Get ahead by volunteering
Voluntary work may provide opportunities to develop a broad range of skills and interests, but what's out there, and how do we fit it in? Lorna Gibson explains
These days it is simply not good enough for medical students to have achieved high academic grades and excellent clinical skills. We have to show off an extraordinary range of interests and abilities to impress when we are applying for our first house jobs, and it can be difficult to fit everything in, especially during the clinical years of medical school.
Medical students are expected to show that they have leadership, management, and team working skills and a well rounded personality. Although there is some opportunity to work on these during most medical courses, many students develop such skills through extracurricular activities, such as voluntary work.
Opportunities to get involved in voluntary work exist all over the world, and there are bound to be organisations near you who need your help. Charities usually have specific aims and focus on a target group of people whom they help. These groups could