Note: We are currently recruiting for a minimum 6-month commitment beginning in September 2018 or later.
Students interested in a career in medicine or healthcare are welcome to volunteer at our clinic! You will be working with our team of staff and volunteers to assist our group of family physicians in daily operations at the clinic. Under close and ongoing supervision, you will receive comprehensive training from physicians, staff and other volunteers to perform medically related tasks.
We welcome medical students and residents to arrange training elective with us. We also welcome international medical graduates (IMGs) to arrange shadowing and training experiences with us. Training practicum are also offered to social work, counseling, psychology and psychotherapy students.
Volunteers will gain practical clinical experience by:
- Performing medically-related duties such as taking vital signs, organizing and ordering medications, maintaining a vaccine inventory, and administering vaccinations and other injections. Additional tasks and projects include educating patients, booking and confirming appointments, and improving the clinical care of patients.
- Participating in cancer screening, diabetes management projects and the promotion of appropriate vaccines which positively impact community health, save lives and improve individual health.
- Utilizing the latest medical software to manage medical records electronically. You will develop expertise in updating and interpreting electronic medical records by scanning documents, inputting patient information, preparing diagnostic tests and implementing software features. Through this experience, you will be in the vanguard of medical record management and will become an expert in using electronic medical records.
- Participating in conducting clinical research studies as available which will improve patient care. Past studies have involved studying the prevalence of chronic hepatitis B and improving ongoing care management of patients with chronic hepatitis B. One active study being conducted now involves analysing the outcome of a course which builds emotional bonds between parents and their adolescent children.
Outside of patient care at the clinic, many of our doctors are involved in the community to address important socio-economic determinants of health. Volunteers will also have the opportunity to participate in these programs, helping to improve health at the community and population levels. The directors of these programs can provide strong reference letters for medical school applications to volunteers who show outstanding performance. Our past experience has been that these strong references and the personal, touching stories that volunteers have been able to tell in their medical school interviews through their experience in our clinic and in the community have been crucial in gaining acceptance into medical school. Some current available opportunities include:
1. Helping in an after school program for elementary students to help them reach their full potential. The program is run by a retired teacher every weekday from 3 - 6:30 pm during the school term from Sept through June. She will teach and train volunteers on how to help students with completing their homework, developing social skills and helping them with individual issues and problems. Helping even a single student reach their full potential is one of the most meaningful things one can do in life. The location is at 201 Tempo Ave in the McNicoll and Victoria Park area. A minimum commitment of 2 afternoons per week is necessary to provide the continuity that young learners need.
2. Serving in a community food bank running on the first and third Saturdays every month from 9:30 am - 1 pm, giving food and help to needy people. Clients are mainly new Syrian and Afghan refugees and new immigrants from China who have fallen on hard times. Full training will be provided on how to aid them respectfully and with compassion. Location is at 201 Tempo Ave in the McNicoll and Victoria Park area. Help is also needed to raise support, organize and run food drives, find additional sponsors, find government assistance programs for clients, help clients find jobs, accompany clients to medical appointments and help clients to learn about Canadian culture and adapt to life in Canada.
Volunteering at Grace Health Centre is a rich opportunity to learn about and become exposed to medicine in a clinical setting. It allows prospective students to observe how principles of medicine are put into clinical practice. With us, you will learn how a caring, therapeutic doctor-patient relationship, and scientific evidence-based medicine work together to improve the health of our patients. On numerous occasions, you will be invited into one of the doctors' offices to learn something unique and/or observe a medical procedure involving a consenting patient. In addition, you will participate in analysing actual patient case studies in which you will learn the critical thinking processes involved in reaching the correct diagnosis and best management of patients. This would include being taught to avoid common cognitive errors and diagnostic mistakes. You will also learn to appreciate a doctor's role beyond the clinical setting, especially their part in addressing socio-economic factors that are potential barriers to adequate health care.
You will have the opportunity to see how our holistic model of promoting wellness physical, emotional, relational and spiritual wellness works in practise in affecting permanent positive changes in health, deep emotional healing, restored broken relationships and deeper spirituality.
If you are interested in medicine, this is a valuable experience for you to exercise and develop the diverse skill sets demanded in the medical field. This unique opportunity is not available anywhere else!
