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Jul 30, 2017
Hello, all!

I am slightly worried about my extracurriculars, volunteering, etc. I am a sophomore and I know it is prime time to be doing them, so I was wondering if anyone could give their thoughts on my list of what I am actively doing.

--Residential College/Dorm Leadership Committee

--Chemistry Honor Society (Member, not in leadership as of now)

--Supplemental Instructor (Our school's nonremedial way of group tutoring)

--Founder/President of a Prehealth Organization

--Welcome Week/Orientation Week Leader

--"Family Group" Leader (Our school's way during COVID-19 to help freshmen plug into campus)


--Thesis (I have an Honors Thesis due my senior year. Whether it is lab-based or more library-based is TBD)

Volunteering has been hard because of COVID-19. My plan for volunteering is to volunteer at our city's health center focused on treating underserved patients. Non-medical volunteering would be something like tutoring for primary/secondary students and maybe a soup kitchen position. Again, COVID-19 makes this more difficult.

Besides shadowing, any ideas on direct patient interaction? I understand shadowing isn't a direct patient interaction, but any thoughts on other things besides shadowing?

Is there anything else I am missing on the non-GPA and MCAT side?

Thank you!


Junior Member
15+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2005
Status (Visible)
Get off campus and out of your comfort zone. When you are a physician you will be dealing with lots of people unlike you.
You need around 50 hours of shadowing , including a good amount with a primary care doc.
You need at least 200 hours of clinical experience. Can be paid or volunteer but it must have direct patient contact. I know it’s tough but keep looking. Eventually things will hopefully open up and you’ll find some clinical gigs. You could even look into getting a job as a nursing assistant. You are a sophomore so you have some time to find a place.
You also need at least 200 hours of nonclinical volunteering to the unserved/underserved in the community. Volunteering at a soup kitchen is great. As is working at a homeless shelter, visiting vets in a VA home, coaching underprivileged kids in a team sport, helping at a camp for disabled kids or underprivileged kids. Something that helps people less fortunate than yourself.
Do what you love and what will make you stand out. Do what you have a passion for and what you will be able to talk about with that passion on applications and in interviews. Just a FYI, tutoring won’t help you stand out and there is a special area on the application for this anyway. Just about everyone has this listed as an activity.
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