Advise on Extracurricular / Volunteering Experience

Hi everyone. Was wondering for the non-traditional premed crowd what sort of extracurricular or volunteer activities you had helped get you admitted to med school (or what you theorize could have been a plus for adcoms ) There are a few opportunities with hospices and “Institutes” (raising money for cause x), but consist mostly of clerical work. I mean granted, I don’t expect anything really hands-on based on my lack of medical skills at this point - but perhaps was trying to look for opportunities where I can actually learn more about healthcare itself as opposed to stapling, faxing, mailing, etc.

Anyways, I had to rewrite the above paragraph many times, didn’t want to make it sound like “I was doing this just for med school” lol. I have volunteered in different settings in the past, ie. academic tutoring, translator for non-english speakers, etc, just never in a healthcare setting, so was interested in what other individuals have done.

I volunteered in a hospice setting, sitting with patients, bringing them meals, feeding them, and sometimes doing light housekeeping. I wasn in an inpatient hospice, but there is also home hospice respite care, giving families a chance to get out of the house while caring for dying loved ones.

It was an awesome experience and I would do it again in a moment.

I, too, would recommend hospice. I’ve done respite cancer hospice in the past, and I’m in the process of getting hooked up with a local hospice group once again. Working with these folks never fails to put what I am working towards into helpful perspective.

I can’t speak for your state, but getting a NA certification was pretty easy for me (I bought a textbook & took the state certification test with a private training company in all of about 5 weeks). With an NA, you should be able to work in most nursing homes. While this may not be the most romantic, life-affirming experience you could ask for, you may discover if you truly care about people as they approach the end of their days (and are often not in great moods). ADCOMs seem to smile favorably upon this sort of behavior as well, if that means much to you.

Good luck to you!