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  • Summer Undergraduate Research and Clinical Experiences

    Clinical Experiences

    A major aspect involved in your preparation for medical school is clinical experience.  Students should plan to devote a minimum of 150 hours volunteering in a busy hospital emergency room, a private clinic, an outpatient facility, a nursing home, or any other venue that provides patient care (EMT, Certified nursing assistant in a home for disabled adults, crisis hotline, AIDS clinic, etc.)  This work should be completed over the course of your college career. It is useless if you complete this work right before you begin the application process as schools will judge that you are only completing a task rather than seeking out opportunities to engage with patients because you care about a career in medicine. 


    All students need to secure their personal health history before contacting the hospitals for volunteer positions.  Various inoculations and immunizations are needed for volunteering (MMR shot, TB shot, tetanus shot, etc.).  Toxicology tests (drug tests) may also be required of you.  Contact the hospital volunteer services department directly to initiate the application process.
    American Red Cross 
    150 Amsterdam Avenue - Headquarters in City
    New York, NY 10023-5025
    Jennifer Brown - Coordinator of Volunteers
    Phone: (212)875-2068
    Fax: (212)875-2309 
    Website: http://nyredcross.org/page.php/prmID/24 
    Expectations: different requirements for each position 
    Website details all pertinent information
    Bellevue Hospital Center
    462 First Avenue (at 27th Street)
    New York, NY 10016
    Priscilla Daniels - Director of Volunteers
    Phone: (212)562-4858
    Fax: (212)562-2097 
    Expectations: 3 consecutive hours any one day of the week / for some programs a six hour minimum per week / some programs have a 3 or 6 month commitment
    Elissa Moore - Coordinator of Emergency Medicine Research and PAVERS Program. 
    Phone: (212) 562-3010
    Patient Advocate Volunteers in ER (PAVER)
    Expectations: minimum 4 hours per week - 6 month commitment
    Clinical research available
    Project Healthcare (Summer) 10 weeks/apply by January
    Beth Israel Medical Center 
    Milton & Carroll Petrie Division (Main Hospital)
    1st Avenue and 16th Street
    Laurie Burns - Coordinator of Volunteer Services
    Phone: (212) 420-2733
    Fax: (212) 420-4705
    Website: http://www.wehealnewyork.org/patients/bimc_volunopportunities.html
    Expectations: minimum 2 hours a week + 6 Month commitment w/ interview, reference check
    Beth Israel Medical Center 
    Phillips Ambulatory Care Center
    10 Union Square East, Suite 5-C
    New York, NY 10003
    Meryl Schaffer - Director 
    Phone: (212) 995-6667
    Expectations: 6 Month commitment w/ interview, reference check
    Cabrini Medical Center 
    227 East 19th Street (between 2nd & 3rd Ave)
    (212) 844-8630
    Lorien Vidal – Assistant Coordinator, Volunteer Services
    Phone: (212) 995-6667
    Fax: (212) 979-3567
    Minimum 4 hours per week
    Minimum 50-week commitment
    Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center 
    630 West 168th Street
    New York, NY 10032
    Website: www.nyp.org/volunteer
    Goldwater Memorial Hospital 
    1 Main Street - Roosevelt Island
    New York, NY 10044
    Director of Volunteers 
    Phone: (212)318-4457
    Expectations: Flexible Hours
    Gouverneur Hospital 
    227 Madison Avenue
    New York, NY 10002
    Director of Volunteer Services
    Phone: (212)238-7855
    Fax: (212)238-7879
    Seeks Special bilingual Chinese/English and Spanish/English interpreters
    Expectations: 6 hour minimum per week / 150 hours total commitment
    Harlem Hospital Center
    502 Lenox Avenue
    New York, NY 10037
    Website: http://www.nyc.gov/html/hhc/html/volunteer/volunteering.shtml
    Harlem Hospital Language Assistance Program
    MLKP 6th Floor, Room 6-185
    Associate Director, Cultural and Linguistic Diversity Coordinator 
    Phone: (212)939-1037
    Medical Interpreting (Spanish/French)
    Hospital for Special Surgery 
    535 East 70th Street
    New York, NY 10021
    Director of Volunteers
    Phone: (212)606-1228
    Fax: (212)774-7013
    Expectations: 100 total hours within a 6 month period
    Monday - Friday, 9:30am - 5:30pm 
    4 hour shifts
    Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center 
    1275 York Avenue, Room C128
    New York, NY 10021
    Phone: (212)639-8623 or (212)639-5980 Fax: (212)639-8886
    Website: http://www.mskcc.org/mskcc/html/1288.cfm
    Expectations: once a week for 3-4 hours for at least a school semester or longer
    Metropolitan Hospital Center 
    1901 First Avenue (at 97th Street)
    New York, NY 10029
    Director of Volunteers 
    Phone: (212)423-6894
    Fax: (646)672-3227 
    Website: http://www.nyc.gov/html/hhc/html/volunteer/volunteering.shtml
    Expectations: 3 hours on a given day and a 150 hour commitment
    Recent Physical required
    Montefiore Medical Center – Moses Division Hospital
    111 East 210th Street
    Bronx, NY 10467
    Phone: (718)904-2934 Fax: (718) 547-4205
    Website: http://www.montefiore.org
    Montefiore Medical Center – Weiler Division Hospital
    1825 Eastchester Road
    Bronx, NY 10461
    Mount Sinai Hospital 
    One Gustave L. Levy Place
    1190 Fifth Avenue
    New York, NY 10029
    (212)241-6500 – main telephone
    Website: www.mountsinai.org/msh/msg_vol.jsp
    Director of Volunteer Services Volunteer Department
    Coordinator of Patient Care Volunteers
    Phone: (212)241-0478
    Fax: (212)987-3969
    Expectations: 6 months and 100 hours total commitment
    New York Eye & Ear Infirmary 
    310 East 14th Street at 2nd Avenue
    New York, NY 10003
    Director of Volunteers
    Phone: (212) 979-4462
    Commitment of 100 hours or three months
    Two references
    New York Hospital - Cornell Medical Center
    525 East 68th Street
    New York, NY 10003
    Director of Volunteers
    Phone: (212) 746-4396
    Fax: (212)353-5728
    Website: http://www.nyp.org/volunteer
    Expectations: 100 hours minimum or three months
    Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm
    New York State Psychiatric Institute 
    1051 Riverside Drive
    New York, NY 10032
    Website: www.nyspi.cpmc.columbia.edu
    Director of Volunteer Services
    Phone: (212)543-5240
    Six-month commitment
    New York University Medical Center – Tisch Hospital 
    530 First Avenue
    New York, NY 10016
    Manager of Volunteers
    Phone: (212)263-6100
    Fax: (212)263-3738
    Website: http://www.med.nyu.edu/development/howyoucanhelp/volunteer.html
    New York V.A. Medical Center 
    423 East 23rd Street
    New York, NY 10010
    Phone: (212) 447-5158
    St. Luke's Hospital 
    1111 Amsterdam Avenue
    New York, NY 10025
    (212)523-2188 – volunteer services
    Website: http://www.wehealny.org/services/slr_volunteer/index.asp
    Kathleen Dalton - Director of Volunteers
    Phone: (212) 523-7155
    Expectations: 120 hours minimum - 6 month commitment
    Mary Jo Page - Supervising Staff Coordinator - (212) 523-2188 
    Look for e-mail at the beginning of each semester regarding mandatory Volunteer Orientation.
    St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital 
    1000 Tenth Avenue (at 59th Street)
    New York, NY 10019
    Website: http://www.wehealny.org/services/slr_volunteer/index.asp
    Sue Fenton - Director of Volunteers
    David Heefner - Supervising Staff Coordinator
    (212) 523-7155 – volunteer services
    Pre-dental students must gain some experience (approximately 100 hours) working/shadowing in the offices of a local dentist, and you should look outside of the opportunities that may be available from parents or relatives who are already members of the profession.
    Those interested in optometry, osteopathic medicine, podiatry, pharmacy, physical therapy, etc. should seek out opportunities to work directly with members of those professions.

