What can you learn from volunteering with disabled/elderly people?

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t10r
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Never mind actually.

Mods, feel free to delete this thread because idk how to
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ArcaneMists
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... with that attitude maybe you really won't learn anything
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Jang Gwangnam
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(Original post by ArcaneMists)
... with that attitude maybe you really won't learn anything
Most people only look at the benefits - she's just being more open about it.
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Yaboi
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There might be some cute girls doing it as well that you can get know.
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Jang Gwangnam
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(Original post by t10r)
Title says it all but basically, what kind of things can you learn from volunteering with disabled people or elderly people at a care home which could be useful for medicine?

I was thinking of taking a gap year and doing more voluntary work but I'm not sure if it would be worth it and what skills I'd be able to gain which are relevant for medicine
In my view, the only thing volunteering would do, is increase your chances of applying at your favoured university. I doubt there is much outside of experience to take when working with the disabled/elderly for 1 year.
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06moca1
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Seriously, if you need to ask such a question then you're not ready for medicine. You need to do more research.
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t10r
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(Original post by 06moca1)
Seriously, if you need to ask such a question then you're not ready for medicine. You need to do more research.
A gap year is there for a reason. I am considering a gap year for several other reasons including the one you just stated.
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artful_lounger
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Well regardless of the original content of the post, usually it allows you to develop empathy and listening skills, and appreciate the need to uphold a patients dignity wherever you can, even when they would otherwise be stripped of it due to their situation. This is often the case with disabled or elderly people, who lack the agency to do some things younger people without disabilities may take for granted. Appreciating this and understanding that it's your duty to help them bridge this gap while maintaining their dignity is part of what being a physician or surgeon is about.

It may not be in this particular circumstance or format, but those professions engage with people at their sickest, and most vulnerable, and it's important not only to treat them and try to help them improve (or provide palliative care if that's not a possibility) but to understand the need to help them get better or even just live and thrive, regardless of their circumstances in such a way that preserves their mental wellbeing as well as physical. It's also important to develop listening and empathy skills so you treat people as individuals and understand that not every presentation will be the same and avoid those unfortunate but not uncommon circumstances where due to some part of your patients life or history (being fat, being trans, being a woman, being disabled, etc, etc.) you assume their problems are one thing related to that and overlook something that is unrelated to these potential biases.
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