hospital summer intern or south america summer vol

Next summer, I will have completed my course requirements and taken the MCAT. I will need to work on my extracurricular experiences. I’m trying to decide whether to try to get into a summer research experience thru a medical school or hospital OR get into (and pay for) a summer volunteer healthcare-related experience somewhere in South America. I wonder if anyone has any feedback from which would be more attractive in a medical school application package? Thanks!

I’d go with South America, especially if they’re both healthcare related.

Boy have you pushed my button with this question… because it is the WRONG question to ask. The RIGHT question is, What do YOU want to do?
Forget that typical hooey about what looks good to adcoms. Especially when it comes to extracurrics and volunteer stuff, the key is what floats your boat. That’s the activity you’ll be able to talk about in interviews or your personal statement with a sparkle in your eye. You’ll be enthusiastic about it. You’ll show yourself as someone who has issues you really care about.
So, what do YOU want to do?

Yeah, that’s a good point. I opted to advise South America because I’m a traveler at heart, but Mary’s right - you have to decide your own fate. Good luck!