Academic Health Center

Health Careers Center

Volunteering & Experience


Volunteering is a great way to explore a health career and develop and demonstrate your ability to work with patients and healthcare professionals.
Volunteering hours are often required for many health careers and these experiences are highly valued by the admissions committees for all health professional schools.

Volunteer Experiences: Required?
Some health professional programs require individualized hands-on experience as part of the preparation for admission and all programs strongly recommend it. Here are two reasons why you should plan for extra-curricular experience:

First, volunteering will help you evaluate your decision to pursue a health career and give you a feel for the workplace environment and the role of health professionals. You will get an idea of the skills and personal qualities needed to be successful in the field and a chance to see how you "measure up". In other words, during or after your volunteer experience, you can ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you really enjoy working in this field?
  • What do you have to offer the profession?
  • Where might you need additional work and skill development?

Secondly, volunteering offers a chance to demonstrate your maturity and commitment to a future in health care. Evaluations from your supervisors will provide information about your interpersonal skills, ability to communicate, knowledge and compassion for people.

Going Abroad to Volunteer?

Learning abroad can be an exciting adventure and provide you with many valuable experiences. But before you sign up for a program and head to the airport, there are certain things you should be aware of when gaining experience abroad.

Complete this online workshop geared to get you thinking about what you can do and what you should NOT do when in another country.

Online Workshop: Global Ambassadors for Patient Safety

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  • Last modified on September 7, 2012