How Many Volunteer Hours for Medical School – Overview
Every medical-aspiring student needs to know how many volunteer hours are required to enter a medical school. Most universities encourage applicants to have relevant experience before submitting their applications. Having no volunteering history in your application can reduce the chances of getting admission to your preferred medical school.
Your participation in relevant volunteer work reflects your seriousness about your goals in life. You can also develop relevant skills through these volunteer works before starting your course.
Benefits of Volunteering for Your Med School Application
There are multiple benefits of volunteering before your med school, and it can also increase your chances of getting selected for the admission process.
1. Relevant Experience in the Healthcare Industry
Having meaningful healthcare industry experience can help you understand the course and prepare you for medical school. However, you can join some other volunteer work as well. It will help you understand how to serve and help people in different situations. It will help you to develop certain skills that will increase your chances of getting selected for medical school.
2. Show Your Passion
Getting some volunteer hours before medical school can reflect your passion for your goals in life. Choosing a volunteering opportunity that you love will be more effective. You can enjoy the work and learn new things every day.
3. See the Bigger Picture
Life is not always sunshine and rainbows. You may face several challenging situations when you are volunteering for something. In these situations, you should try to see the bigger picture and focus on the positives. These challenging situations can develop different skill sets and prepare you for your future.
4. Commitment and Dedication
Volunteering work can be a great way to reflect your dedication and commitment. The selection committee at medical schools often looks for certain skills and qualities in the applicants. It can give you an excellent chance to catch their attention and reflect your commitment to your path.
Empathy is an important skill set for healthcare professionals. Volunteering work can develop your ability to empathize with other people. Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes can help you understand the situation and their feelings. As a medical professional, it will help you to understand your patient and make a better diagnosis and effective treatment plans.
6. Leadership Skills
Leadership qualities are extremely important if you want to be a medical professional. It can also help you in several other situations in life. Leadership qualities can improve your decision-making abilities and help you make better choices in different situations.
You will face multiple challenging situations during your volunteer work. You may need to be in you to take charge and deal with the situation to overcome these challenges. It will allow you to acquire leadership skills and improve your ability to handle different situations in life.
How Many Volunteering Hours Do You Need?
There is no exact formula or standard requirement for volunteer work. If the activity you choose is something you like, the timing will not matter. However, it is advisable to spend at least 10 – 15 hours for a few years doing volunteer work to increase your chances of getting admission to a medical school.
The quality of your work always outweighs the time you are spending there when you are doing service work. Your behavior and personality must reflect your learning in your journey. This will help you to make some noticeable positive changes in your community and make a difference.
Most medical schools look for a minimum of 36 – 40 hours of volunteer work in their applicants. The selection process is extremely difficult and competitive. So, more is needed to achieve the bare minimum criteria. Always try to increase your hours and learn as much as possible from your volunteer work.
Where Can You Find Volunteer Activities?
It can be tricky for some students to find appropriate volunteer work to gather amazing experience. To make it easier, you only have to spend more time and effort researching different organizations you want to work for. You can always talk to your friends and family and let them know about your area of interest.
You may receive some references from them. You can also talk to your counselor or academic advisor to help you with your application and find some appropriate opportunities. Joining some pre-medical clubs can also give you some great leads.
4 Things to Consider When Looking for Volunteer Work
There are a few things that you must consider when choosing your volunteer work to fulfill all your requirements and have the best experience.
1. Type of Volunteer Work
You must consider two main types of volunteer experience for your medical school application.
The first type includes volunteer work at some nursing homes, hospitals, homes for the physically and mentally disabled, and clinics. These settings will improve the skills that you need as a medical professional.
You can also consider experience indirectly linked to the medical field. It includes volunteer work at soup kitchens, teaching, Habits for Humanity, and other nonprofit organizations. This type of experience can improve your skills and develop your personality.
2. Time Commitment
When applying for medical school, you must consider the hours you want to spend at volunteer work. The competition for getting selected for a medical school is very high, and you must do everything possible to improve your application. You should spend more time doing these volunteer works to meet the requirements.
You should look for more long-term volunteer work. It will help you to meet the time requirements and upgrade your skills. It is advisable to work at least 10 – 15 hours per month.
You must choose something that you are passionate about and enjoy doing. If you dislike your work, it can hamper the learning process in many ways. It will positively affect your experience and motivate you to work harder.
4. Skill Development
Volunteering work must improve your skill sets and develop your personality. When you are looking for some opportunities, make sure they meet the following criteria –
- You must be able to learn new skills or improve your existing ones
- You must receive leadership opportunities
- You should be able to take on some responsible roles
- You must face several challenging situations that can help your personal growth
What Are the Best Volunteering Activities?
Here, you will find some examples of different volunteering activities.
- Any volunteering opportunity from the healthcare department can prepare you for your medical career and improve your skill sets.
- Volunteering for charity work at different organizations can improve your communication skills and empathy.
- Volunteering for medical research can improve your learning skills and prepare you for medical school.
- Volunteering as an emergency medical technician will help you to understand medical emergencies.
- Volunteering work at different community services will teach you to understand and put others’ needs first.
Volunteering services are very important for medical applicants to improve their skill sets and develop their personalities. Different types of volunteering services are available in the community that can directly or indirectly prepare you to become a medical professional.