Volunteering and Extracurricular Activities

Foremost, this is an opportunity to do something that is meaningful to you. When approached from this perspective, it leads you to find the profession that fits you. Professional schools are looking for evidence of commitment, not token effort. It is better to begin early and work one or two days per month over several semesters. You will only get busier as you approach the application period because of standardized test (i.e., DAT MCAT or OAT) and application preparation. There is a wide range of volunteer possibilities available. Experiences that you initiate or develop yourself are particularly rewarding and are viewed positively by admissions committees. Appropriate types of volunteer service involve working directly with people in need (e.g., patients) and health care professionals.  

Additionally, research, community and campus service, leadership experience, participation in organized sports or arts, and well-developed personal interests can be very important in the admission process*.

UCD Medical School Representative Note on Volunteering: All parts of the AMCAS application are taken into careful consideration when a student applies to medical school.  If the student is working full time while going to school full time, it is not required for the student to also volunteer.  It would be more important for the student to focus on school rather than over-committing themselves to a great variety of community service activities.  If they have time and it will not hurt their academics, it would look excellent on their application if they had long term service, even just a couple hours a week.  There’s a wonderful resource book titled, the 56th Edition Community Services Directory, published by the Community Services Planning Council, which provides a comprehensive list of all the community service organizations across Sacramento.  You can contact them at (916) 498-1000 for a copy.  That’s a great place to start looking for volunteer activities.

Sutter Hospitals partnership with CSUS Career Center

Hospitals and Medical Centers

Other Volunteer Organizations

*Some of the above was modified from UCD HSA