Volunteers who are regularly involved for longer hours are more engaged, learn the most, and receive leadership positions. This produces a higher quality experience for both themselves and fellow volunteers. There is a large amount of infomation, and many skills to be learned and mastered. Thus, we are seeking dedicated individuals who are able to commit a minimum 10-30 hours per week at our clinic for a total of 400 hours. In order to provide exceptional healthcare to our patients, we require at least a 90% attendance record commitment. Volunteering with us is an enriching experience for anyone pursuing a career in medicine, which is why this must be a top priority in your schedule. Many volunteers find that this is such an awesome learning experience that they volunteer for longer than this to maximize their learning. Priority will be given to applicants who are graduates and/or have flexible schedules and are willing to commit more volunteer hours per week.
There is a lot to learn. It takes time for you to master the different skills taught and for us to know you and what you are capable of. Therefore, we require a minimum completion of 400 hours prior to the provision of a reference letter.
How to apply for volunteer position
E-mail your resume, cover letter and most recent transcripts to email@example.com to be considered for an interview. Please specify how many hours per week you are able to contribute and what times Monday to Friday you are available (please refer to our clinic hours). Also specify if you are fluent in any other languages, and which if any of the above community volunteering opportunities you are interested in. Incomplete applications without all of the above information will not be considered.
Note that applications for our volunteer positions are very competitive since this is a unique opportunity not available anywhere else. Due to the extensive use of computers, scanners, printers, fax machines, copiers, other electronic equipment, website and Information Technology in our clinic, skills and experience and the ability to problem solve and troubleshoot these are definitely an asset. It is also an asset if volunteers can speak, read, and type Chinese. Applicants with these skills and experience will be given preference. If you have these skills and experience, please highlight them in your cover letter or resume.
To be successful, post-secondary applicants generally require a minimum average of A. Applicants from the University of Toronto's St. George campus may, however, apply with a minimum average of B. Application is not recommended if these requirements are not met.
We thank all interested applicants, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.
Due to the volume of applicants, we do not respond to inquiries. You will be contacted if chosen for an interview.
Please visit our FAQ section for more information.
Testimonials from former volunteers
We congratulate the 12 volunteers from the Grace family who are starting medical school in 2018. We wish them the best!
Many of our volunteers are successful in the application, interview and subsequent admission process to medical schools across Ontario, Canada, and elsewhere. They often cite this experience as a significant stepping stone in this accomplishment. Here are some recent testimonials given by former volunteers:
I had an amazing learning experience volunteering at Grace Healthcare Centre! I was able to directly interact with patients through taking vitals after vigorous training and under close supervision and also work on a variety of different research projects. The staff at Grace Healthcare Centre are truly a family as everyone is so welcoming and willing to help each other. I will be starting medical school in Ottawa.
Grace Health Centre gave me the opportunity to experience what healthcare is really like. Volunteers are a vital part of the clinic’s operation, so I got to see and participate in a lot of the ongoing projects and processes. Plus, if you are looking for activities that can help you practice all those soft skills that interviewers are looking for, this is the place to be! After extensive training and under close supervision, I was able to perform some clinical tasks. From software troubleshooting, to flu shots, to patient vitals, booking appointments, and explaining vaccines, I found myself practicing teamwork, patience, communication, problem solving, and initiative every day at the clinic. Thank you to all the doctors, staff and other volunteers for making the last year a time of personal growth for me. Thank you for your friendship, your support, and your wisdom! I will be in the class of 2021 McMaster medical school.
Volunteering at Grace Health Centre gives the unique opportunity to interact with caring physicians, patients, and like-minded peers that cannot be found elsewhere. On the one hand, I learned valuable skills for an aspiring healthcare professional, such as taking patient vitals, reading medical reports and giving injections after training and under close supervision. On the other hand, the ample amount of patient interaction helped me develop essential communication skills and adapt to different situations in a clinical setting. The team of physicians at GHC truly cares about their patients and their volunteers. I really appreciate how they take the time to learn about each volunteer as a person, provide us fascinating medical cases to study, and support us at the clinic and beyond. I have volunteered for 2 summers at GHC as it provides such invaluable and direct exposure to the medical field for university students. I am headed to McMaster medical school this August after finishing 3 years of the McMaster Health Sciences program.
This volunteering experience was one of the most meaningful over my university degree; I was able to learn so much about the healthcare system and what role I can play within this system. It can be difficult to know what career is best for you, especially since university can be a very isolating environment where I personally felt a disconnect between me and the outside, working world. At GHC, I was able to discover meaning within the healthcare setting. It helped me learn more about myself, my community, and what I wanted out of my future. I graduated from the McMaster Health Sciences program and will be starting medical school at Dalhousie this year.
