My Doctor Reading List

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Volunteering

One of the requirements for a strong medical school application is some sort of volunteer work. Although there is no magical number of hours required or places for volunteering, from what I've been reading (and honestly its common sense too), consistency is better than haphazard volunteering, and there are better and worse places to volunteer for sure. Experience where you can get hands on experience dealing with patient or really, just people in general, is much better than sitting in an office or doing administrative tasks. Areas that give you a glimpse of what it is like to be a doctor are also good because it will give you real experiences to mention when asked in an interview  "What do you know about what it is that doctors do?".

Anyway, in So you want to be a Doctor, eh? The author also notes that its important to get a meaningful experience out of the volunteer work. So in researching places to volunteer, I definitely kept this in mind. My mom made a great suggestion that I should look to volunteer at this Polish independent living and long term nursing home. Its an excellent choice (at least, I think so) because a) being of Polish background and speaking the language fluently will make me useful - plus it makes it more meaningful, b) it will give me the opportunity to deal with the residents there, most of whom will have some sort of medical issues (they can't help it, they are old) and c) its close to my house.

I went there today and met with the volunteer coordinator who was very excited for me to join. She was incredibly nice and was very enthusiastic and supportive of my desire to be a doctor. I was honest and told her that I'm looking to get this experience because I need it to apply to medical school but also because it will be a great way to see what it is to deal with sick people. To be honest, this will be the first true test for me to see if this really is something that I want to do in practice and not just in theory. Luckily she completely agreed with me and said that they will write me a very strong and positive letter of recommendation too (and she volunteered this without even my asking!).

I'm really looking forward to it actually. On Friday I go for orientation and then I was asked to attend a lecture on palliative care on Saturday morning, which should be very interesting.

1 comment:

  1. Good luck with the volunteering! I hope it'll be super rewarding and eye-opening for your year of prepping for med school!

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