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How many volunteer hours do I need for medical school?

medical school volunteer hoursOne of the most frequently asked questions we get at MedSchoolCoach is coming hours of volunteer experience doing it? A lot of premedical students are involved in the community, and it’s an important part of any medical school application. Showing altruism, the ability to health in the community, the ability to make an impact in others’ lives is very important in a very meaningful part of any medical school application. However, quantifying the exact number of hours that a student needs is often difficult. Further, it’s even more difficult sometimes to sit down and figure out exactly how many hours you spent in each experience. But, we can give you a ballpark estimate of the number of community/volunteer service hours that you want.

Remember, community/volunteer service is defined as involvement in service activity without constraint or guarantee of reward or compensation. These can be broad, such as working a soup kitchen, tutoring underprivileged children, mentoring at the local high school, or volunteering at your local free clinic. All of these experiences potentially fall under the community/volunteer service realm.

In order to think about the exact number of hours, we turn to the University of Utah. They’ve actually defined and ask on their secondary how many hours a particular student has spent. Now the average student who comes in to their application has spent approximately 100 hours working in the community within the last four years(the minimum number they quote is 36 total hours, but nobody wants to be at the minimum). So, 100 hours should be a good number to aim for and what you should keep in mind for how many volunteer hours you need prior to applying to medical school.