Volunteering at the Grace Health Centre is an one-of-a-kind experience. Here, you are actively involved in patient care: taking patient vitals, teaching patients about vaccines, and relevant diagnostic screens, etc, and you are a valued member of the team. The culture and work environment at the Grace is extremely friendly, warm, and collaborative. Here, you’ll meet many like-minded individuals, who share your drive, passion, and interest for medicine. It has been a wonderful experience for me to work alongside these amazing people, and I have developed many good friendships with my fellow volunteers. The doctors and staff members here genuinely care about the volunteer experience and have always been willing to make time to answer my questions. I remember all the times where, at the end of the day, I would be discussing with my fellow volunteers medical terms and concepts that we picked up on during the shift, and the doctors would stop by, as they were leaving, to sit down with us and give us a mini lesson and the physician perspective on some of these issues and topics. I can wholeheartedly, and without reservation, recommend volunteering at the Grace Health Centre to anyone who is interested or considering a career in health care. It was a very inspiring experience for me to work alongside such a passionate and dedicated team of doctors and staff members at the Grace Health Centre, and this experience has shown me what a career in medicine is all about. I volunteered at Grace Health Centre while doing my MSc at University of Toronto. I will be heading to University of Manitoba for medical school.
This position provided a transformative experience wherein I not only acquired valuable insights into the practical underpinnings of a clinic but also accentuated my aspiration towards the profession of medicine. Following thorough training and close supervision, I was entrusted with responsibilities that feature an unparalleled degree of patient interaction, ranging from vital-taking to the promotion and administration of vaccines. By engaging in these novel undertakings, I caught a glimpse of why interpersonal skills are considered imperative to a physician's success while simultaneously cementing my resolve to pursue medicine - as the ongoing social exchange with patients from all walks of life embodies an immensely satisfying motivator.The various administrative tasks, including the processing of incoming faxes and the scheduling of specialist appointments, have imparted on me the realization that medicine, for all its glamorized endeavors, is not deplete of common but necessary nuances. Every slash on an operating table be must supported by a multitude of documentations requiring more diligence in maintenance than an outsider cares to imagine. With improved capacity for written and verbal communication cultivated through my duties, I am prepared to embrace medicine in all its aspects. After receiving multiple offers of admission to Ontario and American medical schools, I will be starting medical school at New York University on a full academic scholarship.
Volunteering at the clinic has solidified my passion and interest for medicine by allowing me to immerse myself in hands-on clinic work under close supervision and after comprehensive training from giving patient injections to running a breast and cervical cancer screening initiative. I believe I have showed my suitability for medicine through consistently demonstrating CanMEDs core medical competencies including collaboration, communication, health advocate, scholar, and managerial. I will be starting medical school in Ottawa.
Volunteering at the Grace Health Centre is truly a one-of-a-kind experience. At many other clinics and hospitals, volunteers rarely get to work on the front-line with patients. Here, volunteers, after rigorous training and under close supervision, are entrusted with many tasks that will directly impact patient health including taking patient vitals, giving injections, and calling patients for cancer screenings. Volunteering at the clinic has also helped me grow tremendously as a person by providing me with numerous opportunities to gain confidence and develop skills in new areas e.g. troubleshooting tech problems. The staff and doctors are always supportive of all our endeavors and I couldn’t have asked for a better team of volunteers to work with. Thank you so much for helping support us on our journey to a career in healthcare!
My experience at Grace Health Centre has undoubtedly been the highlight of my undergraduate journey. From the moment I stepped into the clinic, I was amazed by the level of trust the physicians placed on the volunteers. Grace volunteers have the opportunities to interact directly with patients by taking their vital signs, educating patients on screening tests and also administering vaccines after thorough training and under close supervision. In addition, the clinic also offers many special projects that fully utilize the volunteers’ unique talents toward benefiting the community while also expanding the volunteers’ professional portfolio. In my case, I was entrusted to be the manager of a translation project where I led a team of ten university students to translate a variety of English psychoeducational resources into Mandarin and Cantonese. These resources were in turn used to help Chinese families in our community and around the world to better appreciate the importance of mental health and to improve their family relationship.Finally, I was consistently amazed at the level of support we received from the physicians and our fellow volunteers. On a regular basis, the physicians would take time away from their busy schedule to educate the volunteers about ethical dilemma and clinical science using real patient cases. The volunteers also support each other during every step of our medical school application via sharing of past experience and strategies. Former Grace volunteers can be found in almost every medical schools across Ontario and we are all here to support you in your journey to medical school. The network and support you receive from Grace Health Centre is truly unique and cannot be found anywhere else! I am looking forward to starting medical school at Ottawa this September.
