Another volunteering question

I’m doing training now to become a sexual assault victim advocate, which will probably mean about 8-15 hours/week of volunteer time responding to local hospitals. I’m doing this more out of personal interest, and had also planned to volunteer in a hospital clinical setting.

Do you all think the victim advocate stuff is “enough” for post-bacc volunteerism? It’s not exactly medical. I have no problem pushing ahead with the hospital/more clinical volunteerism too. I believe in that as well, it’s just that the opportunity to do the victim advocate training came up first.

Just curious for opinions, I don’t want to spread myself too thin or make it look like I’m just doing volunteerism to rack up hours.

This is my take on volunteering and even shadowing, and of course I also would like to hear what pearls of wisdom and practical tips, experienced people on the pre-med/med student transition might have to offer.

So, after reading all the points of view exposed in this forum, I have come to the conclusion that volunteering is doing something about what you have passion for, hence, number of hours are less important than the quality of experiences and the reflection you should be able to make from your experiences in regards to your intended profession as physician.

In a nutshell, it is all about the impact volunteering could bring to your personal vision as a future health care provider.

@Tallulah Philange: I’ll have to second Cesar’s recommendation. There are various reasons for volunteering, among them:

  • To show that you are familiar with the medical field/medical profession and that you know what you are getting into; hence, many prospective premeds shadow doctors to get a “behind-the-scenes” view of what doctors do.

  • To demonstrate altruism.

  • To show commitment to a long-term project or goal.

    There are many more reasons.

    You have clearly found a passion and it should be more than sufficient to demonstrate altruism and, depending on how long you do this, it can show long-term commitment. If you feel that this sort of thing is not “medical” enough, you can always supplement it with something more medically-oriented. But whatever you do, choose something sincere to your goals and interests, so that you will do it with passion, and when you talk about it in your interviews or personal statement, that passion/interest/altruism will show itself.

    One word of caution, don’t let your volunteer work take over your studies or other obligations. Moderation and quality is better than hours and quantity unless those hours are necessary (i.e. you were required to volunteer those hours).

Thanks to you both - I don’t know why I’m stressing about this other than I just want to be “right.” I’m nervous about missteps, like going through applying and finding out I should have focused my efforts elsewhere. All part of that fear that holds people back, I know.

I am passionate about the victim advocate role and it’s who I want to be as a physician - patient-centered and focus on care for the whole person, not just the symptom.

Whew. OK. Thanks!

Oh also, just to clarify, I’m not in a post-bacc program yet, this is in preparation for applying to that. So fortunately study hours aren’t a concern (although my full-time employer might disagree that I consider myself wide open to lots of volunteer hours…)

I am doing a similar sort of volunteer opportunity. From all that I’ve read on the boards and just to reiterate what the above posters stated, you should do something you’re passionate about and it seems like you have found it.

I would do some hospital volunteering (which I’m planning to do) in addition. I think most schools, from what my cousin who is in medical school says, find that rather obligatory.

Please delete this post.