Volunteer time...how much is enough

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by FSUMED, Jul 10, 2001.

  1. FSUMED

    FSUMED Senior Member

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    Ok, well I am reaching my Junior year and since I changed my major only last summer, I really have not gotten any medically oriented volunteer work done. In fact the only real volunteering that I have done is the few little side things that the Catholic Student Union does once a month with the chilrens home and the nursing home. I know they are looking for more than that, and I do have some possibilites lined up for this upcoming school year. But with my schedule it looks like at best I can swing 3-5 hours a week. If I keep with it consistently over the next year will that be enough. And can it be in the form shadowing, rather than "Volunteering". Anybody got any suggestions on what I can do for such a short time each week that will punch up my app. I hate to come off like I am only doing these things to fill my resume. I really do have good intentions and I would love to have volunteered more, but I guess it never really crossed my mind until recently that I needed significant medically oriented volunteer work. So if anyone has any ideas i am open.
     
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  3. BeckyG

    BeckyG Senior Member

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    Hi Patrick,

    It sounds like your community serivce work has been continuous -- that's good. Medical schools want to see that you've done volunteer work for two reasons: 1) to demonstrate your committment to serving others (does not have to be medically-realted) and 2) to make sure you know what you are getting yourself in to when you go to medical school. So, as you have done a lot of community service/volunteering, all you need to "add" is real-world medical experiences. That could be in the form of volunteering (i.e., non-paid), working (paid) or shadowing. The best advice I got from a Kaplan pre-med advisor (Maria Loftus -- the one who writes the books on the medical school admissions process for Kaplan) was this: when you volunteer/work (gain experience for) medical-exposure purposes, try to work with a patient population that has CHRONIC problems (e.g., cancer, psychiatry, physical rehabiliation, diabetes). Dealing with chronic illness is what most physicians face on a daily basis, so this is the most realistic form of exposure to the field. I personally volunteered at a cancer center (4 hrs/wk) and was a volunteer research assistant for a study working with OCD (psychiatric) patients (5-10 hrs/wk). I had a total of one year of medical volunteering when I applied to med school. Hope this is helpful. Good luck!
     
  4. I too am curious about approximate (medically related) volunteer hours logged by successful applicants. Anyone?
     
  5. 6-8 Weeks

    6-8 Weeks Senior Member

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    I would say work so that you get a good experiences out of it. Hey if it takes one day to change your view of life or make you certain that you want to be a doctor, I would think that would be enough. But there's a catch 22. If it is that GREAT in one day, I'd think you want to continue. In other words, don't worry about the hours, make something of it and get involved in whatever you do. If you run out of free time, then stop. But don't just work till its "enough" like its a jail sentence or something. You'll enjoy it much more, trust me.
     
  6. NY Doctor

    NY Doctor Junior Member

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    I did a total of about 80hrs of volunteer work and my grades are about average for the school I got in. THe school I got in is a mid level med school....

    btw the vounteer work was nothing special (I did do a mini project for a doc, but nothing special...btw my MCAT was nothing spectacular..WHat I believe got me in was my essay....MY 2 cents :D
     

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