Medical employers are looking for individuals who have the skills, knowledge and experience to provide the most value to patients. Even though schools provide many opportunities to gain relevant skills and knowledge, individuals who want to stand out should also consider looking for additional opportunities to gain experience. Volunteering is a great way to simultaneously give back to the community and improve your resume.
Local volunteer opportunities
Pre-med students are encouraged to participate in local volunteer opportunities to boost their chances of getting accepted to their preferred school or program. Participating in community-oriented activities shows relevant committee members that you are dedicated to helping others and can demonstrate your willingness to put in the time and effort to further your career goals.
The Association of American Medical Colleges recommends that pre-med students speak with their academic advisor to learn about local volunteer opportunities. College affiliated clubs can be another great way to engage with the local community. Depending on your intended career trajectory, you may find opportunities that can help you develop the skills necessary for the medical field. Consider looking for opportunities at clinics, hospitals, labs or charity foundations.
International volunteer opportunities
There are many international organizations that bring the advanced healthcare practices of the U.S. to people globally who may not have access to the same level of care. These opportunities are available to pre-med students as well as established doctors and nurses.
According to Volunteer Forever, medical volunteer trips can last a few weeks or several months, depending on how much time you're willing to donate. Groups such as Doctors Without Borders or the Peace Corps have many missions across the world where skilled professionals can bring their knowledge to those in need.
Letters of recommendation
Volunteering can help you build a professional network, as well as making a positive impact on the world by helping people who may otherwise not be able to receive medical care. Also, make the effort to get to know the volunteer organizers, as they may be able to provide you with a letter of recommendation that can give you an advantage as you apply to permanent medical positions.
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Volunteering is a great way to simultaneously give back to the community and improve your resume.