It has been such a pleasure working at Grace Health Centre last summer to fall. The physicians demonstrated to the volunteers what it is like to provide patient-centred care through the treatment of their patients, and I was privileged to witness some of these interactions take place. Moreover, the volunteers were dedicated and hardworking, and we helped each other not only with clinic duties, but also with providing feedback for our medical school applications. I had an especially great and unique experience on helping prepare some psychiatry educational materials. All of these experiences have contributed to my understanding of the responsibilities and also rewards of a physician, which solidified my drive to pursue a medical education. I am deeply appreciative of the time spent at Grace Health Centre, and I will carry these lessons forward as I start my formal journey to a medical career at Queen's university this fall!
This is a completely unique (as far as I know) opportunity for true clinical patient interactions and experiences. No other place that I know of allows volunteers to have this degree of opportunity in interacting with patients, from doing the vitals, to giving vaccines after thorough training and under close supervision. The degree of trust the staff put in the volunteers is very encouraging and also demands a high degree of detailed work and excellence from volunteers in dealing with patients, records, etc. Additionally, it is very meaningful to work on the projects ensuring that patients get mammograms/pap smears and FOBTs in a timely manner to prevent disease. The opportunity to be a volunteer coordinator was also a great one. It afforded a high degree of responsibility, required us to constantly be taking feedback from the other volunteers and staff, and always be looking for ways to improve. It is the ideal way to check whether or not a career in healthcare/as a physician is right for you, and to know whether your expectations of the field are realistic. It also provided me with great friendships and connections with other volunteers and great mentorship and encouragement from the physicians. I am looking forward to medical school this year at the University of Toronto.
Without a doubt, volunteering at Grace Health Centre is a valuable experience for anyone that hopes to pursue a career in medicine. It is rare to find an experience such as this, where busy clinicians take such a vested interest in pre-med students. As a result, the experience one obtains from their time at the clinic is unmatched to any other experience they may have anywhere else. Volunteers are supported and entrusted with several important tasks, and as a result play an integral role in the overall quality of care the clinic provides. You are given the opportunity to regularly work with the latest medical records software and interact with patients during clinical encounters, in a capacity where you are more than just as a greeter. All these opportunities help develop the passion you have to work within the healthcare field. After volunteering at the clinic, you will walk out with much more knowledge of the healthcare field, as well as a greater understanding of your unique interest in medicine. Simply put, I feel extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to volunteer at this clinic, as it definitely played a key role in my acceptance to medical school this year at Queens University.
My time at the Grace Health Centre was an incredibly positive experience that has expanded my clinical knowledge immensely. I was able to experience many different aspects of the clinical environment such as assessing patient vitals, tracking health screening tests and reviewing an enormous diversity of medical reports. As well, the close guidance of some of the physicians has given me insight into the holistic problem solving process in medicine. Compared to other volunteering experiences, I had more opportunity to have hands-on patient experiences at the Grace Health Centre which has further enhanced my clinical experiences that I can discuss in my applications. I want to thank each doctor, staff, and other volunteers for their immense support in my journey towards medicine. I will be attending the University of Toronto medical school this year.
Volunteering at the Grace Health Centre has definitely been one of the highlights of my undergraduate career and a major factor in helping me get into medical at Ottawa. All of the doctors and staff are incredible mentors to the volunteers. They have provided me with the utmost guidance and motivation on my journey towards reaching my goal of becoming a doctor. Also, being able to gain first-hand working experience in a real health-care setting has only solidified my desire to pursue the field of medicine. Being a volunteer here provides us with so many unique learning opportunities that are not possible at other health care-related volunteering experiences. These include ample opportunity to interact with patients, working with electronic medical records and shadowing the doctors during their appointments. Finally, all of the other volunteers at the clinic are very inspirational and enthusiastic individuals, and they made my volunteer experience at the clinic that much more enjoyable. Thank you so much to everyone at Grace Health Centre! I will miss you!
The experience I had at GHC was truly unique. Unlike other volunteer opportunities, I was provided a first-hand experience in patient care. From taking patient vitals, educating patients on recommended vaccinations, filing/interpreting reports, and running a cancer screening project, I felt that I was a vital member of the GHC healthcare team. I began volunteering in the third year of my undergraduate studies and upon completion of my degree, was hired as the receptionist for the clinic. Aside from the vast amount of medical knowledge I have gained, I feel that working as a receptionist has played a major role in the development of my interpersonal skills which translated very well to my medical school interviews. I am very grateful to everyone at GHC for supporting me throughout this stage in my life. Although I am sad to be leaving, I am looking forward to starting medical school at Western University this September!
