Current students have learned that volunteering is important for a medical school application but giving back shouldn’t stop there. Many medical students still set time aside in their busy schedules to provide help to healthcare organizations and facilities with their knowledge, expertise, and skills learned from school.
While on the path to becoming a doctor, there are numerous ways for you to start giving back to your communities now. With your contribution, you might even be the reason that a new medical discovery happened or why a patient finally gets the right assistance they weren’t getting before!
How is Giving Back Different in Medical School?
By following a medical school curriculum and being exposed to meaningful work, you’ll most likely have different outlooks on people and various situations. This is extremely beneficial because you can think more critically about the best ways to give back, and you understand that you’ll never be limited to what you can achieve for communities. If you continue to grow your skills and volunteer your time as a future physician, your efforts can be taken anywhere and might even be the difference in the outcome of someone’s future.
For example, a specific medical school course might teach you that because a certain group of people in a small community live in poor environmental conditions, they have been known to suffer from neurological issues as they get older. With this knowledge and intellectual persistence you developed from your curriculum, you can not only volunteer to provide these people with better resources, but you can use your expertise to help contribute to research and educational materials that can make others more aware of this major issue. Ultimately, the amount that you can do to help others as a medical student is almost limitless.
3 Ways for You to Give Back
Participate at a Free Clinic
In 2020, it was found that there were over 1,400 free clinics within the United States and that about 2 million patients visited one last year. It was also discovered that 83% of free clinic patients come from a working household. That means that free clinics are being utilized by a high number of people every day from a variety of working classes and that they will need additional assistance to ensure all patients get the best help they deserve. For a medical student that wants to give back, volunteering at a free clinic is a great first step.
While at a free clinic, medical students that are volunteers will be able to take on responsibilities such as collecting patient histories, conducting simple tests such as a physical exam, and more. This will not only keep the workflow efficient by providing extra help, but students will have the opportunity to put what they learned from their courses into action. They will also be able to see the complexities that the average patient has to suffer through and can work to empower and provide compassion that may be missing.
Donate Materials to Help Medical Research
If you don’t have any extra time to contribute, you can still give back by donating money or materials to a cause that aims to assist doctors and experts in their medical research. Many organizations are providing excellent work within the clinical field but need donations and extra supplies to survive. This means that no matter how much you’re able to give, your contribution will go towards something important, such as a study, vaccines, and even breakthroughs with new medicines.
To ensure that the organization you’re interested in donating to is legitimate, you can look for one through the IRS’s searchable database of charities, or through websites such as Charity Navigator, which will also let you know exactly how much of your donation goes directly to a cause.
Mentor Other Students
Do you wish that you had someone there to give you the right advice before going to medical school? The challenges you faced during your time as a pre-med are more than likely the same ones other students will have to go through. They might be struggling with their medical school applications or aren’t able to find the right research program. To aid them, you can provide mentorship and guidance.
By becoming a mentor, you’ll be fostering a new set of future physicians that will succeed despite not having access to all the right information, not having financial means, or are already underrepresented in the medical field. You’ll be able to provide them with all your knowledge and insight and can be the major difference maker in whether they have a great first year or not.
What Can AUSOMA do for You?
AUSOMA’s carefully crafted curriculum allows our students to take their skills wherever they go. By studying abroad at AUSOMA, our students are encouraged to take their education to the next level by expanding their mindsets and understanding that the medical field is multifaceted. They know that as long as they’re doctors, their journey of learning will never be done, and they’ll have to take on any challenges to help those in need.