Volunteer Hours

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Sleight, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. Sleight

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    I am new at this and I tried to search for a thread that answered my question but didn't have any luck. In high school I did a mentorship with a pediatric surgeon basically shadowing him, watching surgeries, etc. In total I did about 50 hours in that. Also, I did about 100 hours volunteering in the Pediatric/Pediatric ICU. My 100 hours was during high school and the summer after high school. I am not doing so hot with hours right now for during my undergrad :oops: so I was wondering if these hours should/could be included on my application...I am planning to apply this June and will be taking the MCAT's this April. I do not have any research experience and I plan on doing as much volunteer experience that I can in the spring semester (hopefully 15-20 hours a week as I will only have 13 units). I also have to fit in studying for the MCAT so I am trying to figure out how to organize my time the best I can. My main question through the babble is whether I should/could use my mentorship and/or volunteer hours from awhile ago...Thanks!
     
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  2. EastCoastie87

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    The primary AMCAS application does not let you post volunteer experience from high school. However, you should consider including that information in your personal statement and/or secondaries. I'd recommend trying to get some volunteer work in before you submit your initial application just so you can include it.
     
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  3. OP
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    Sleight

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    So I guess I could include the hours that were included the summer after I graduated? Maybe? Also, I did some volunteer work at a Physical Therapy clinic because I was considering PT...I have been trying to figure out what a reasonable amount of hours is for volunteering...I hear some people have like 5000 hours and obviously that is not the norm but I can't seem to find or figure out an "average" amount...I am not a huge fan of research but I am also looking into that...
     
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  4. EastCoastie87

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    IMO clinical and volunteer experience are more important that research. The wording for the AMCAS section usually says only to include experience acquired while attending undergraduate institutions, so the summer beforehand might be off the table. I'm not sure what the "average" amount of experience is, but keep in mind that people who post on SDN usually have above average stats across the board.
     
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  5. Mobius1985

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    AMCAS says you can't include either experience unless you continued the activity into the college years. Why not renew those relationships over the winter break, so you can include both. There is no reason not to include the PT hours, as it would involve patient contact. The average student probably claims about 150 hours of clinical volunteering at the pace of 3-4 hours/week for 1.5 years. This is to be preferred over doing 40 hours per week for a short time, as the latter doesn't indicate a sustained interest in the profession. Yeah, there are outliers that put the rest of us to shame with their 5000 hours, but it isn't necessary to be that terrific.
     
  6. kansaskid

    kansaskid too school for cool
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    When I apply, I'll have about 80 hours volunteering at a hospital over two summers.
    I'll also be doing an AmeriCorps stint which is essentially long term volunteering, so even if 80 hours is a bit on the lower side (by SDN standards at least), I'm thinking the extra year of service makes up for it :)
     
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  7. OP
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    Sleight

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    I worked with people with developmental disabilities working 1 on 1 out in the community and in home...I worked with j/g tubes administering feedings, medications etc...once again this is the summer after high school but I don't think I can afford to not put these 250+/- hours on my application...I plan on getting about 150-200 volunteer hours this spring semester but I want to show the schools that I am not just starting this...
     
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  8. justdoit31

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    If you did that summer after high school it counts- You start with everything after high school graduation- you want to be careful not to try to do too many hours this one semester- medical schools like long term commitments and not just a short do the check list to make sure you look good on paper.
     
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  9. OP
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    Sleight

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    So going into next semester with plans to take the MCAT in April and applying June-I have no research and some volunteer hours. Should I try to do research or should I just focus on volunteer hours? I don't really think I will have time to do both WELL and study for the MCAT...I do not plan on going to a Med school that is heavily research based but I feel like they look at research a lot...which is a "yikes" in my case...:confused:
     
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  10. OP
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    Sleight

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    I volunteered in the nursery at my church and although this is fairly non-sci based it was the only volunteering I did that summer...should I include it so there is not a gap in what I have done? (I did summer school that year too so that is why I didn't volunteer as much)...
     