    Research Experiences

    Research and clinical placements offer the opportunity to demonstrate to your supervisors your ability to work well with others and should yield a letter of reference at the end of your internship. By making a strong and memorable impression during these placements, your supervisors will have concrete material to work with when writing you a letter of recommendation.

    Basic scientific research

    a) Undergraduate students who are seeking some initial research experience often do so by approaching members of the faculty at YC. It is also possible to obtain volunteer (unpaid) jobs during both the academic year and the summer months by directly contacting laboratory directors at major hospitals using an email blast. You should use a web search to find the names of contacts at convenient locations who are doing research in areas of your personal interest. If you send out 100 preliminary inquiries, you should receive at least a few positive replies. Your initial email should provide basic biographical information, educational background (relevant college coursework completed), career goals, and a listing of any technical skills which you have already mastered. Meet with a staff member of Career Development who will help you with resume and cover letter development. Do not add attachments to these emails. Put everything in the body of the text.
    b) Many medical schools have programs of research for undergraduates in the summer months. Most carry generous stipends and also provide group meetings, seminars, and social activities. They run for 7-10 weeks and there are many more applicants than available positions. Successful applicants have usually completed some advanced-level science courses and have also been previously involved in research at their own colleges or in outside institutions or companies.

    Clinical research

    These positions usually involve a statistical analysis of treatments and outcomes. They generally require far less scientific knowledge, although courses in statistics and a working knowledge of appropriate computer programs will be essential.  They may be paid or volunteer and often require a shorter commitment of working hours and fewer weeks.
    The following websites will provide listings and links to some of the programs that you may wish to consider for applications:


    Gateway to Dentistry Program (UMDNJ)
    Also check for opportunities at dental laboratories and various community outreach programs. 


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