Need Advice on ECs

I think I might have gone a little overboard on creating my pipeline for EC opportunities. I work in sales so I took a numbers approach to this (meaning I applied and called every single volunteer organization possible to get as many hits as possible).

Here’s what I’ve gotten so far.

Children’s Hospital Hospice

Mt. Carmel Hospital Hospice

American Cancer Society

Columbus Zoo Docent

Canine Companions

On top of these, Ohio State also has a Volunteer Match program that you sign up for on the second day of each quarter. This probably gives me the best type of exposure to the clinician environment. I’m interested in pediatric medicine so the Children’s Hospital opportunity also strikes a cord if I get to spend time with kids in the oncology ward.

How much is too much volunteering when trying to juggle a full time class load and 10-12 hours of part time work?

How long until we can create a 36 hour day?


it looks like you’ve already got some volunteering under your belt. It’s only up to you how much you can handle. Just so you know, it’s quality that matters, not quantity. So if you already have something you like, I’d stick to it, rather than looking for more.

I think that except from volunteering you should shadow a physician… or few. Schools like seeing this on the applications, too.


How do you go about finding a physician to follow. Do you need to be in a volunteer program already?


By far, your best bet is to select voluteering opportunities by what makes your eyes dance. Do not try to select them “strategically” nor exclusively on the premise of ‘medical exposure’. If Peds Onc is an interest, explore it and you can kills 2 birds at once. However, if it really is not, volunteer for something that is your passion and then seek a separate physician shadowing opp.

MOST CRITICALLY, it is NOT about quantity. It is ALL about balance. If your numbers are not competitive, then no volume or grandeur of volunteerism will compensate - period! So, as long as you can sustain superlative academics AND volunteer, do it. If your academics begins to suffer, then you have lost the balancing point.

AdComs love to see folks capable of superlative academics + volunteering. But, they will never opt for a heavy-volunteering/non-co mpetitive numbers applicant over a competitive numbers & zero volunteering applicant.


Thanks for the advice. I think I’m going to forgo heavy volunteering until after my first quarter. Once I can guage how much of my time will be needed to maintain 3.8-4.0, then I’ll start adding things into the mix.


My university has a volunteer program but I wouldn’t be affraid to start calling physicians offices to see if you could schedule some shadowing.

Dave’s absolutely right…quality, not quantity, and depth. So something well.