All the fixin’s

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    Tangee FoxTangee Fox

    I kind of like to think of getting into medical school as preparing a meal. I’ve got my meat and potatoes covered (will have a decent post-bacc GPA and good MCAT scores) but I’m lacking the fixin’s. I still haven’t found a good volunteer opportunity. I volunteered for a month at the hospital, in a so-called patient care position, but all I got to do was file for the nurses and deliver water. I left feeling very unfulfilled. I want to do something else, but in addition to not being able to get a doctor to let me shadow (I’ve asked 3) I don’t have a lot of time. Between school, work and family, I have all of my hours filled, literally. My dh works nights, so I HAVE to be home after 6 p.m. daily. Also, even though I do well in my classes, I have never gotten comfortable soliciting LOR’s, so I’m afraid that I won’t have any when the time comes. Finally, I have no research experience. I want to apply to MMEP this summer, but will run into the LOR problem again. ARG! Why can’t the Adcoms just enjoy a well cooked steak and potato? :rolleyes: Salad and dessert are overrated in my opinion. Heck, I have macaroni and cheese most nights!


    I’m sorry to hear about your volunteer ecperience. Mine started out that way but I was lucky and was moved to a different area that is wonderful for handson experience. I would suggest, if you haven’t done it already, go see the head of the volunteer office at the state hospital in your area and explain to them what is going on. Ususaly they can hook you up with a doctor that will let you shadow. I am currently in the Express Med Clinic at the University hospital and all of the docs and PAs let me shadow.They treat me like I am already a med student so I really get to do more than filing. Actually, I don’t even do filing. I do alot more errand running when it gets busy to xray adn labs. If they place you where you arent getting what you need, COMPLAIN. I think mine got tired of hearing from me. The first 2 places they put me I was bored out of my mind! I did nothing but sit, sit, sit.



    You probably do more than what you think, for example are you involved in any of your kids activities like den mother, helping out at their school, etc? that is volunteering and will look great on your application. If you have been exposed to medicine (which it seems that you have) and can talk about *why* you would be a great asset to the field, you will be fine. Adcoms do know that there is a limit to how much someone like yourself can do due to only having so many hours per day. So, do not worry about it and keep on plugging away!

    Tangee FoxTangee Fox

    See, I wondered where “other” volunteer work would fit in. I actually volunteer at my daughter’s school every monday morning and on special occasions like parties, etc. I also do odds and ends from work, like a saturday building a HUD house. But I really don’t keep a running list of those things. I’ll have to sit down and think about all of the volunteer work that I do.

    Mary B-B ToBeDocMary B-B ToBeDoc

    Tangee and everyone, hi…I haven’t posted in a while, but your e-mail caught my eye.

    A resume of volunteer work can help you get MORE volunteer work, just like any other resume. It might be worth going through your memory and files to dig up all the details you can and write ’em down. All those “little things” we do add up.

    There’s always the web: Type in where you are, what sort of volunteering catagories appeal to you and hit submit. You get all the matches in your area.

    “Medical work” can also be in a nursing home, doctor’s office, clinic, school, etc. I trained as a hospice volunteer this past fall and now have my own patients. (And that got mentioned by an interviewer recently at one of the med schools). Hospice work is sad work, but only in a way…these people are terrific and have stories to tell! I’ve got one patient who loves vanilla milk shakes and big band swing and jazz…we are having a great time with that! It’s what he wants to do, plus we get to talking. And, this is totally flexible as far as schedule goes…I see each patient at least 1-2 per month, but I aim for more often. (Try the Yellow Pages under “Hospice Services” if you are interested).

    I’ve never had anyone refuse free help :p so just keep picking up the phone, sending your resume and follow up…you can land something good!

    Good luck! :crossfingers:


    I have a few ideas:
    You could get a job (maybe contingent, so you could set your own hours around your kids) doing home health care. I did it for 2.5 years. It’s not terribly glamorous work, but it’s definitely hands-on and I learned so much from my patients.
    The other idea is to become an EMT and get onto a volunteer rescue squad. Some places offer a basic EMT training course “academy” style, where you go M-F, all day for about 6-7 weeks, then can sit for your license exams.
    Most places aren’t going to give you actual patient contact unless you’re trained to do something.
    :twocents: Bite the bullet, pick something that sounds appealing to you, and go get the qualifications so you can start building contact hours.
    Enjoy! 🙂

    Tangee FoxTangee Fox

    Yeah, I’ve wanted to get my EMT certification for a while, but I literally don’t have the time. I can’t leave my current job for 6 or 7 weeks to go to training. Actually I don’t want leave the job I’ve got until I start medical school because A) they are SO incredibly flexible and let me change my schedule around as much as I want for classes and what-not and 2) I really doubt I will find a part-time job that pays me as much as they do that would make it worthwhile for me to work. I mean not many people get paid hourly in the teens for part-time work. So really my major problem is not finding the opportunities, but finding the time for the training and such to get decent ones. Ugh!

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