Volunteer experience in a healthcare setting with patient contact is an absolute requirement for anyone applying to medical school. In addition, the University Health Professions Committee will not recommend any student who has little or no experience in this area. Volunteering will also help students decide if medicine is the right career for them. There is no set number of hours—the more the better.
Students can also investigate other hospitals in the region or near their home. A commitment made to one institution for one or two years is more impressive than a few hours at several hospitals. The name or size of the hospital has no bearing on the medical school admissions process. The best strategy is for students to apply to several hospitals and to see which one they are accepted to first and/or meets their schedule requirements.
General Service to the Community
In addition to service in a hospital/clinic setting, medical schools also look favorably on any volunteer activity that serves the general community (tutoring, homeless shelters, food banks, etc.). An excellent source of local organizations can be found in the Center for Civic Engagement.