One of the main reasons for potential applicants not being accepted to healthcare professional programs is not fully understanding the mindset of a healthcare provider. At GHC, you are given this very valuable opportunity to learn more about what it means to be a caring and effective physician. You will learn directly from the physicians who provide direct insight into patient care. You will also learn from your other colleagues from all walks of life. This experience will help improve yourself no matter what your future goals are! I highly recommend volunteering here, because of its unique opportunities and valuable learning opportunities. I will be looking forward to start medical school at Ottawa.
The Grace Health Centre truly does provide a volunteering opportunity in healthcare that you cannot get anywhere else. Interacting with dozens of patients happens daily, and the physicians often offer shadowing experiences that greatly enhance our appreciation of the skills required to excel in medicine. You will work with disciplined, intelligent, and fun-loving individuals to provide efficient and wholesome care to patients, and you will develop lasting friendships during your time here. For students looking to apply to medical school, this opportunity is invaluable for the stories you will be able to speak of during your interviews, but also for the firsthand experience of working with patients and doctors that will give you an advantage when you do begin your medical education. I want to thank all the doctors and staff for their patience and guidance in teaching me how to become a good physician, and all the volunteers for their enthusiasm and commitment to creating an enjoyable work environment for everyone. I am excited to be a part of McMaster University’s Class of 2018, and I cannot recommend this volunteering position enough!
Finding opportunities to shadow a physician as a pre-medical student, as we all know, is extremely difficult. Doctors are rarely willing to take premeds under their wing and mentor them through the process. This is what makes the volunteering experience at Grace Health Centre so unique – the doctors here have, for many years, welcomed students interested in healthcare and have designed a program that is simply unmatched. As a volunteer, instead of being a distant observer, you are immersed deeply into the operation of a medical clinic because crucial responsibilities are delegated and entrusted to you. You will learn to use the latest electronic medical records management technologies, and you will have ample ‘face-time’ with patients as you will make a direct contribution to their care. The many opportunities for patient interactions will allow to you affirm your passion to work in the healthcare field. In addition, you will be surrounded by motivated individuals that are aiming for the same goals as you are, and become great friends that may someday become your colleagues.My time as a volunteer has been a valuable experience, and I consider it to be the deciding factor for my acceptance to an Ontario medical school this year. Thank you Grace Health Centre!
Volunteering at the Grace Health Center exceeded my expectations from the very first day. The training is thorough, organized, and well executed by knowledgeable volunteers and staff. It provided me with an excellent understanding of electronic medical records in a general capacity, but more importantly I had to opportunity to see how the excess of patient histories, consults, and test results are efficiently summarized and amalgamated into a single electronic location by a team of physicians who clearly take pride in the patient records (a very important part of medicine!). The volunteers are given many opportunities to effect real patient outcomes, and in my case I was honoured to help run (very successfully!) the colon screening program at the clinic. There are also ample opportunities to increase medical knowledge as volunteers were often quizzed about patient conditions and given the opportunity to search and discuss best treatment options. We also accompanied staff at medical conferences and received excellent advice from both physicians and fellow volunteers as we all prepared for medical interviews (a huge help for me as I got in the same year!). The experience really is all-encompassing, and there are plenty of chances to get hands-on experience too! These are just a few reasons why volunteering at the Grace Health Center is a truly valuable experience. A very sincere thank you to all of the staff and fellow volunteers and best of luck in the future!
Just wanted to drop you a line to let you know that I’ve gotten into medical school! I interviewed at the University of Calgary this past spring and received the good news about my acceptance last week. I start in late July and couldn’t be more excited!I really appreciate all of the guidance and encouragement that the physicians at Grace Health Centre provided for the volunteers and myself. All of the doctors were very accommodating and regularly went out of their way to explain how things worked from a medical perspective. I learned a great deal as a volunteer- such as how to properly measure patient vital signs, how to understand and navigate electronic medical records, and how to interpret various medical tests- much of which I am sure will serve me well during my upcoming time as a medical student and beyond. I had a rewarding and enjoyable time, and would highly recommend this experience to anyone thinking about pursuing medicine!
Great news! I was offered admission into McMaster's MD program today. Incredibly grateful, happy, and in a state of disbelief about it :DThank you so much for all the help you, and everyone else at the clinic, have generously provided over the past half year. The exposure to medicine that you allowed me during the volunteering, and the incredibly helpful advice you gave regarding interviewing, added considerable depth to my interview…
I just want to say thanks for providing me with a great volunteering opportunity and experience last summer. I’m off to UWO and my sister is off to McMaster (medical schools).Please also thank Dr.___ for writing me a great reference.
