Volunteering: Who, What, When, Where, Why, How

WHO: YOU! The perfect pre-med student.

WHAT: You must volunteer your time at a hospital to show your commitment to health and helping. This is not easy, especially when you have a hefty course load.

WHEN: You should get this done before Spring Committee, meaning before the spring semester of your Junior year (if you plan on applying to med school straight after college). Also, many hospitals have certain times in which they are accepting volunteers, so always be on the lookout for those deadlines.

WHERE: Any hospital is good! Here is a list of hospitals within New York City. The best way to determine what needs to be done for each hospital is to do research on their volunteer department. Don’t be afraid to call, usually that’s the best way to get an accurate answer fast.

WHY: Once again, you must show your commitment to public health and serving the community. It also gives you the experience you need before making your ultimate career decision.

HOW: The hardest part is getting out there and actually networking. Many hospitals list a general number for their Volunteer department and it is up to the student to make the call. These positions do NOT seek you. You must actively seek out opportunities and utilize your time in a way that would benefit you the most. However, this should be kept in mind. General rule of thumb is 200 hospital volunteer hours for a competitive application!

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You Are Priceless, Your Organs However…

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(From HBO website) Tales from the Organ Trade explores the controversial practice of black-market  organ trafficking: from the street-level brokers who solicit kidney donors, to the rogue surgeons who perform the operations; from the impoverished donors willing to sacrifice a part of their bodies for a quick payday, to the desperate patients who face the agonizing choice of obeying the law or saving their lives.

Tales from the Organ Trade airs on HBO Monday, November 4, 2013 at 9PM

Resources to learn more about the ethics for organ transplants:

Global Bioethics Initiative

The Initiative helps inform local, state, national and international policy debates about global issues in medical and biotechnological sciences through collaboration with NGOs and UN departments, bodies and agencies.

United Network for Organ Sharing

This non-profit organization links all members of the organ procurement, transplantation and histocompatibility communities in the U.S.  It administers the national Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network under contract with the Health Resources and Services Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.