The years you spend learning skills and medical information in school will enable you to become a reliable professional in the future. However, there are various avenues outside of school that can teach you valuable lessons. For instance, becoming a medical volunteer is a great way to hone your skills. Here are reasons why you should consider participating in medical outreach programs as a student:
One benefit you can reap from volunteering is the chance to practice your clinical skills. Some medical students often sign up for various outreach programs to meet people who need medical attention. Although you’ll assist professionals when diagnosing patients, you’ll get a firsthand experience of how consultations often happen.
In some instances, you may need to perform simple clinic procedures and provide a differential. It’s a great opportunity to get used to the work you’ll do once you become a licensed medical professional. If you want to volunteer during your free time, you can look for upcoming outreach programs. For instance, you can sign up to volunteer in Tanzania or other locations that need medical assistance.
Technical skills aren’t the only aptitude you’ll learn when volunteering. Besides your medical knowledge, communicating with other people also matters when you become a full-fledged professional. If you plan on being a physician, you’ll face people with different health problems daily. And if you don’t know how to inform them about their health or explain complicated medical situations to them, you may upset your patients or fail to provide sufficient details about their condition.
Hence, it’s helpful to learn this skill as early as possible. Volunteering on medical drives and community clinics provides you the opportunity to talk to all kinds of people. This’ll help sharpen your interpersonal skills. Also, you may learn how to be more sensitive with non-verbal signals, allowing you to approach your patient with care. For instance, if a person feels nervous about disclosing how they feel and shows signs of anxiety, you can make them feel more comfortable first.
Pursuing a medical career is a long journey that can make you feel less motivated at times. You may even start to question whether it’s the right path for you. If you wish to remind yourself why you’re pursuing a career in medicine, volunteering may be the right way to go.
Meeting people in dire need of medical attention may help remind you of the importance and value of your chosen profession. In some cases, your experience may also provide insight into what field of medicine you like. If you wish to change specialties or learn about your preferences clinically, practicing medical skills and providing consultations firsthand may help you decide. Additionally, some people pursue a medical job because of their passion or desire to help other people. Volunteering is an excellent opportunity to remember your purpose for entering medical school and your plans for the future.
It’s easier to learn the ropes of your profession when you have a reliable senior to help you out. The same goes when you enter the medical field. It’ll be more manageable for you to learn the basics if a senior physician mentors you. They can teach you tips and tricks inside the clinic and help you understand your lessons. For instance, some mentors ask younger students to help out during clinical consultations or simple medical procedures. This is a rare learning opportunity since it’s commonly one-on-one.
Additionally, finding a mentor through volunteering may have various advantages that are beyond the outreach program. For one, you can ask the senior physician you’re shadowing for help or advice regarding your lessons or thesis. You may also discuss things you learned in class to understand them better. The medical school you’re attending may have partner non-profit organizations you can sign up for, so it’ll be easier to become a volunteer in various locations. Try to ask upper-level students or your professors whether they know about any upcoming programs.
Your career as a medical professional will begin once you finish your studies and receive your license. But you don’t need to wait until you get out of medical school to build your credentials. Participating in outreach programs may help you find a great place to do your residency. In some cases, you may also get opportunities from the people you work with during your medical missions. You can add your volunteering experiences to your resume to make your resume more appealing to employers in the future.
Volunteering is a difficult job that aims to provide sincere assistance to people in need without expecting anything in return. If you wish to gain experience and learn things outside the classroom, you can find a medical outreach program and sign up for it.