How many volunteer hours for medical school? Volunteer hours vary depending on the school. Many schools do not have a minimum amount required. But, commonly, volunteering for 50-200 hours is accepted by many schools. For example, 10-15 hours for several years usually is acceptable.
Most medical schools do not provide guidelines on how many volunteer hours students are supposed to do. Some other schools can indicate what they expect applicants to do. A student that wants to apply to medical school should always check the requirements and verify if the chosen school has a minimum requirement.
One of the reasons for not indicating how many hours a student should do is because medical schools are looking for individuals who care for others and let each applicant decide his contribution to society. It shows the dedication of each individual in helping other people.
Many schools value the extra curriculum activities before med school because they allow students to understand the medical field better with hands-on work. While interviewing potential candidates, schools will want to know why they want to become doctors, which is most commonly to help people. Volunteering is the best way to show it.
A doctor needs to be able to be compassionate, caring, and understand others. Therefore, many hours spent volunteering show that a student possesses those qualities while at the same time developing new qualities and skills through the application of what is being studied.
How Do I Stand Out As Pre Med?
Volunteer hours have a significant impact on a medical school application. Above all, medical schools are looking for people who care and are empathic, not only people who can quote a textbook inside out.
The volunteer section of the medical school application can make an applicant stand out from the rest of the candidates. In addition, volunteering can present a series of benefits for someone who aims to become a doctor. For example, it develops and shows things like compassion, selflessness, and altruism.
Students that are volunteering have the chance to build relationships with like-minded individuals in the community, learn to work in a team of people, and gain experience. Schools want to make sure that a potential candidate has enough personal skills to work with other people and deal with patients.
In addition to excellent test scores, medical schools are looking for applicants who can show more initiative and engage in various extra curriculum activities like research work, community service, creativity, and general life experience.
What Kind of Volunteer Work For Med School Can Be Done?
Volunteering can happen in free clinics, nursing homes, hospices, hospitals, and similar. But, an applicant can also volunteer in a non-clinical environment, for example, be part of a tutoring program or other community work.
Even though all types of volunteer experience are suitable for a medical school application and life experience, it is best to have at least one health-related volunteer experience. In addition, it is recommended that applicants choose a volunteer opportunity that interests them so they can keep motivated and stay with it.
Other ideas of volunteering activities can be:
- Caretaker: It can be a great experience to learn the problems a patient is facing
- Hospital scribe: it is a paid job in emergency rooms as a physician’s assistant to gather documentation. A person can develop skills like care and dependability.
- Volunteer EMT: an emergency medical technician can learn to know various medical problems while serving the community.
- Certified Nursing Assistant: working as a certified nursing assistant helps a person gain experience in a clinical environment. It offers flexible hours and a lot of hands-on practice.
Indeed there are more ways to get experience and volunteer at the same time. Ultimately, it is the number of hours one is doing and the quality of the work done. Medical schools will inquire about the depth of your experience, how it has affected your decision to become a doctor, and if it motivated you to continue.
How Many Shadowing Hours For Medical School?
Shadowing means following an actual doctor in his daily activities, giving valuable insights about what means being a doctor and how a typical day may look like. Some schools do not have a specific requirement in terms of hours, but some other schools specify they required shadowing hours.
Med schools can ask applicants to do 20, 50, or even 120 hours. Therefore a student has to verify with the chosen school the prerequisites. Even when schools do not specify their required hours, a student should aim at doing as many hours as possible to gain experience and for a higher chance of getting accepted. Anything above 100 hours is typically accepted.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does High School Volunteering Count For Med School?
Depending on if a person accumulated relevant and clinical volunteering hours in high school, those can be used as part of the application for med school. Typically, volunteering hours done after high school are most commonly presented in an application.
Can You Get Into Med School Without Volunteering?
Typically, those who have no experience in a medical environment and are not prepared for a medical doctor’s life are most likely to be rejected from most medical schools. Schools want to know if an applicant is ready and prepare to go through their programs.
Do Medical Schools Verify Volunteer Hours?
Medical schools typically do not verify volunteer hours. Instead, students can provide recommendation letters to prove they have volunteered in certain places. However, schools may ask many questions during an interview to determine the experience gained and easily see if that matches the reported hours.
How Important Is Volunteering For Medical School?
Volunteering hours and volunteering, in general, are essential from the medical school viewpoint. They want to see that a student is ready to work in medicine, has understood the type of situation he can encounter, and is committed to a life as a medical doctor.
Without volunteering hours, it is hard for a school to determine if an applicant is ready to become a doctor.