Virtual Shadowing and Volunteering
By: Bryn Vance
As pre-health students, we are drawn to opportunities through which we can learn about our future profession and how we can serve others. During the past year, the pandemic has made shadowing and volunteering difficult and even dangerous. One of the most common questions I have received as of late is how to shadow and volunteer virtually. Today, I’m sharing some of the best virtual shadowing and volunteering opportunities that I’ve come across with you all!
**When choosing a volunteer position, please remember that this is not about convenience or looking “good” to an admissions committee, rather it’s an opportunity to serve in an area that you are passionate about. I tried to find a good variety of volunteer opportunities, but if you are not passionate about any of these areas, keep searching for an opportunity where you will be able to truly use your gifts and talents to make a difference. Our goal isn’t to check off a box — it’s to become better people and future physicians!**
Dr. Gray’s eShadowing is a free opportunity for students with robust attendance tracking and quizzes so that you can receive a certificate to document your hours. They have separate sessions for premeds with physicians and pre-PA students with PAs. Pre-PA eShadowing takes place every Monday at 7 pm ET and premed eShadowing is every Monday at 8 pm ET, with replays available through Sunday night. eShadowing will bring you physicians and PAs who will talk about their profession, offer a case presentation, and give their time for Q&A.
HEAL offers free virtual shadowing every Wednesday night at 8pm EST. Watch real patients describe their symptoms as a doctor leads you through the process of note-taking, testing, diagnosis, and treatment. This LIVE course is held via Zoom and features interactive questions and answers to keep you engaged. HEAL also provides a certificate to document hours completed.
Free eShadowing sessions are held each Tuesday night at 7:00 pm CST with a ZOOM meeting over various topics. Certificates are provided upon completion of a quiz.
Webshadowers provides free weekly virtual shadowing with MD/DO physicians. Times vary depending on availability. The quizzes required for verification for hours are only available for 30 minutes after each session, and the sessions are not recorded.
Health4TheWorld is an organization where you can help raise awareness and support for PPE, ventilators, and senior support.
Ark of Hope is an organization that provides services to survivors of child abuse and trauma. You can volunteer to be a live text chat supporter.
With Amnesty International, you can volunteer to conduct research into global human rights violations.
Through Crisis Text Line, you can work as a Crisis Counselor to answer texts from people in crisis, bringing them from a hot moment to a cool calm through active listening, collaborative problem solving, and safety planning.
At ChemoAngels you can volunteer as a Card Angel, where you will send your assigned patient at least one card, letter, or note a week.
In this virtual world team members do many of the same things that you see at a live Relay for Life event. They walk 3D world laps, light virtual Luminaria, and make donations using digital currency Linden dollars.
The Trevor Project provides life-saving support to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) youth by recruiting passionate volunteers to staff their crisis intervention services.
CASA, court-appointed special advocates, are volunteers who make a life-changing difference for children who have experienced abuse or neglect. Each volunteer is appointed by a judge to advocate for a child’s best interest in court. Volunteers help judges develop a fuller picture of each child’s life. Their advocacy enables judges to make the most well-informed decision for each child.