Should I look to volunteer in a big hospital setting as well?

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Doctoscope

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I'm currently working/volunteering at a private medical office (internal medicine + sports medicine). My duties include: creating/maintaining charts for patients, taking their vitals when they come in, interviewing them, getting their chief complaint, answering any basic questions about procedures (things like "this injection isn't steroid-based, the doctor will take a look at your neck with the ultrasound"), dealing with their insurances, and occasionally filling in for the MA for an hour or two a week. There's inherently some shadowing involved as well. The patient population is mainly geriatrics, from my country.

I'm projecting around 600-700 hours by next May, when I will most likely apply. But, this will be my one and only source of clinical experience. Some of the other premeds who also work there are telling me I need multiple sources and I should also look to volunteer at a large hospital.

I don't think there's any merit to what they're saying, but I just wanted to be sure. Do I really need multiple sources/big hospitals, or is this just the usual premed BS blind-leading-the-blind?

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Depends. Do you prefer restocking linens/supplies, emptying trash cans, and remaking beds to doing the things you are doing now? If yes, then go for it.
 
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I'm currently working/volunteering at a private medical office (internal medicine + sports medicine). My duties include: creating/maintaining charts for patients, taking their vitals when they come in, interviewing them, getting their chief complaint, answering any basic questions about procedures (things like "this injection isn't steroid-based, the doctor will take a look at your neck with the ultrasound"), dealing with their insurances, and occasionally filling in for the MA for an hour or two a week. There's inherently some shadowing involved as well. The patient population is mainly geriatrics, from my country.

I'm projecting around 600-700 hours by next May, when I will most likely apply. But, this will be my one and only source of clinical experience. Some of the other premeds who also work there are telling me I need multiple sources and I should also look to volunteer at a large hospital.

I don't think there's any merit to what they're saying, but I just wanted to be sure. Do I really need multiple sources/big hospitals, or is this just the usual premed BS blind-leading-the-blind?
There is absolutely nothing wrong with only having one source of clinical experience (not counting shadowing). In fact, it will give you more to write about as a most meaningful experience. The other people telling you that are misguided, like 90% of neurotic premeds.
 
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Although the majority of medical services are delivered in office settings, a large proportion of medical school teaching takes place in in-patient settings. Frankly, if I were going to med school, I wouldn't want the first time I stepped into a hospital to be as an M1. Knowing the various departments within the hospital and how they work and the written and unwritten rules might make you more comfortable when you actually arrive in med school.
 
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Although the majority of medical services are delivered in office settings, a large proportion of medical school teaching takes place in in-patient settings. Frankly, if I were going to med school, I wouldn't want the first time I stepped into a hospital to be as an M1. Knowing the various departments within the hospital and how they work and the written and unwritten rules might make you more comfortable when you actually arrive in med school.
I think that shadowing would be a good way to get this experience though, rather than taking up a different clinical job when they already have a really good gig.
 
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If this is a private office, why is it volunteering? :unsure:

It’s just a way for them to pay me for only half of my time :(. I’m an employee for half of my shifts and a “volunteer” for the other half. It’s BS, but with COVID I need to take what I can get with clinical experiences.
 
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That is B.S. and most likley illegal if your hourly wage for the hours you are paid is not at least double the minimum wage for your location. It seems really sketchy. Were you going to list half the hours as clinical volunteering and half as paid employment? You are being exploited which makes my blood boil.

With things opening up post-pandemic, you should be able to find emploiyment that does not exploit you as a pre-med. You need about 200 hours clinical unless you are shooting for one of the few schools that looks for a work experience in health care in the four digits (which you aren't projected to have, anyway). Work a job that gives you some time, on the side, to do some volunteer work in a hospital setting. The emergency department is pretty typical and does involve cleaning rooms and emptying trash bins but there are also roles rocking premies, screening newborns for hearing loss, entertaining kids in the pediatric unit, and sitting with patients who need supervision (to prevent them from climbing over the bedrails due to delirium).
 
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That is B.S. and most likley illegal if your hourly wage for the hours you are paid is not at least double the minimum wage for your location. It seems really sketchy. Were you going to list half the hours as clinical volunteering and half as paid employment? You are being exploited which makes my blood boil.

With things opening up post-pandemic, you should be able to find emploiyment that does not exploit you as a pre-med. You need about 200 hours clinical unless you are shooting for one of the few schools that looks for a work experience in health care in the four digits (which you aren't projected to have, anyway). Work a job that gives you some time, on the side, to do some volunteer work in a hospital setting. The emergency department is pretty typical and does involve cleaning rooms and emptying trash bins but there are also roles rocking premies, screening newborns for hearing loss, entertaining kids in the pediatric unit, and sitting with patients who need supervision (to prevent them from climbing over the bedrails due to delirium).