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  11. alibai3ah

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    I agree with some of the posts above. Just renew past volunteering during the breaks. And also I think it would be better if you did 4-5 hours a week all senior year and the year you apply than cramming it in one quarter. Medical schools know you have a full courseload, they just want to see some interest. ANd no you cannot include high school stuff unless you continued it in college.
     
  12. Mobius1985

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    If you can only do one, volunteerism/clinical experience is more important than research, as EastCoastie87 said.
     
  13. SiR99

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    I dont understand what you mean by renewing relationships so that you can include those activities in your application.

    I thought AMCAS meant like, if you were (for example) a dancer in highschool and then continued to dance during the time you were at your undergrad then you can include it. But I did not think you could do something in high school, stop, and then do it again for a little while and include your past high school experience as well.

    So the way your saying it, if you volunteer at a hospital during your junior/senior year in highschool, then stopped, then started again at the same hospital your 2/3 year of college, you could include both your highschool and undergraduate hours in your application?

    Is this right?
     
  14. tabletop

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    when you say that the avg student claims 150 hours, does this take into account that a lot of people tend to inflate their hours?
     
  15. J ROD

    J ROD Watch my TAN walk!!
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    This summer will be my first time applying. So how does one prove their hours?

    Say someone could say they did 500+hrs and really only did 50hrs.

    How do the schools check?

    I planned on turning in forms from the places I volunteered to prove my time.

    Just curious....;)
     
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  16. 229141

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    They won't make you turn in forms....and yes of course people can lie about all kinds of things on their apps..and sadly I am sure that some people do lie about that kind of stuff. I strongly suggest you don't even think about lying about EC's...just imo. Could come back to haunt you
     
  17. 229141

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    Good point, I would assume it does take that into account.

    I personally will have 150 hospital volunteer hours when applying..but I have other stuff like homeless shelters/church/school volunteering etc. Who knows if they even care about the non medical stuff though
     
  18. OP
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    Sleight

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    Alaska21 what city are you from? I'm from AK too...
     
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  19. J ROD

    J ROD Watch my TAN walk!!
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    I do not plan on it. Just joking around...

    I think I will have enough "actual" hours.

    No EC envy here, lol!!!
     
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  20. Mobius1985

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    Yes, that's what I'm saying. Or if you shadowed a certain doc in HS, then renewed the relationship by calling the same person up a few years later, and spending some more time shadowing, you could write down the HS hours and the college-years hours in one slot on the AMCAS application.
     
  21. Mobius1985

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    I am an altruist. I doubt people cheat. You are providing contact information, like the institution where the activity occurred. To be believable, after the narrative, most also put a contact person and their email address or phone number so your claims can be verified. Why would anyone lie about this when being caught would destroy their application?
     
  22. SiR99

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    I did not know we could do that, thats actually very helpful, thanks :thumbup:
     
  23. J ROD

    J ROD Watch my TAN walk!!
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    Exactly.

    I have not filled out the application yet, but I imagined they made you prove it somehow with contact info or actual paper documentation attached.
     
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  24. Mobius1985

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    I think including a verification statement is a great idea. All institutions don't provide them though. If not, revert to plan A in my post above.

    And to be frank, most med schools probably don't routinely check all claims, just outliers, or when the numbers claimed don't make sense. The more info you include, the less likely need to check on you.
     
  25. Mobius1985

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    They do care about any altruistic work you do, as it proves you have the heart to make sacrifices for others, which is the mind set they're looking for. I didn't include my non-medical stuff, and still got admitted (thank goodness there was enough), but if I had to do it again, I'd add the soup kitchen and Habitat for Humanity stuff too.
     
  26. Mobius1985

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    All they require is the name of the institution or group. It's your choice to add the other contact info. Why not make it look as believable as possible?
     
  27. OP
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    Sleight

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    For anyone that has done the application can you tell those of us who haven't done it what spaces there are for each part of the volunteer pages etc so we can start preparing all of the information (I heard you have a huge space to describe your volunteering etc)...
     
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  28. OP
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    Sleight

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    The other question I had was regarding where I can find actual documentation on what volunteering I can include...like people were saying, if I can get back in touch with my former volunteer centers maybe I can include those but I want to play by the books with this...
     
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