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Medical School Admissions, Explained

Community Service

Welcome to the How To Be Pre-Med™ Community Service Bucket.

When it comes to medical school admissions, community service refers to any activity where you are helping someone else. Medicine is a caring profession, and, through your community service experiences, you can prove your passion for helping others.

Medical school admissions committees strongly prefer you show consistency and leadership in your community service activities. For example, it is more impressive to volunteer in the emergency department for four years and receive promotions from volunteer intern to volunteer trainer to volunteer supervisor than to participate in a one-week community health fair for underserved populations each year in college. When choosing your community service activities, think commitment and leadership.

Similar to choosing research and extracurricular activities, you can think outside the box and be creative when selecting your community service activities. You don’t necessarily have to volunteer in a medical setting, though that certainly doesn’t hurt. You just need to help other people.

Here are some of my favorite community service examples from former clients:

Teach mahjong to local nursing home residents and then organize tournaments

  • Institute “Sunday Suppers” on inner city street corner to feed homeless population
  • Tutor military personnel on how to re-enter college and the workforce
  • Provide language translation to help individuals apply for government benefits
  • Wash the feet of homeless individuals at weekly clinic
  • Develop sustainable system for collecting medical supplies for clinic serving Sherpa community in Nepal