Volunteering in High School

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by nikeshp, May 26, 2008.

  1. nikeshp

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    I volunteered at a hospital while in high school, for about 4 hrs a week, for about 30 weeks or so. First of all, is 100+ hours a significant amount of volunteering? By this I mean how many hours is a good amount to shoot for?

    I know it is early, but I mean I got the same experience from that as I would have gotten if I did it currently, while in college.
     
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  3. HumidBeing

    HumidBeing In Memory of Riley Jane
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    Yes, it is early. Good for you for volunteering and keeping it up! It's good for you and good for your community.

    Unless you continued the activity while in college, it won't be something that you include on your application. You need to be aware of that early, so that you aren't surprised when the time comes to fill those out.

    You can be involved in any type of service work during these years, not just hospital volunteering, and you can get clinical experience through volunteering, paid work, or shadowing. You're just starting a new phase of tallying the activities once you start college.
     
  4. Tensyle

    Tensyle 3 more months

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    that is sizable volunteering experience. But you had to have continued that into college to put that on your amcas. However, if you have some other sort of clinical experience in college, you can slyly tie it into how you have been committed to volunteering/clinical experience since highschool, in your personal statement. But, u shoudlnt mention it on AMCAS Extra curricular section, if you didnt continue the same activity into college.
     
  5. MossPoh

    MossPoh Textures intrigue me

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    Pretty much everything you did in high school is wiped clean. Frankly, I don't know how anyone could have enough space left over to include it. I didn't even TRY that hard and I maxed out spots. There are certain activities that I did include but they are things I have continued to do throughout college (music and art stuff).
     
  6. nikeshp

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    i just finished my freshman year in college, and with my volunteering, i only did it during my sophomore year in high school, since after that i moved to a boarding school for the next two years, and college after that.

    i am just getting worried, because i didn't do any volunteering for my entire freshman year, and this summer i already set up a summer research position full time, so i will be doing that 8 hrs a day for about 10 weeks. the only time i would be able to volunteer is during the weekends, and I wont have a car so that will be kind of tough. am i too behind?

    when i volunteered, all i did was discharge patients or bring in patients, take food to patients, and maybe some paperwork. is this legitimate.
     
  7. HumidBeing

    HumidBeing In Memory of Riley Jane
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    Yes, that was legitimate volunteer work! It's just that you started a new slate with your college career.

    No, you are not 'behind'. Freshman year is a good year to adjust and check out what opportunities interest you in your new location.

    I bet there are plenty of on campus volunteer opportunities and other activities. Everything does not have to take place in a hospital. You're doing summer research. That's something that will wind up in your activity section on the application, too.
     
  8. nontrdgsbuiucmd

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    Suggestions/thoughts: you are absolutely fine with not volunteering your freshman year, I've spoken with quite a few schools (dozens) about what they're looking for in the "ideal" applicant. Mostly they say "quality, not quantity" of clinical experience, but when pressed, I've been told 300 hours total clinical experience is more than most applicant have. Do 4 hrs per week your senior year & you've got it.

    Second, regarding what you did and learned as a volunteer, make a list of things. Patient contact is very important, and that's what you had. I made a list, and am much more likey to mention observing a central line being put in or assisting to restrain a suicidal drug addict than cleaning beds or stocking rooms. I did lots more cleaning & stocking, but learned much more when observing medical procedures, and that's what I chose to share when explaining my role. Any admissions office knows as volunteers we're not primarily doing exciting things, but the benefit of volunteering is that every hour or so, we'll see or hear or learn something really interesting. For the other 57 minutes, it's really routine.

    your summer research experience sounds really good, too. Probably keeping gpa high is your best bet for a current focus.
     
  9. scorpio08

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    would volunteer hours between your senior year of high school and your freshmen year of college count?
     
  10. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    The summer before college begins is just the beginning. Don't treat this as a thing that you do so you can check a box and be done with it and move on to the next "requirement". You think you are interested in a career in medicine so explore what that would be like. Serve others as a volunteer, shadow docs in various specialties and in various settings and see what they do, even consider getting a job in a health care setting or being a peer health counselor on campus.
     
  11. itsover26

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    there's a very easy answer for this.

    no, you cannot include it in your amcas activities.

    but, if you did it in high school, why can't you include it when someone who was less dedicated to medicine and started hospital volunteering only in college can? it's not fair.

    all you have to do is mention it in your personal statement. seriously, just squeeze it in one sentence. you can say "after volunteering at _____ in high school, i wanted more exposure to medicine. when college began, I dedicated a summer to intensive shadowing..."

    :thumbup:
     
  12. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    Dropping the f-bomb are you? That four letter word that begins with F is one word you do not want to utter in relationship to this process.

    What's unjust about the fact that everyone has at least 3 years after HS graduaton before submitting the application? Everyone has 52 weeks in a year, and everyone has 168 hours in week. That's about 26,208 hours. How you use those hours is up to you. We don't really care how you used the ~34,000 hours you had in HS unless you did something really unusual like participating as an athlete in the Olympics.

    You don't have to volunteer in a hospital. What you do need to do is explain how, as an adult, you maintained or developed an interest in medicine and how, as an adult, you tested that interest through your activities.
     