Thank you for providing me with the opportunity to assist at your medical clinic and to gain medical experience under your guidance. I’ve been accepted to McMaster University and will most likely be heading there. However, I am wait listed for Ottawa and am hoping that I get in before May 27th (the day when I have to decide). It has been great working with you and thanks for supporting me through this journey.
When I was applying to medical school, a common theme of questions in the applications process and the interview is “why do you want to be a doctor?”, “what experiences have shown you that you will be a good doctor?” It is very impressive when you have clinical experience such as taking vital signs, giving flu shots, and patient interaction and you can use that to shape your answer to these questions. These are the types of experiences that are difficult to find when volunteering in large hospitals but they stand out when you’re applying. The skills I learned here, and the experiences I’ve had helped me answer interview questions and write admissions essays and played a large part in my acceptance to medical school.
My time volunteering at Grace Health Centre was one of the best decisions I have ever made, both academically and personally. It was a wonderful experience and I doubt there are any other volunteer opportunities out there that parallel the amount of learning and physician- and patient- interaction in a clinical setting. My 2+ years of volunteer service at the Grace Health Centre was the catalyst in turning my medical school dream into a reality, as it helped me develop the tools needed to become a physician. This volunteer experience was the center of my medical school application, and the focus of my interview.I got to learn the ins and outs of being a doctor; not just seeing and experiencing the various ailments and conditions that exist in the world, but more importantly about the faces behind these illnesses. Medicine is shifting its focus towards patient-centred care, and there is no better place to learn what this entails than at Grace Medical Center.
Overall, I really enjoyed my experience volunteering at the clinic and, perhaps even more importantly, it was a unique opportunity to learn. I was able to interact with patients as I took their vitals or administered vaccinations. I learned about how to manage and update electronic medical systems and experienced first-hand how much more organized and useful computerized records can be than traditional hard copies. When I had extra time, I was also able to be involved in updating medical handouts or promoting health screening initiatives such as the FOBT. These experiences enabled me to learn a lot about the successes and challenges that go into looking after the health of patients from day-to-day. In addition, the doctors were friendly and ready to answer any question whether it was a general one about life as a doctor or medical school or a specific one about how to do something in the clinic. Volunteering here was a great glimpse into the work of a family doctor and provided further inspiration for me to pursue medicine. In terms of the application process for medical school, the experience I had here was undoubtedly an asset. It was something that I talked about during interviews and it allowed me to show that I had useful experience in a professional medical setting and that I had interacted with patients. I was also able to obtain a reference letter from one of the doctors which I think was very beneficial. Finally, since my time at the clinic was the first opportunity I had to interact with patients, I think it will prove to be a valuable experience in medical school and beyond.
I had been an active volunteer for over 1 year at Dr T K Wong’s clinic. As an avid and motivated learner, I had taken up various different tasks and positions offered here to volunteers, including measuring vital signs, giving injections, front desk receptionist, patient education, translation, shadowing physical consultation and psychotherapy counseling sessions, diabetic patient care auditing projects, supervising and training new volunteers, technical support, etc. Such invaluable hands on experience assisting doctors and helping patients are unique and not offered anywhere else in big hospital volunteer programs, and as such, formed the backbone of my successful application to medical school.While in first year medical school’s clinical skills training, when we had the chance to practice doctor-patient communication, often times I reflect back on my volunteer and shadowing experience. Having been previously exposed extensively to real patients and their concerns at a family practice clinic certainly equipped me with the correct mindset, as a doctor-in-training.I highly recommend this volunteer work to all premed students wishing to better equip themselves for medical school.
It's been some journey, but I'm happy to say that I've been accepted to the Schulich School of Medicine at UWO...I'm finally on my way to becoming a doctor!Looking back, I can say with certainty that volunteering at your clinic was a crucial step, if not the deciding factor in my success. When I started 4 years ago, I had little understanding of medicine and how it translated to healthcare on the front lines. Luckily, this experience was the whole package: clinical skills and patient exposure; teamwork with a very talented volunteer team; mentorship from physicians; leadership skills from our clinic-run initiatives. It gave me a lot to talk about at my interview, and I was able to more convincingly portray myself as a great candidate for med school.I should say that among the reasons I kept coming back every year was that working here reminded me just how much I enjoyed medicine, which kept me motivated through my long and sometimes tiring pre-med journey.So thank you for the experience, the great reference, and the memories; I've met some amazing people here (volunteers, staff, and of course the doctors).
