If you’re considering attending medical school, volunteer work can enhance your application’s value immensely. Volunteering also gives you the opportunity to see if you like working in the health field, like being around peers of similar mind, and enjoy taking on larger leadership roles and responsibility. If you seriously wish to attend medical school, volunteering is a borderline must.
Where Can I Find Volunteering Opportunities?
If you’re looking for volunteer opportunities, the best place to start would be to speak to a pre-health or academic advisor. Premed and service clubs also generally announce volunteering events and other opportunities. You can also be proactive and contact hospitals, clinics, charities and foundations on your own to see if there are any upcoming events you can participate in.
Best Volunteer Experiences for Future Students
It’s best to target volunteering events that are health-care focused, especially if it’s the first time you’ve ever volunteered. You should also be on the lookout for events that appeal to your interests. That way, you’ll be more likely to stick with the volunteering programs, learn from them and be motivated to continue.
Be sure to get a variety of volunteering experiences. From labs, to one-one-one sessions to group experiences, all of these can only benefit you going forward.
Documenting Volunteer Experiences
The best way to document your volunteer experiences is to begin creating a resume’. You will want to note where you volunteered, the dates you volunteered and who supervised the event. A great way to keep a record of all your volunteering experiences is to keep a journal. This journal can later be referenced when you’re writing essays and personal statements for medical schools.
You can also ask volunteer supervisors for letters of recommendation. These letters can prove to be invaluable as you go through the application and interview process.