GUIDE: Shadowing and Volunteering

Peter Pan and his shadow had a somewhat antagonistic relationship. It made me want to have a shadow like that. Looked fun. Just don’t have an antagonistic relationship with the doctor you end up shadowing. I never got a chance to do it, but “they” say you should. In theory its a great thing to do. It will give you the chance to see firsthand what it is like to work in a hospital as a doctor. So try to shadow the specialty you’re interested in.

Now on to volunteering at a hospital. For some reason ADCOMS absolutely love this. I’ve heard that it shows your desire, compassion, and other qualities they are looking for. It also gives you exposure to hospital life. Most people end up volunteering at the
emergency room because that’s where the action is. I guess that’s fine.

As you volunteer think about what you see. You might think that volunteering is the most useless way to spend your afternoon because all you do is sit around waiting to change the bed sheets. But at least think about the things you see and hear. When I had my interview with Loma Linda, I was asked about my volunteering experience. The interviewer wanted to know what lesson I took away from my experience.

Again, shadowing and volunteering are good in that they give you some exposure to hospital life. But take advantage of the proximity to doctors. Talk to them about medicine. Ask them for advice. Ask them how they chose their specialty. Most doctors are eager to talk to young people who are hoping to one day become doctors as well.

Related Post: More on Shadowing (Not a serious post)