I thought about quitting, but they give me a ton of patient contact/things I’d normally not be able to do in a large hospital volunteer program, so I’m just sticking it out for now. Its given me a lot to write and talk about.

Considering how this is CA, it probably is illegal lol, since my responsibilities as a “volunteer” are exactly the same as an employee. I think they actually staff a lot of their shifts with “volunteers” who essentially function as employees.

As for listing it under activities, how should I do it? Should I list it as half employment half volunteer, or just all of it as employment?
 
If the medical office is privately owned and "for profit" the owners are, very likely breaking the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. Do you really want to work for an employer who breaks the law so blantantly as to "staff a lot of shifts with volunteers who essentially function as employees"?

The feds can investigate this employer and may demand that the employer pay you and other employees for all hours work and provide you with "liquidated damages" equivalent to what you should have been paid. (in other words, if you should have been paid $1000 for hours you "volunteered" you'd get that plus $1000 in liquidated damages.)

Frankly, I'd talk to a labor lawyer and get out from under a predatory clinic operator.
 
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If the medical office is privately owned and "for profit" the owners are, very likely breaking the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. Do you really want to work for an employer who breaks the law so blantantly as to "staff a lot of shifts with volunteers who essentially function as employees"?

The feds can investigate this employer and may demand that the employer pay you and other employees for all hours work and provide you with "liquidated damages" equivalent to what you should have been paid. (in other words, if you should have been paid $1000 for hours you "volunteered" you'd get that plus $1000 in liquidated damages.)

Frankly, I'd talk to a labor lawyer and get out from under a predatory clinic operator.
Won't OP be seeking a LOR from this predatory private for-profit practice? May be these guys are also moonlighting at the (in)famous CA for-profit medical school.
 
Won't OP be seeking a LOR from this predatory private for-profit practice? May be these guys are also moonlighting at the (in)famous CA for-profit medical school.
There is absolutely no reason to ask for a LOR from an employer, particularly if one is part-time while in school. The LORs from two science professors and one non-science should suffice, plus a letter from a DO is applying to DO schools.

OP, list it as entirely employment. If anyone calls you on it because it was partially volunteer, bring a FLSA case against the practice and get paid for all the hours, plus liquidated damages.
 
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There is absolutely no reason to ask for a LOR from an employer, particularly if one is part-time while in school. The LORs from two science professors and one non-science should suffice, plus a letter from a DO is applying to DO schools.

OP, list it as entirely employment. If anyone calls you on it because it was partially volunteer, bring a FLSA case against the practice and get paid for all the hours, plus liquidated damages.
I disagree with this. The market especially for PP right now has been tight. This position is a good way for well meaning physicians to offer OP experience and flexibility while meeting their financial needs. If anything, blame it on Cali being hellish with the wage floors it sets.
 
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There is absolutely no reason to ask for a LOR from an employer, particularly if one is part-time while in school. The LORs from two science professors and one non-science should suffice, plus a letter from a DO is applying to DO schools.

OP, list it as entirely employment. If anyone calls you on it because it was partially volunteer, bring a FLSA case against the practice and get paid for all the hours, plus liquidated damages.
so LORs for ECs don't carry much value? My kid submitted 6 LORs to premed advisor for committee letter and 2 of them are for clinical and non-clinical volunteering.
 
If a business can't pay its employees, it does not deserve to be in business. Is the doctor taking a 50% salary cut too and "volunteering" half time?

OP: see Minimum wage if you want to pursue this further.
 
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so LORs for ECs don't carry much value? My kid submitted 6 LORs to premed advisor for committee letter and 2 of them are for clinical and non-clinical volunteering.

No, they carry very little value. Most do not contain any useful information for adcoms which is why most adcoms don't ask for such letters. Colleges' pre-med committees may ask if they are preparing a committee letter that attests to the student's clinical and non-clinical experience and they want to verify in through the letters that the student has indeed done those things they claim to have done.
 
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I disagree with this. The market especially for PP right now has been tight. This position is a good way for well meaning physicians to offer OP experience and flexibility while meeting their financial needs. If anything, blame it on Cali being hellish with the wage floors it sets.
Offering someone a job contingent on their "volunteering" the same amount of time is scummy. Do difficult situations justify exploitation? Are these physicians truly "well meaning" when they only offer such "experience and flexibility" when they financially benefit from such arrangements? Sh*tty situations do not justify sh*tty actions.

If private practice in California is too tough, the OP's employer can always become a salaried employee or move to another state. We should not be defending such dubious practices, least of all with such poor excuses. Blame the state.. seriously? :eyebrow:
 
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Offering someone a job contingent on their "volunteering" the same amount of time is scummy. Do difficult situations justify exploitation? Are these physicians truly "well meaning" when they only offer such "experience and flexibility" when they financially benefit from such arrangements? Sh*tty situations do not justify sh*tty actions.