I was just accepted this morning off wait-list to McMaster's MD program. I will most likely be waiting a week to see if I get in at the University of Alberta as well but at least I know I will be in medical school come September 2013. I really appreciated the opportunity to volunteer in the clinic for the past two years. The learning experience provided a lot of insight into the field of medicine that helped me during my interviews. I doubt I could have been a strong candidate without this experience. Thank you so much.
I can't begin to describe how happy and grateful I am to have been accepted to several medical schools this year! All of this would not have been possible without the volunteering experience at Grace Health Center. There was no other clinic that provided as much patient interaction and hands-on experience as Grace Health Center. Even though I did not come from a health care academic background, I had a ton of specific experiences to talk about during interviews and I think that's what made me stand out. The MMI was no sweat because of the amount of practice that's provided in the clinic in interacting with different patients, quickly establishing trust while taking their vitals or giving them flu shots. I want to thank all the doctors at the clinic for for trusting me with the patients and for being excellent role models for me as I work towards becoming a physician.
As I will be starting medical school this coming fall at the Schulich School of Medicine at University of Western Ontario, I looked back on the numerous experiences that helped me along the way. Not surprisingly, my time at the Grace Health Centre was one of the most important parts of my journey. I cherished this experience dearly because I learned so much about medical care as a pre medical student. From cancer screening projects to giving flu shots, the doctors and staff at Grace Health Centre fostered a great learning environment. Furthermore, I cannot have asked for better mentors than the supervising doctors. I want to thank each one of them for their guidance, advice, and a superb reference letter. As I continue on my own journey of becoming a physician, I will always reflect on my time at Grace Health Centre with nostalgia and gratitude. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Grace Health Centre has offered me an incredible learning experience and a clear understanding for my pursuit of medicine. Responsibilities such as taking vitals, explaining vaccines and giving flu shots had really taught me how to interact well with patients. Other duties such as processing paperwork and analyzing patient’s files had given me a great understanding of our healthcare system, and the current state of medicine. Health Initiative Project was also a great experience. I re-educated patients of the risks and co-morbidities of their diabetes and made sure these patients are regularly getting tested. I learned how to be a good health advocate and manager, as every doctor should be. I even got involved with a new clinical research project for Hepatitis B. This was a neat project because it’s never been done anywhere else and we were the first couple of clinics to do it. I brought back many chronic HepB patients to initiate assessment for liver damage, and good percentage was discovered to be seriously in need of treatment. These patients would have never known they were getting worse. In a sense I really have saved a couple lives by preventing HepB related liver cancer. From clinic responsibilities to running health projects, the level of involvement with patients and integration as part of a healthcare team at the Grace Health Centre is far beyond the experiences you will find at a large hospital or lab.The amount of personal growth that I had attained here has also been greater than anything that I have done during my undergraduate career. I have learned why I personally love medicine, what it really means to be a doctor and how I would like to conduct my practice later on. No doubt, this will add character to my application and will separate me from the other applicants. If you are considering healthcare or medicine as a line of work, the Grace Health Centre will give you an edge throughout your admissions and training.
I have been a volunteer at Grace Health Centre for 3 years. I really enjoyed the opportunity provided to me by the clinic. By far the best opportunities were from the patient interaction and the patient advocacy. Through my interactions with patients on a frequent basis, I learned active listening skills, compassion and empathy. The various patient advocacy projects taught me the importance of prevention/early detection of diseases. I also learned about various medical terms through updating and organizing patient electronic medical records. Overall, I have grown a lot through these years and the knowledge and experience that I have attained would be extremely helpful in medical school as well as in clinical practice.I really appreciate the guidance, mentoring and encouragement that physicians at Grace Health Centre have afforded me. My experiences here have solidified by desire to go into a primary care specialty. I would recommend this opportunity to anyone pursuing a career in health care, especially medicine.I will be starting medical school in September.
I have been recently accepted to Western's medical school. I would say the experience with Grace Health Centre in the past year was the key to making this happen amongst all the other activities. Not only was I gaining valuable healthcare experience but I have developed important skills needed for healthcare professionals. With the group of physician's guidance, I have been able to build my self-directed learning, collaboration with colleagues, critical thinking as well as interacting with others in a professional manner. Also, the physicians took a great interest in my pursuit of medicine, taking time to help refine my med school applications, my answers for interviews and approaches to different healthcare scenarios. They have been with me every step of this year's application cycle, providing knowledge and support. I don't think I could have done it without the Grace Health Centre.
