I didn’t want to t/j another’s thread so am asking here:

My volunteer work included/includes:

cleft palate surgery board of directors - raising shoes and beanie babies for the kids in these 3rd world countries (the kids have no shoes to walk to the bus stop in and it’s about an 8 hour walk; I led the initiative at my son’s school; we raised over 36 - 3’x3’x3’ cases of shoes to be transported to Peru)

mission trips to Honduras to help in pediatric AIDS clinic through my church

food harvest every 4th Saturday for a few years (have not done so lately)

transport, overnight housing for dogs from high-kill shelters on their way to foster/rescue homes (over 10 years have probably had 200 dogs come through my house as overnights being transported to their next destination)

None of these is a weekly activity so I’m wondering if that’s going to be enough or if I should do more that is weekly?

Any in-hospital experience?

That is quite an impressive list of volunteering. I don’t think increasing your frequency is needed. What stands out is the legth of time you have been volunteering and, if I may say, the degree of your committment is obvious. Don’t add more because it is what you think is needed, why not add another type of activity? Try spending time on a hobby or recreation that you enjoy. In my past experience, the admissions committees are looking for well rounded students. Someone who has an overabundance of volunteer work appears less sincere about it. You don’t want to give the impression that you volunteered to make your application look better.

Have you done any research studies? Try finding some medical research projects that interest you and getting some experience in a lab. I did some research to add to my application and found I actually enjoyed it. it is something you can do on a more frequent basis, but maybe for a shorter time. Most physicians would be more than happy to have a few extra hands for a few hours on the weeknds to check on results or run some tests so they won’t need to come in to the hospital on a day off. It will probably get you a letter of rec at a school you apply to as well.

  • maddux31 Said:
Any in-hospital experience?

A very long time ago I was a volunteer at a hospital when I was pre-med the first time.

In addition, I spent a good amount of time with a physician on the personal side when he was on-call, what those were like (3 AM calls, mid-dinner must-leave-now, and more), the weight of making decisions about life/death for the elderly patient and how to help the family cope with the decision to end treatment that does nothing more than sustain life, not enhance, etc. Was I at the hospital with him? No, I was at home helping him cope with the stress of his day and his patient load. I saw the "other side" of being a physician.

Not sure of relevance: my golden retriever was trained to be a children's cancer therapy dog (aptly named her Hope). She will sit with sick children while they get their chemo, or whatever else they are having done where a dog is allowed. As her handler, I'm with her at all times and with the sick kids.

There are other things I do as well, while not clinical in nature: search and rescue for missing at-risk people (think: abductions), disaster recovery and rescue (tornadoes, hurricanes, fires).

(And yes, I have ADHD!! :D)