Volunteer/Shadowing Experience for Top Post-Baccs

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10+ Year Member
Apr 17, 2012
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Hi all! I'm new to posting on the forums here, but have been extensively reading and researching the post-bacc posts during the last month. A brief overview about myself:

25 years old
3.85 GPA in Political Science (International Relations) from a "target" school (Top 10)
1420 SAT
Undergrad Activities: Tutor to underprivileged children, Habitat for Humanity, 4 month internship in a 3rd world country related to global health (but not direct clinical experience)
Current job: Civil servant at FBI (c'mon, protecting our nation isn't altruistic enough?)

I'm considering applying to one of the top Post-Bacc programs (Scripps/BM/Goucher/UPenn/JHU), but am curious as to exactly what kind of "clinical and volunteer" experiences some of you guys and gals have had, and how long you participated in those activities. A few of the archived posts I saw mentioned that less than 6 months of medical volunteering/shadowing was more than sufficient for acceptance, but I've come across a lot more posts that are yelling for 1+ years of medically related volunteering and 100+ hours of shadowing to really be considered for top programs like BM and Goucher. By the time I'd apply, I'd probably have about 6-7 months of both shadowing (50 hours) and volunteering, but am wondering if I should hold out a little longer. I was hoping to get some updated responses regarding types of volunteer activities and length of such activities that you guys who were accepted to the programs participated in.

Also, where I live, it's a bit tough to find clinics/hospitals that let you volunteer with more direct "patient interaction" versus administrative/clerical tasks. Finding shadowing opportunities is already difficult enough, when you no longer have your undergraduate institution to help you set those up. Any advice or comments on this?


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I volunteer at a top hospital in the nation, and they do no let volunteers have a real medical experience. The most I've got to do is check on patients when the nurses are too busy. It is still a good experience, but quite disappointing. Anyhow, 6 months is a good amount of time, so don't stress over that. I would recommend you to also try to attend a medical conference and to get RESEARCH experience even if you will just be making very basic stuff. You have no idea how important research experience can be. In my case, it granted me a spot at a great post-bac :) . Anyhow, best of luck!