Consistency of volunteering versus variety of volunteering

Is it better to show consistency of volunteer work or variety of volunteer work (if one has already shown consistency)? I have a wide-range of interests in health care; up until 2004, most of my volunteer work has been with the homeless, the poor, and those with HIV and Hep C. Then I moved across the state to return to school; since then, I’ve been volunteering a bit internationally but nothing local.

But with the price of gas, hassle at airports, and time commitments (full-time college), I would like to do something more accessible, affordable, and regularly scheduled.

I am debating whether or not to resume volunteering with the homeless at another homeless clinic (which is where my expertise lies)

or to expand my volunteer activities into other areas, such as working with children, cancer patients, or in the ER. All of the latter areas are of interest to me.

Can anyone advise? My academic record is already very convoluted and disjointed; I’m afraid that if my volunteer work is similarly disjointed, I’ll appear to flakey to adcomms. I’ve been told that that my academic history may give that unfortunate impression.

I’ve worked with cancer patients, the poor, peds, and I’ve worked in an ER. I listed my ER experience as my only clinical EC on my AMCAS application. I did so because it was a level one trauma center and I volunteered from 7pm to 3am every Saturday night for two years. It was, by far, the most intense clinical exp. I had. It also showed commitment, I worked with a diverse and difficult population, and I have tons of (gross) stories about the things I saw.

In terms of clin. exp., ADCOMs are looking for commitment and quality of experience (do you know what the patients smelled like?).

In your case, I’d list the best experience to begin with. Then, if you haven’t used up all of your AMCAS EC slots, use the rest. If there is a unifying theme (serving the underserved,) maybe you can group them as differnet aspects of one long experience.

From the looks of it, you have already surpassed the requirement of most med schools, so volunteer how/where you want for fun.