Q: What is the total commitment?

A: A minimum of 4 quarters (full year) of commitment is required; however, members have been known to stay for up to 5 years. The first two quarters need be continuous. Members are required to complete 200 hospital volunteer hours in order to graduate.

A quarter corresponds to about 3 months; 4 quarters is a year. The first 2 quarters correspond to whenever the applicant is admitted – so if they are admitted in winter, winter and spring are their first two quarters.

This year we have two applications rounds – one this fall with applications due in october, and the other most likely in winter with application due dates to-be-determined.

Because Stanford is on the quarter system, and we are a Stanford-based organization, we run off of the quarter system. The academic calendar with exact dates when the quarters end for Stanford is available here.

Q: What does the 10-15 hour commitment each week involve?

A: SCOPE members are required to attend a minimum of 3 shifts per month of 9 hours per shift. In addition to hospital shifts, SCOPE members are also actively involved in project team work 5 hours a week. These include group project teams accomplishing various medical and non-medical related work including community service involvement, volunteer work in Ghana, premedical research, and more.

Q: I will not be around for the Summer, but I’d still like to be a part of SCOPE. What should I do?

A: We discourage applicants from applying during the Spring when they will not be available to participate during the Summer. If this is the case, please apply during the Fall recruitment round.

Q: I don’t know if I will be around to complete 200 shift hours during consecutive quarters. Can I still apply?

A: Although preference is given to those applicants who are available to participate for a consistent or longer period of time, SCOPE does allow members to one quarter off at a given time, and two quarters off total (these cannot be consecutive). More than one quarter off consecutively requires re-application to the program, and potentially dismissal.

Q: I am an applicant interested in pursuing another health-related track rather than medical school (for instance, nursing, pharmacy, etc.) Is SCOPE the right program for me?

A: While we welcome all applicants, our mentorship and resources will be most beneficial for those interested in or hoping to explore the path of becoming a physician. SCOPE members volunteer alongside physicians in the emergency department and interact closely with medical students and residents. If you are looking for exposure to a different aspect of the medical field, we encourage you to seek out other opportunities more specifically tailored for those professions.

Q: What languages can I interview as an interpreter for?

A: We are currently interviewing for Spanish or Vietnamese interpreters only.

Q: I am concerned about the time commitment, because I am currently enrolled in classes. What should I do?

A: Although SCOPE is a 10-15 hour a week time commitment, over 100 students have successfully completed the program while enrolled in classes.

Q: I have web editing/administrative experience. Can this help the organization?

A: We are currently seeking talented web masters and administrators to help run and maintain all websites.

Q: When do I apply to the SCOPE program?

A: Applications are accepted twice a year: once in the Fall and once in the Winter. Check this website around September and January for exact application deadlines during the respective recruiting season.

Q: I am not a student at Stanford. Can I still apply?

A: We accept volunteers aged 18 and over from around the Bay Area, but operations are based at Stanford. Members who do not live near or attend Stanford are responsible for providing their own transportation to attend all SCOPE meetings and functions held on campus.

Q: I am not a student. Can I still apply?

A: SCOPE has a diverse membership, and does accept non-students. We value the perspective that an non-traditional applicant can bring to the program.

Q: The application asks for a college transcript, but I am a Freshman without one. What should I do?

A: If available, submit your high school transcript. If neither are available, e-mail the Directors for further instruction. In absence of any transcript, SCOPE may ask for additional references who can vouch for your academic performance.

Q: I do not have transportation. Can I still apply?

A: There are a number of transportation options that are available to those without cars (taxi, bus, friends, etc.), and you can still apply to SCOPE if you do not have reliable access to a car. However, each member is responsible for his/her own transportation to/from the hospital and Stanford campus. Lack of transportation is never an acceptable excuse to miss a shift or a meeting.

Q: Will we have to be there for the full 3 hours or will be have an allotted time?

A: Yes, the 3 hours is necessary for the three parts – a group interview, a team-building activity, and an individual interview. Our interviews are based on med school interviews so that our applicants also get practice. You will get allotted time for each activity.

Q: Will the individual interview be a one-on-one interview?

A: Yes, and possible a two-on-one as well if you get assigned to a pair of interviewers

Q: Will parking be free and for non-Stanford students? If it is not free, will the meter be able to take a card?

A: Parking is always free in the evening and on the weekends. We recommend arriving 15 minutes before the interview if possible to ensure that you have enough time to find parking and the room.

Q: What is secondary interview? And how is it different from the first one?

A: Since there are a lot of applicants, the Primary interviews provide an overview of those who made it past the application reading. Unfortunately, there are only a few positions available for many applicants, and we want to make the most informed decision possible. The Secondary interview provides additional information necessary for us to make the final selection.

Q: What do I need to bring with me on the interview?

A: You don’t need to bring anything, but a notebook and pen would be a good idea.

Q: When do I start SCOPE after I apply and am accepted?

A: Members are accepted during the Fall and the Winter, and are expected to complete orientation and training during the quarter in which they are accepted. This process, which can take up to a month, includes ordering scrubs, completing a health and security clearance at SCVMC, and completing two training shifts with an experienced SCOPE member. Members begin independent shifts in the following quarter (i.e. if accepted in the Fall, shifts will begin in the Winter).


Q: What training does each member complete?

A: New members are required to attend all volunteer orientations provided by the hospital before beginning training. Each member is required to complete at least two training shifts with an experienced SCOPE member. In addition, they are expected to know all information regarding correct ER procedures presented in the SCOPE Intern Manual. Before anyone begins independent shifts, they must be observed and approved by a current intern or interpreter. Interpreters must also be approved by a professional interpreter employed by the hospital.


Q: How do we verify that someone has successfully completed your program?

A: Starting with Fall 2004, current members and alumni profiles are available here. If there is any question, please contact the Directors.

Q: Someone listed SCOPE on his/her resume, application, or as a reference, but we would like additional information. Who do we contact?

A: Please contact the directors at Since SCOPE is a student run organization, the leadership during your applicant’s involvement may have graduated. In this instance, the current Directors will do their best to connect you with the appropriate person.


Q: How can our interns help you during your shift?

A: Interns assist ER physicians with obtaining lab results, keeping track of patients, and managing the paperwork that accompanies each patient. At Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, they also interpret for Spanish and Vietnamese. An extensive list of Intern/Interpreter duties can be found here.

Q: Members know that each doctor works differently and are ready to be flexible, helping in whatever way possible. How much teaching should I do with the interns?

A: The first and foremost goal of the program is to improve ER efficiency, so Interns are informed to hold questions until the physician is not busy. An intern’s presence should never slow the patient flow.

Q: Who should I contact if I have a comment, concern, or suggestion regarding the program or a particular intern?

A: Please contact the directors at and, if necessary, they will consult with their advising physician regarding your correspondence.