Grace Health Centre is a wonderful opportunity to expand medical knowledge through a hands on approach. Personally, I was able to strengthen my medical school application through clinical research projects associated with Grace Health. Exposure to patients at the clinic has also helped me consolidate medical knowledge that I had previously acquired in the classroom. The doctors are very supportive and appreciative of the time that volunteers put in. Volunteers will also be given access to a mountain of information while guided by a team of healthcare professionals and senior volunteers. It is a challenging but eye-opening experience that I strongly recommend for those of you pursuing a career in medicine.
While volunteering at Grace Health Centre, I have learned to collaborate with others while preparing patients to see their doctors. I was able gain experience in patient interaction by helping to make patients feel comfortable and welcome, while listening to their questions and concerns. I also furthered my medical knowledge by learning to interpret medical documents, such as consultation letters and medical imaging reports, which needed to be entered into patients' electronic medical records. Overall, this experience has taught me how to serve and interact with patients in a professional manner and how to collaborate with colleagues to ensure tasks are completed responsibly and efficiently. The knowledge, skills, and experience I have gained from this volunteering opportunity have been invaluable in gaining admission to medical school, and will serve as the foundation for my future education and career in medicine.
I would like to thank all the doctors, assistant doctors, and secretaries at Grace Health Centre for their support and guidance this past year. From filing doctors' consultation reports, giving flu shots under supervision, taking patients' vitals to working on health initiative projects, I found the healthcare experience that made the greatest difference in my medical school application. The numerous opportunities to translate for patients in exam rooms and to observe doctors perform minor procedures have taught me so much about professionalism and patient interaction. Most importantly, the doctors are all passionate in helping us succeed. Thank you Grace Health Centre for this amazing experience!
My time at the Grace Health Centre was hands down one of the most meaningful volunteer experience that I have ever had. The opportunities which I have been offered here are really something which I could not have had elsewhere. Working here enhanced my desire to pursue a career in medicine and really let me see firsthand what I love about medicine. I have learned so much here, not just about medicine, but the environment here made me strive to improve myself and grow on a personal level. The doctors really tried to provide the best experience for us, and would always be happy to answer any questions we may have. The volunteers I had a chance to work with were also wonderful people who helped fostered a driven learning environment, and whom I’ve stayed in touch with even after I left the clinic. I would like to extend my gratitude to everyone at the clinic for everything they’ve done and for making this such an enjoyable summer!
Volunteering at the Grace Health Centre is truly a one-of-a-kind experience. At many other clinics and hospitals, volunteers rarely get to work on the front-line with patients. Here, volunteers are entrusted with many tasks that will directly impact patient health including taking patient vitals, giving injections, and calling patients for cancer screenings. Volunteering at the clinic has also helped me grow tremendously as a person by providing me with numerous opportunities to gain confidence and develop skills in new areas e.g. troubleshooting tech problems. The staff and doctors are always supportive of all our endeavors and I couldn’t have asked for a better team of volunteers to work with. Thank you so much for helping support us on our journey to a career in healthcare!
The volunteer experience at the Grace Health Center truly offers a unique opportunity to obtain firsthand medical experience that you will not be able to find anywhere else. I volunteered over the summer, and I was constantly interacting with patients, reviewing patient files, and expanding my medical knowledge. The pace in the clinic can be very rapid, intense, and draining at times, but when it is all said and done, the amount of quality work you complete is truly an accomplishment and something to be proud of. Most importantly, the work that I was entrusted with made me feel like a vital member of the medical team as I was entrusted with sensitive material and crucial tasks that were required to maintain smooth operation of the clinic. Lastly, I found that the doctors did a very good job choosing the other volunteers. Each volunteer had different skills and experiences that allowed for a fun and well balanced work environment, but most importantly, the staff and other volunteers were dedicated to help everyone achieve their goals, whether it is getting into medical school or something else. In conclusion, I highly recommend this opportunity to anyone looking to do anything medical related in the future.
I am so grateful to have volunteered at such a wonderful clinic. I wasn’t treated as a student, but rather, a member of the team. I was trusted to a variety of tasks including filing results, take patient vitals, booking appointments, and translating consultations. One of my project even involved calling patients in who needed colon cancer screening tests. It felt nice knowing I was actually making a difference in patient lives.
It has been wonderful volunteering for this clinic. It is a great opportunity for insight into healthcare that allows interactions with patients and physicians. You will have an opportunity to work with a number of other people which will develop into great friendships. The physicians are intelligent and diligent, but also humorous and fun. They will provide opportunities that you wouldn’t get anywhere else. The doctors will also prompt you to develop interview skills if you’re interested in applying for not just medical school, but many other professional schools as well, such as pharmacy and dentistry. It was a great experience and I now have so many stories to remember and cherish.
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