srleslie

10+ Year Member
Sep 25, 2007
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I'm a nursing major (at the same university that houses the medical school I now aspire to go to) and there are always various opportunities coming up for volunteering...ranging from conducting mass flu vaccination clinics, helping to run american red cross blood drives, cancer and diabetes walks, helping with screenings at local elementary schools, etc.

What I am wanting to know if ADCOMs are looking for a volunteer activity or two that one is committed to over a long period of time, or is having multiple short-term volunteer projects like mentioned above just as acceptable? Because there are at least 2-3 things that come up every month. What are they looking for? Thanks,

Ryan
 

traderjoe

old and old school
Jan 28, 2010
100
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the Heartland
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Medical Student
I'm a nursing major (at the same university that houses the medical school I now aspire to go to) and there are always various opportunities coming up for volunteering...ranging from conducting mass flu vaccination clinics, helping to run american red cross blood drives, cancer and diabetes walks, helping with screenings at local elementary schools, etc.

What I am wanting to know if ADCOMs are looking for a volunteer activity or two that one is committed to over a long period of time, or is having multiple short-term volunteer projects like mentioned above just as acceptable? Because there are at least 2-3 things that come up every month. What are they looking for? Thanks,

Ryan
as a nursing major, I would do something totally unrelated to health care. you'll enjoy it more if you do just one thing and are committed to it. Big brother/big sister?
just curious, have you thought about doing nurse anesthetist? not trying to discourage you (I'm mid 30s and starting med school next year), but it would only be one to two more years, you make $95k-$150k, less responsibility/b.s. and there's a great need.
 

srleslie

10+ Year Member
Sep 25, 2007
225
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as a nursing major, I would do something totally unrelated to health care. you'll enjoy it more if you do just one thing and are committed to it. Big brother/big sister?
just curious, have you thought about doing nurse anesthetist? not trying to discourage you (I'm mid 30s and starting med school next year), but it would only be one to two more years, you make $95k-$150k, less responsibility/b.s. and there's a great need.
Thought about it, yes. But I would still be a nurse and not a physician. My exposure to health care has given be a desire to practice medicine. The more clinical exposure I get, the greater this desire increases. Medicine is my calling. I will be 30 at the earliest before I can matriculate. I've definitely counted the costs.
 

riverjib

5+ Year Member
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Oct 30, 2009
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I wouldn't worry about your age, and I definitely wouldn't worry about whether or not your volunteer experience is related to health care. I'm 30 and currently applying to med school. I worked as a surgical technologist, and most of my experience (volunteer and work) is in health care. I don't think that's going to hurt me. You need to demonstrate that you KNOW what you're getting yourself into, and that you're devoted to the field. You can do so in ways that are totally unrelated to the field, which is often refreshing to ADCOMs who are looking at thousands of applicants who are traditional college students who are EMTs who have volunteered in hospitals and have done research.

As a non-traditional applicant, your main concern should be showing why you chose to go to medical school at this stage in your life, and proving that you're academically capable. If you have questions, PM me.
 
Sep 4, 2006
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Inside the tesseract
All adcomms are different and even members within the adcomm differ in what they like to see. I've seen more evidence lately that nonmedical/noncampus regular hands-on community service is appreciated, even if it's dishing soup in a soup kitchen (or walking dogs for Humane Society, helping on a crisis hotline, working in a homeless or womens shelter, Habitat for Humanity) for two hours per week, to show commitment. Getting in additional clinical experience with the opportunities you mentioned are good to see too, but you probably have plenty of patient contact through your class requirements already.

Best answer is probably to do what seems most meanigful to you.
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
10+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
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One question is: does the applicant have exposure to the health care setting and to the sick or those otherwise seeking health care services such that they know what they are getting into in coming to med school?

The other question is: is the applicant a "giver" who is generous in service to those in need in the community? Medicine is a service profession (as is nursing) and adcoms do like to see some altrusitic service to others.

Many people do the "two birds with one stone" thing and volunteer in a health care setting but if you have the health care setting thing covered with your "clinicals" then you could demonstrate your altruism in some non-clinical way and at the same time show some well roundedness.

Given that you are switching gears from nursing to medicine it might be a good idea to demonstrate long-term dedication to a single activity over the long haul rather than jumping around with a lot of short-term items. Find something you like and do it at least 8 hours/month for at least a year (2 years is even better).
 

srleslie

10+ Year Member
Sep 25, 2007
225
12
251
Status
One question is: does the applicant have exposure to the health care setting and to the sick or those otherwise seeking health care services such that they know what they are getting into in coming to med school?

The other question is: is the applicant a "giver" who is generous in service to those in need in the community? Medicine is a service profession (as is nursing) and adcoms do like to see some altrusitic service to others.

Many people do the "two birds with one stone" thing and volunteer in a health care setting but if you have the health care setting thing covered with your "clinicals" then you could demonstrate your altruism in some non-clinical way and at the same time show some well roundedness.

Given that you are switching gears from nursing to medicine it might be a good idea to demonstrate long-term dedication to a single activity over the long haul rather than jumping around with a lot of short-term items. Find something you like and do it at least 8 hours/month for at least a year (2 years is even better).
With the way our classes are set up, we have two days off during the week. I have thought about volunteering at the Little Rock Boys and Girls Club. I would find working with kids very meaningful. I haven't thought about the humane society but that is as a great idea too. Thanks guys for your advice.
 

srleslie

10+ Year Member
Sep 25, 2007
225
12
251
Status
Many people do the "two birds with one stone" thing and volunteer in a health care setting but if you have the health care setting thing covered with your "clinicals" then you could demonstrate your altruism in some non-clinical way and at the same time show some well roundedness.
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In addition to my clinicals I am employed in the university hospital as a tech and in May I will sit for my LPN board and plan on working in that capacity through my senior year so I think I definitely have the clinical area covered.