Volunteering at medical school is one of the best incentives for your application; it shows the admissions committee that you are devoted to studying medicine for the right reasons. It also helps you become a better person and develop a variety of interpersonal skills needed for medical school. Participating in a clinical or non-clinical organization can reinforce your application for admission to medical school. The experience can also set you up for success when training begins.
The amount of volunteer hours recommended may vary, but the general rule is to have consistent volunteer work of 10 to 15 hours a month for at least half a year. It is not just about the number of hours, but what those volunteer hours mean when applying to medical school. If you are taking a break after college and before starting medical school, it is highly recommended to do some volunteer work during that time. Taking the initiative and learning to deal with the challenges you face during your volunteer work will help you hone your leadership skills. Although not required, most universities strongly suggest that applicants have relevant medical experience before applying.
However, it is important to apply as soon as possible, as most of these hospital volunteering projects usually have a lot of candidates. Medical teachers and other medical educators must feel valued to maintain the mission of medical education. Most medical admissions committees are looking for students who understand the importance of empathy in this type of work. Medicine is a field full of competitive, high-performing people, so community participation helps differentiate yourself from other applicants. This type of extracurricular activity will convince the medical school you apply to that you are not just someone who wants to be a doctor, but someone who is passionate about helping others. Medical school is rigorous and programs don't want to risk making the mistake of admitting students who aren't prepared to overcome the inherent challenges.
This can help you remember what you've learned and you'll find it easier to write great personal statements or essays needed for your application. These experiences can help you build a strong foundation of empathy and compassion as you begin your journey to direct patient care. Exposure to medical treatment in underrepresented communities can offer premedical students an invaluable experience that will serve them well in their medical programs and beyond. Remember that these are the type of projects where volunteers are needed, and you can be sure that you will easily find volunteer positions available for you.