So this post is all about volunteering for your medical school application. I have done probably more volunteering than need be but it all paid off in the end! Quick list of the things I have done since school to give you an idea of the types of thing to get involved in: buddy reading, peer mentoring, cubs and scouts, youth club leader, old people's home, school band, St John ambulance, British Red Cross, stroke club, and finally working with disabled people.
Now I didn't NEED to do all of this volunteering, one or two things over a long period of time show great perserverance, dedication and compassion. The reason I did all this was just purely for my own enjoyment and my love of helping people! This said, volunteering is essential if you are going to apply for medicine. This doesn't mean you should just turn up at something every week for two years, it means you should find something you truely enjoy and look forward to. This means that when it comes to interview or your personal statement you will be able to show actual enthusiasm and passion for what you have contirbuted to and not that you've just done it for the sake of your application.
When it comes to your volunteering it's a good idea to keep a note of what you have done and how this has affected you or what you learnt from it. This way you are already reflecting on what you have done and can use this at interview. Even if it something menial such as helping a younger student learn to read, think about this helped you to communicate and improve your empathy. Everything you do can be reflected upon!
So guys, go out and ask at your school, Uni, Church or community group and find something that really catches your interest. Anything counts, it doesn't have to be in a care home or hospital. Once it relates to people and you are helping, then it's perfect. Start early, you don't want it to look like you've just done three months just before submitting you application, it needs to be long term. Make the most of what you are doing and really get involved with the people. You never know who you may meet or what difference you will make. And as a bonus itwill significantly improve your medicine application! Enjoy!