If private practice in California is too tough, the OP's employer can always become a salaried employee or move to another state. We should not be defending such dubious practices, least of all with such poor excuses. Blame the state.. seriously? :eyebrow:
Even though I am not fan of CA politics I won't put this on state :) Only positive spin for OP's employer is they want to compensate to certain extent instead of ask for all volunteering. Back in the day my spouse wanted to do volunteer research as a non-student at a Texas medical school but was told that they can't allow volunteers so she got part-time job but she worked more hours than she was paid. That research experience (and LOR) helped her to get residency and fellowship (she is an IMG).
 
Hmm, I was planning on using a LoR from the doc here as a physician letter (he agreed to it) for the schools that require it... it's like half the reason I'm still here (and also in case I can't find a DO to shadow in time). That letter should still be valid/OK for the schools that require it, right?
 
Hmm, I was planning on using a LoR from the doc here as a physician letter (he agreed to it) for the schools that require it... it's like half the reason I'm still here (and also in case I can't find a DO to shadow in time). That letter should still be valid/OK for the schools that require it, right?
You're in a tough spot. I wouldn't want to be taken advantage of, but I also wouldn't want to a labor lawsuit anywhere near my medical school application.

Politely find a way out of this arrangement and immediately swing to a new gig. Have the new gig lined up before your departure. Give two weeks. You can circumvent any hypothetical "Why did you leave?" type question with something about broadening your horizons.

Try to lock in a letter from this doc, but start looking for a DO to shadow right now. I did it cold, with zero connections before medical school. PM me if you need help figuring out how to do that.
 
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I disagree with this. The market especially for PP right now has been tight. This position is a good way for well meaning physicians to offer OP experience and flexibility while meeting their financial needs. If anything, blame it on Cali being hellish with the wage floors it sets.
If they were well-meaning they would pay them at least minimum wage :lol:
 
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Gotta pay health insurance too. Costs add up.
Well, if you can't afford to pay your employees, then don't hire. It's that simple. Worker's rights come first. You can't possibly be defending immoral and maybe even illegal business practices, can you?
 
Well, if you can't afford to pay your employees, then don't hire. It's that simple. Worker's rights come first. You can't possibly be defending immoral and maybe even illegal business practices, can you?

The government has enabled the hospital-insurance-pharmaceutical cartel to rob the common man blind. It eliminated their smaller competitors and let them charge whatever they want. Price transparency doesn't exist for a reason. When people couldn't afford health insurance, the government then forced people to buy it at gunpoint. Impoverished patients I've seen and treated are being robbed blind by these supposed "non-profit" hospitals taking care of the "indigent".

If you're upset that the resulting wage floor prevents small businesses from outright hiring people like the OP (like they would back in the day), maybe aim your moral outrage at the system.
 
That is B.S. and most likley illegal if your hourly wage for the hours you are paid is not at least double the minimum wage for your location. It seems really sketchy. Were you going to list half the hours as clinical volunteering and half as paid employment? You are being exploited which makes my blood boil.

With things opening up post-pandemic, you should be able to find emploiyment that does not exploit you as a pre-med. You need about 200 hours clinical unless you are shooting for one of the few schools that looks for a work experience in health care in the four digits (which you aren't projected to have, anyway). Work a job that gives you some time, on the side, to do some volunteer work in a hospital setting. The emergency department is pretty typical and does involve cleaning rooms and emptying trash bins but there are also roles rocking premies, screening newborns for hearing loss, entertaining kids in the pediatric unit, and sitting with patients who need supervision (to prevent them from climbing over the bedrails due to delirium).

Which schools would those be? Not the T20 research ones right?
 
The government has enabled the hospital-insurance-pharmaceutical cartel to rob the common man blind. It eliminated their smaller competitors and let them charge whatever they want. Price transparency doesn't exist for a reason. When people couldn't afford health insurance, the government then forced people to buy it at gunpoint. Impoverished patients I've seen and treated are being robbed blind by these supposed "non-profit" hospitals taking care of the "indigent".

If you're upset that the resulting wage floor prevents small businesses from outright hiring people like the OP (like they would back in the day), maybe aim your moral outrage at the system.

An employer practices wage theft and I should aim my moral outrage at "the system"? No, you can't gaslight me. The low paid striver who is hoping that this employment will launch him into medical school is ripe for explotation and they are being exploited by a dishonest (and perhaps desperate) clinic operator. It isn't right and no one should feel that they must accept exploitation as the cost of advancing their career.
 
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