Pre-Med Q&ACategory: MiscellaneousCommunity Service Hours
AvatarOwen Dean asked 4 years ago

How do medical schools view community service hours when they aren’t necessarily through one or two ongoing programs, but are instead just a conglomeration of different events that are happening in the community (ie. opportunities that you’d find through connect2community)?

1 Answers
AvatarLindsay answered 4 years ago

Hi Owen,
Medical schools tend to stress the concepts of breadth and depth when it comes to activities you do. This includes work experience, volunteering, etc. Thus, I think it is better if you are able to connect with some community service opportunities that you can have longer, more in depth experiences compared to just volunteering at “a conglomeration of different events.” The reason being, is that longer commitments are an opportunity to showcase your capacity to make time for a commitment you’ve made, and it is a great chance to show that you can prioritize philanthropy even when life gets in the way. You might be thinking what I’m thinking, in that extended commitments are harder to maintain, but the core aspect of spending a significant amount of time in an activity and with the same other volunteers makes it more likely that you will be able to say something substantial about your volunteering experience(s). Furthermore, long-term volunteering parallels with the types of time sacrifices and reliability that doctors must exercise daily, so it’s helpful for you to know that you are capable of being a doctor someday, and it can show medical admissions that you are capable too.
On the other hand, I do still want to make it clear that it is very possible for you to learn something awesome from volunteering, so one-time event can definitely be worth investing time into also–especially if you are passionate about the cause, or want to learn more about the population the event would be serving.
I hope this helped answer your question! We have some resources you might find helpful in our Resource tab, to help you find some semi-long term volunteering opportunities. Otherwise, we would be happy to talk to you in person at our drop-in advising hours! Please refer to our Advising tab for hours, time frames, and room numbers.
Best wishes,
Lindsay (Co-President)

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