  13. ChubbyChaser

    ChubbyChaser Yummmy

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    hahahhaa:thumbup:

    If we got judged on what we did in HIgh school, I would have been done for a long time ago.
     
  14. itsover26

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    lol, part of adulthood is what you do in high school. what you do in college obviously is more important. i simply suggested the OP mention his/her experience in one sentence in the PS. there's nothing wrong with that. that shows he/she has been interested in medicine for more than just a few years.

    you aren't brainless when you're in high school. in fact, you probably even had the same intellect in high school as you did in college. the main difference is the level of education you have received. you're going to know more after college since you've taken way more classes, but you aren't necessarily going to be smarter. i've just completed college and know there wasn't a college class i couldn't have handled in HS. half of my HS classes gave me college credit, though. assuming the student is taking all AP/IB classes, he/she really shouldn't be thought of less than a college student.

    anyways, i definitely went on a tangent there...i was never saying you should list every HS activity, now did I? I didn't say to mention it in the AMCAS activities either but rather one sentence in the PS.

    using your logic, a nontraditional applicant 5 years out of college shouldn't be allowed to include his/her undergrad activities in their AMCAS then. they obviously do and their extra experience only helps them get accepted. i know you'll just argue the threshold for what counts as an "adult" starts at college and not in high school. that is debatable. maybe my HS experience and the students i was surrounded by were extraordinary, but they were more mature, zealous, and smarter than the majority of college students. our standards of high school life differ, which is why you'll probably just ignore my argument. :laugh:
     
  15. UVAbme2009

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    What's not fair is your judgment. Not everybody knows they want to go into medicine in high school. In my case, I only decided the summer after my sophomore year. I didn't have any clinical experience up until this year. Now I do, absolutely love where I volunteer, and can't wait to continue this fall. If you do something in high school, you should have no problem continuing in college if you actually like it.
     
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  17. itsover26

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    yep, I agree, and i'm not saying your scenario should be treated the same as X who began back in high school. however, for those who started in high school, there's no reason why their HS medical experiences should be ignored, either.

    you're right. they should continue it in college. if they don't, then tough luck.

    at the same time, though, what about the nontrad. applicant who did research in undergrad but hasn't done any in the past 5 years? using your judgment, if they liked the research then there's no reason they should not have continued any since undergrad. they shouldn't be allowed to include their undergrad experiences then if they didn't continue them in the last 5 years.
     
  18. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    What is generally listed on the AMCAS is everything from HS graduation or college matriculation until the present. Adulthood is generally considered to begin at age 18 and many people who work with adolescents and young adults see a delay in emotional and psychological maturity in older adolescents who pursue higher education. It isn't about what coursework you could or couldn't handle in HS but about your ability to take responsibility for yourself, handle consequences of your actions, set priorities, meet deadlines, take initiative, etc outside of the classroom.

    It isn't that what you did in childhood doesn't matter, it's just that we are more interested in what you have done as an adult.
     
  19. jtimmer1

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    I am going to be a freshman in college this year. I shadow a family physician about ~25 hours a week since school let out. I understand that I will be able to use this on my AMCAS application. I suppose by the same token, you should be able to use your volunteering as well.
     
  20. metalhead1023

    metalhead1023 High School Student

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    LizzyM is where its at listen to her.

    Also what you do in the stage of your education only affects what school you get into for the next stage. I mean high school only affects colleges and college affect medical school.
     
  21. itsover26

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    yeah, i get it. thanks, lizzym! :thumbup:
     
  22. imcanadaian

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    I volunteered for 4 summers at a local medical center during high school~average 75+hours each summer...for a total of 300+ hours all around the hospital (outpatient clinics, the labs, surgery units, nursing stations, radiology, etc) It was a huge learning experience...in 4 years I've definitely had my share of interacting with MD's, nurses, patients and visitors to the hospital.

    Coming into college, I started off slow and got really interested in research (worked for 2.5+ years in research...have one paper that my RA is writing with acknowledgements, and I'm an author for another submitted abstract in..alzheimers research) Plus I'm double majoring and am a 4-year member of my student group on campus--having both leadership and executive team experience. Plus, this summer, I'm at Bayer Healthcare as an intern--basically, in my years in college, I've chosen to do some other things beside volunteering, just because of the vast amounts of time I spent in volunteering in HS, I wanted to do other things!

    It's now my senior year at Cal...and I'm looking to do some shadowing...and probably try to do some volunteering at local medical centers for a bit (UCSF, CHORI) but does this warrant "continuing" my volunteering from HS? I'm concerned because it just feels like I'm being punished for doing my volunteering 4 years early--and somehow I have to throw it all away, or not get "credited" in the form of listing it on my application--but instead, can only "reference" and mention this on my PS? should I tell adcoms that I volunteered lots in Hs, so I wanted to branch out in college--hence "explaining" my lack of volunteering in college? that doesn't seem like it would work either! :(
     
  23. fastboyslim

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    Okay, I understand that many people think putting in a high school activity on the AMCAS DOESN'T HELP. My question is about whether or not it can actually HURT. If you really did something unique and impressive at the end of high school, would it ever hurt you to simply list it on the amcas and clearly describe the dates involved and that it was a high school activity? It seems like there must be at least some admissions people who might be impressed by a really neat high school activity, even if they comprise a small minority of admissions people.
     

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