoring to playing with kids in hospitals.....the most interesting and fun one so far: the make-a-wish foundation....definitely an amazing experience! you should check it out...it's medically related (though i trained before i decided i wanted to go into medicine) and it's very rewarding, though it can be very sad at times, too.
 

Sonya

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Just to let you know. I once tried volunteering for a domestic violence hotline. I have to tell you, it was an awesome experience! Maybe it's not medicall related (i've done a ton of medicall related stuff, so in my case, i don't think adcoms would really care), but it probably taught me a ton more then i ever got volunteering at an ER. ... Why? mostly, it was communication with DV victims.

I agree, go look at voluteer match, or something like that. If nothing else, it will show you what is out there. you probably may even find something like big brother, but also medically related (some places I've seen being like a big sibling for chronically ill kids). Don't be afraid to try something new, also, even if you know you'd love being a big sibling.

but, if you finally go around, and try other stuff, and feel they aren't your thing. do NOT stick with something, just because you think medschools want you to do it.

anyway, most of all. Here's a quick an easy test to tell if something will be worthwhile (if you' re not sure by the description): if they require training(not a TON, make just a few sessions), that is a huge plus. That means you'll be given responsibility. That usually means very good. Also, don't be shy to ask what other volunteers thought of the program.
Sonya
 

Sonya

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oh yeah, i forgot, also look on webpages of universities of medical schools for extra activities that their students do. often they have listings. oh... and if it's acitivities that students do as a group, they are often more fun. and, doing extra activities with medical students would also be a good way to learn about medschool life through friends you make.
 
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