Volunteer Experience with no way to verify?

Hi, guys! I hope you are enjoying this glorious Friday afternoon!

I am making an assumption here…but when it comes time to list all your volunteer experience on the medical school application, I am assuming that you have to also list a reference name and phone number–similar to a resume–for anyone who wishes to verify the information. (If I’m wrong about that, the rest of this is moot…)

I have some volunteer experience that’s older (as in 10 years old) such as mission trips, habitat for humanity builds, homeless/food bank work, nursing home visitation and music ministry, etc. (so it’s not directly healthcare related) that I would love to list. I was a “stay at home wife” in a previous life, and I had the ability to get involved in a lot of meaningful things because I wasn’t working all the time.

Having said that, it was all group project work, and I don’t live anywhere near the town I did it in any longer, and I couldn’t even begin to tell you some of the people’s names I worked with, much less their current phone numbers, and…you get the picture.

Is this stuff worth mentioning on the application if I may be the only one who can really confirm it?

On the AMCAS application you can list, I think up to 15 or 20 volunteer experiences. I went all the way back to my work as a volunteer firefighter up into my 20’s.

On secondary applications, I generally had to list a contact person for the organization. For a few significant ones that were within the last 7 years, I called and found out a current person who could vouch for my earlier involvement.


I, too, will face this same situation of finding contact people who will still remember me. Thanks for the advice.

The AMCAS application lets you list up to 15 experiences, with a short description for each (last year it was 1325 characters allowed for the description. Finally(!) they have cut it down to 700 characters. Yay!). Each description also wants contact information, and if I recall correctly, this year they are more insistent about this than in years past. Also, this year applicants will be required to sign that no one else has had a hand in writing the personal statement. (E.g. - no more essays from essay companies.) Naturally any prevarication about this can lead to dire consequences.



I have the same issues but I also have old AMCAS apps and resumes to “verify” my volunteer experiences from the past.

Like many nontrads, quite a few of the folks I volunteered with have moved on to other positions so confirming with them would be impossible in some cases. However,I can still speak inteligently on these volunteer experiences so hopefully this will dismiss any concernes about my not being truthful.

I have a slightly interesting case. One of my hallmark volunteer opportunities was the two years I worked taking calls for 1-800-SUICIDE. Problem is that when I joined, I signed an NDA that I would never reveal the names or contact information of anyone I worked with, not information about the office we worked out of. Talking about the experience itself was ok, but that’s it.

Any ideas?

Maybe ask the organization if they have any contingencies for dealing with your situation. You can’t be the first person in history who wanted to use your time there on a resume.

  • NightGod Said:
Maybe ask the organization if they have any contingencies for dealing with your situation. You can't be the first person in history who wanted to use your time there on a resume.

I actually asked about this a few years ago. There's an office phone number I can list, but the problem goes beyond that. I can't get into too much about operational procedures. But suffice to say that if I gave you the number to call, you wouldn't be able to tell if you were actually talking to the office, or to my brother who I gave a script. There have been security breaches in the past so all personnel info is kept in a permanent double-blind manner.