choosing hospital for volunteering

I am sending out applications to volunteer and am trying to decide which hospital would be best.

My main criteria is that I want to pick a hospital where I will be able to get actual clinical exposure and one that will accept with flexible weekend/evening hours.

There is one hospital about 10 minutes from my house that I’m not really familiar with. Another one is about 15 minutes away, and is closer to my day job. The demographics are close - mostly white suburbs - but the one closer to my house also serves a low-income Hispanic population. Both brag about certain areas they specialize in, but neither is nationally recognized.

The other option is the med school hospital, which is 30 minutes from home, maybe 15 from work but would take longer at rush hour. It’s in an urban area. I’d like to volunteer there to get more familiar with the place and people, and since this serves a wider demographic and has the med school affiliation, I think there might be some “cooler” opportunties there.

Other than the drive, my hubby said what I see as an upside could be a downside: Since I’m (hopefully) going to spend 4 years there, and maybe longer if I could do residency there, maybe I should go somewhere else to get more exposure to other hospitals and to ward off the fatigue of that place.

I am also considering the screw-up factor. I’ve never done this before. Do I want to show all my newbie-ness to the med school?


I’d go with (and have gone with) the hospital with the med school.

I’d do the hosp w/ the med school, but alas, it’s almost an hour away. On the plus side, our EMS unit transport there often.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

If you volunteered at the med school hospital is there the possiblity of letters of recommendation? Would it be a better networking opportunity for getting into that med school? Put you in contact with the people who actually are currently “making it”?

I would agree with that completely.

Thanks guys. You pretty much confirmed what i was thinking. I dropped my volunteer app for the university hospital in the mail this morning.

The added bonus is that I found out the hospital has an ambulatory care center that is about two miles from where my office is moving in June. I might be able to pick up some extra shifts there, too.

That’s great Alij! Keep us posted…