There is no doubt that it has been difficult to obtain clinical experience as a pre-medical student during this unprecedented coronavirus pandemic! Medical school admissions will understand this challenge and it is likely that they won’t expect you to have as much clinical experience as in prior years. However, they WILL expect that you got involved in something meaningful during this time. There are MANY ways to get involved in the community, which I’ll be sharing in this post!
This organization is hiring contact tracers, resource coordinators, and case investigators to reach out to all contacts of COVID patients, counsel them on testing and quarantine, refer them for testing, and connect them to necessary resources. This is a virtual position.
Blood donations and disaster services
The American Red Cross provides several in-person and virtual volunteer positions. You can help organize blood donations or help from home with administrative support, disaster services support, fundraising planning, and community engagement opportunities!
7 Cups is a free online service providing therapy and emotional support for people undergoing distress. This is a really great volunteer opportunity if you enjoy comforting people going through hard times. Through this program, you will get trained on how to provide emotional support. This is a virtual position.
Use your vision
Be My Eyes is a mobile app that pairs sighted volunteers with blind or low-vision people to help them with everyday tasks. You can help someone who can’t see with every day tasks such as identifying the expiration date on medications, distinguishing colors, or navigating a new surrounding. Once you sign up, you can be video chatted or texted when someone needs your vision for help! You will never take your vision for granted again! This is a virtual position.
Crisis Text Line is a free 24/7 line for people in “crisis.” Crisis can mean a lot of different things to different people, but some of the common encounters will be with people who are having a panic attack, suicidal thoughts, etc. As a trained crisis counselor, you will respond to people in crisis remotely by answering text messages after being trained in active listening, collaborative problem solving, and safety planning.
United Nations volunteer
United Nations Volunteers provides a variety of online volunteering projects such as help with translation, research, writing, outreach, healthcare services and many more to suit your interests.
Tutoring can be a meaningful way to demonstrate your communication skills, display empathy, and build your CV while sharing your knowledge. You can tutor subjects like science or math to reinforce your knowledge and help kids who are struggling with online learning. These are virtual positions.
Keep your language skills sharp by volunteering to translate! Through this opportunties you can use your language skills to translate for important causes such humanitarian aid, crisis relief, health, and education.
You can write get well card for patients and thank you letters to healthcare workers on the frontlines of COVID through the Columbia American Medical Student Association. You can also send a letter to someone undergoing chemotherapy through Chemo Angels.
Need more ideas?
Here are some general search engines for volunteer opportunities in your area!
Hope that was helpful! Let me know if you signed up through one of these programs by commenting below! Thanks for all you do!