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Doing internships/observerships in college

3088 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  oliver
Hey guys,

Great forum you all have here---just found it and wanted to dive in and ask a few questions if you don't mind.

I'm almost done with my sophomore year at UCLA and am majoring in biology but am intending to go to med school after I graduate (I hope!) so I was wondering what kind of experience should I get to show on my applications.

I volunteered at a local blood bank last summer for a couple of months and found that to be very rewarding but i'm not sure whether the admissions committees will want me to have actual hands-on patient interaction like working as an observer or volunteer in some clinic or if working at a place like a blood bank will be enough.

Also, does regular charity work like working at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen show a compassionate and humane side to an applicant or is it better if I just stick with hospital-related extracurriculars?

Thanks guys. :D
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Hey dude,

as far as I know, medical schools digg any kind of extracurricular activities and volunteer work. But you're right, you should definitely try to focus as much of that volunteer work as you can on medical related stuff.

Before I started looking around for med schools I volunteered at a Kaiser in Sacramento. They had a lot of stupid positions like working in the gift shop and whatever, but they also had two spots right in the outpatient surgery ward where you actually get to deal with patients, doctors, surgeons, and work with RN's all day. Of course you do nothing but grunt work in the meantime, but you get a lot of great exposure.

The blood bank thing is probably really good for you too, but just keep your eyes peeled and try to see what else you can find. I had my own rule of thumb that the closer you got to be the doctor, the more important your volunteer position was. If you can find observerships, or any kind of internships or research assistant programs, then definitely give those top priority.

Hope this helps! And thanks for joining our forum!
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Well I'm doing some work in a newborn ICU and I find it really rewarding. I don't really get to do much in terms of medical stuff but I do get to see everything going and get comfortable w/ the medical environment.

Basically medical school admission personnel want to know if you have any idea about the field that you're applying to---they want you to KNOW what you're getting into before you apply so that you don't drop out later when you realize that its not everything you saw on Doogie Howser/Scrubs/ER.

Peace! :)
God forbid I got to my last year of internship and say that it's not for me... My mom would freak out! But then I would never be that crazy #wink
Sweet thanks for the info guys....haha Natacha I've heard stories of people who are in their 4th year of med school and then they just drop out and quit....I always wonder how the heck they end up paying off those student loans!
Jenny how long have you been working in the newborn ICU for? Are you just doing it for a semester or is it a long term thing? Sounds pretty cool hanging with all those babys altho I'm sure it gets mad stressfuls sometimes, huh?
An observership is an informal observational experience and does not constitute medical training. Observers do not receive any form of certification from Long Island College Hospital for the time of their appointment. Observers will receive documentation of their participation in the observership, a description of their activities and an assessment by the supervising attending of their overall performance. Observerships will be approved initially for no more than a four week period. Renewal of the observership will be at the discretion of the Department of Internal Medicine.
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