NAAHP Ideas for Prehealth Students During the Pandemic

NAAHP Prehealth Opportunities During the Pandemic Ideas Summary

Focus Locally

  • Be an active, helpful member of your home community.
  • Volunteer to cover childcare needs for neighbors or to check in (by phone/from a distance) on the elderly.
  • If you’re part of a religious community, see if there are ways that you can provide support through them.
  • Check with organizations where you have volunteered in the past to see if you can step back into previous roles.

Volunteer Virtually

  • Check with your college’s office that coordinates community service for any opportunities that they recommend
  • Brighten A Day connects volunteers to seniors and hospitalized children who are in need of some cheer
  • Operation Warm has a list of 25 ways to volunteer virtually
  • invites volunteers to provide online tutoring to “bridge gaps in language, higher education, and professional skills training for conflict-affected individuals”
  •’s nine places to volunteer online and make a real impact
  • If you’ve received crisis hotline training, check to see if your community’s crisis hotline could use additional phone or chat volunteers. Many crisis hotlines are overloaded right now.
  • Work with underserved and under-resourced youth
  • Upchieve: Online tutoring for disadvantaged youth
  • Assist in digitizing, transcribing and otherwise contributing to nonprofit organizations
  • Assist with the upcoming election

Network with Local Health Professionals

  • Once the current situation has stabilized: Contact alum physicians near your home by searching by location in your school’s alumni directory and on LinkedIn. It will be interesting to talk with them about their experiences as physicians, especially during this time. Of course, they may be far too busy to connect with you due to being stretched thin by the pandemic. Consider seeking out retired physicians who are watching this unfold, or medical students who are currently not allowed on the wards. Shadowing is unlikely to be possible in the near future.  

Paid Opportunities

Research Professional Schools

  • Surf through websites for schools in your chosen profession in your home state
  • Medical school links are available below:
  • Watch this video to learn about osteopathic medicine.

Engage in free online learning opportunities

Do some prehealth reflection and journaling

Read & Listen & Watch

  • Insight into physicians’ lives and motivation via podcasts and YouTube videos
  • Read books that provide insight about being a doctor, applying to medical school, or learning about other health careers.
  • Book lists:
  • Book recommendations from advisors:
  • Read Blog posts from current medical students
  • Podcasts are a great way to learn and engage.  
  • Watch documentaries

Learn more about racism and structural inequality in health care

Participate in Virtual Seminars, Fairs, and Info Sessions

Work on Life/“Adulting” Skills

  • Do you know how to cook? Offer to cook and deliver a meal to neighbors trying to manage childcare and work obligations at home.
  • Develop an at-home exercise routine (this is also good self-care!)
  • Take up or revisit a craft or hobby — origami, bike repair, gardening, the instrument or art supplies you put down at the end of high school…
  • If you’ve never tracked your budget and expenses before, analyze your spending from the last year and develop a budget moving forward (see Nerdwallet tips)

Engage in Self-Care

News Stories Highlighting Student Efforts During the Pandemic

Updates from the Professions

See NAAHP Clearinghouse: 

This document has been created cooperatively by members of the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions. It may be distributed to students and others for educational purposes. It should not be reproduced for commercial use.

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