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volunteer advice needed in DC

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by gofish_again, Jan 8, 2002.

  1. gofish_again

    gofish_again New Member

    Jan 6, 2002
    Washington DC
    Hi, I'm a 28 yr old IT professional who's considering going to med school. but i want to do some volunteer work to make sure this is what i want to do. From what i hear, the volunteer experience has alot to do with the quality of the volunteer program. Has anyone worked as a volunteer in the Washingon DC area? Please tell me of good and bad experiences at various institutions. Also, leads/tips on finding someone to shadow would be great.
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  3. Rico56789


    Oct 31, 2009
    Volunteer experience is very rewarding and will open doors to making new friends. I have been a volunteer for almost a year and will be available on providing further advice.
  4. kidthor

    kidthor meep 10+ Year Member

    Dec 5, 2005
    Though volunteering is effectively a requirement for getting into med school, I don't think it is a good way to expose you to the practice of medicine. I'm sure some volunteer opportunities DO give you this exposure, but in my experience it's fairly rare.

    Shadowing is a better way to get a look at what medicine's all about. Have you considered that as well?
  5. wAyRadikull

    wAyRadikull 5+ Year Member

    Aug 29, 2008
    Philadelphia, PA
    I worked in the heme/onc department at Georgetown hospital a couple of summers ago and from what I remember, it was a great experience. They have a volunteer office in the main hospital building and the application process is rather easy and simple. I don't remember specifics but you can ask the person in charge about working in a specific department so you can get the exposure you want.

    You can always get to know one or more of the docs who work in the department you're servicing and ask them if its okay for you to shadow them while they are on rounds, seeing patients and such.

    DC is swamped with good hospitals: WHC, GW, Georgetown and many community hospitals which will give you solid exposure.
  6. TheMightySmiter

    TheMightySmiter 7+ Year Member

    Oct 18, 2009
    OP, there are also a lot of clinics in the DC area at which to volunteer. You'll get great patient experience at many of them, such as the Whitman-Walker clinic.

    Your best bet for shadowing in any city is to try to use contacts that you already have. This is often easier for non-trads, although I don't know your situation. I tried to shadow people at Georgetown by just emailing random docs, and it was not successful--Georgetown and GW have med schools attached so shadowing is generally reserved for med students. Washington Hospital Center or Children's Hospital might be better bets, and you'd see some pretty cool stuff especially at Hospital Center.

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