Volunteering. How much is enough?

I realize “How much volunteering is enough?” is a horrible question. I’d love to spend copious hours involved at a great clinic or busy hospital but… I don’t have the hours. I’m talking medical school application triage here. It’s not that I haven’t tried to find something worthwhile. The local hospital tried to stick me in the pharmacy and doesn’t have ANY ER volunteers. The local clinic said they don’t have any volunteers but I could file stuff in the office. There are some hospitals a little further that have better volunteering situations which I may pursue…
Anyway, I’m giving it my best shot to enter in 05. I’ve been full time post-bac since September and will take the August MCAT. I still have Orgo 1 planned for the summer and an ExamKrakers course to take. If I wasn’t a single mom, it would be easier to be out of the house at night and volunteer. I’ve read several people’s take on how important it is for us non-trad career changers to articulate and demonstrate our desires to do the job of doctor… hence the invaluable volunteer experience. I get it… but if I start volunteering say… during June… will it be enough? I will get my applications into schools by September. Will it show anything to anyone with so little time logged? Any one have any thoughts on minimum volunteering stints that show commitment (sorry if that sounds ridiculous). I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in 1986… a Big Sister in 1990 and have done a few other non-clinical things… Really, I’m not a slacker. I only just decided to chase med school in March 03… so far my post-bac is a 4.0 (I have to make up for some past GPA wrongs), I’ve relocated across the country and my daughter is happy and healthy. Anyone have any specific volunteering opportunities for me on Long Island NY?
I’d appreciate the input. Thanks again.

I don’t have many specifics in answer to your questions, but wanted to say that while you may not have many hours logged when you submit your application, you may have done a lot more by the time you actually interview and will have more to talk about your experience at your interview.
Good luck,

I am wondering, was the local clinic a free clinic or the health dept clinic? There is a difference. Free health clinics run mainly by volunteer help. Here is a site that lists a bunch of places in NY. http://www.jumptoyourcity.com/scripts/category.cgi?cityid=59&cat=27
There is a web site that lists all the free clinics in the US, but I can’t find the link I used to have.
As to hospital volunteering. Statr where they put you and then as you get to know the staff, you can ask to go to ther places in the hospital. But they have to get to know you first. Try another hospital in your area and perhaps they offer more oportunities.
Clinical time is very important to application. And the other things you listed here are great and I would definitely talk about them in your essay and/or interviews. Yes the earlier you get started doing health care volunteering, the better. Have you checked out nursing homes or VA hospitals?
So this post is so choppy, my daughter has been sick, so my brain is working slower. Good luck.