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Shadowing and volunteering, do I need both?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by goldenstandard2, May 12, 2008.

  1. goldenstandard2

    goldenstandard2 Banned

    Apr 23, 2008
    Shadowing and volunteering, do I need both? That is to say, I know I need more clinical experience and that it is important for med school applications, and given the choice of the two, I would rather shadow a doctor instead of volunteering at a hospital, because I feel that I would learn more and gather more insight about the profession (I am also working with the assumption that premed volunteers in big hospitals don't do anything of real importance, right??). Is there some importance of volunteering at a hospital as opposed to shadowing doctors?
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  3. Bacchus

    Bacchus Administrator Moderator Physician 10+ Year Member

    Apr 27, 2007
    You need clinical experience and volunteer experience. Most people volunteer in a hospital because it offers both. Shadowing gets you clinical experience so you're entering the world of medicine in a haze vs. a total blindness. Volunteering shows you're nice and like to help people (to be simple). You don't need to volunteer in healthcare settings and many of the best volunteer experiences are out of the healthcare field.

    Long story short, you should try to do both, but don't need to volunteer in a hospital.
  4. flip26

    flip26 2+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2007
    You need both.
  5. goldenstandard2

    goldenstandard2 Banned

    Apr 23, 2008
    Thanks for the advice - that was my general feeling. I know that I need volunteer experience also, but the more I think about it, I will probably try to seek it elsewhere b/c I feel that I will be able to have a more significant impact in some other area (with my level of medical experience being what it is).

    thanks again
  6. iluvpuppies

    iluvpuppies they r so cute 2+ Year Member

    Feb 3, 2008
    okie: honestly, u need neither. (i didnt shadow or hospital volunteer according to my application/interviews--although i did do both in high school and found each interesting). i say this because there are other options if either or one of these is unappealing to you.

    what u do need is some clinical experience that gives u at least some idea of what it means to be a doctor and operate in a healthcare setting and know it seems like a good fit for you. you also should have some volunteer experiences to develop/show an ability to go beyond yourself and willingness to expose yourself to different groups of people.

    for most ppl, shadowing and volunteering are good ways of accomplishing both of these, however, if you dont feel that volunteering in a hosptial would enable you to gain the kinds of things youd like to gain from it, u should seek out alternative volunteer experiences that would be more fulfilling. (i know from personal experience and that of friends that theres a huge amount of variety in what you do in volunteer jobs depending on the hospital/department you are placed in)

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