1. Volunteering Alongside Multiple Physicians
Most volunteering programs only allow you to partner with one physician. SCOPE offers you the chance to partner with a large variety of physicians, and observe multiple styles of doctor-patient interaction.
2. Unique clinical exposure
Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC) is a Level 1 trauma center (1 of only 5 in California), treating the most complex and diverse cases. The patient population is also highly diverse and often under-served, with 20-30% of patients without insurance and many on public health insurance. Since SCVMC has no in-house language interpreter service during weekends or overnight shifts, SCOPE members, who are multilingual, have a unique opportunity to play a vital role in bridging this gap.
3. Premedical Resources
Besides mentorship from the many physicians to volunteer for, SCOPE also provides an accumulation of several years of resources, including MCAT materials, premedical class materials and opportunities to practice interviewing for medical school. Also speakers at SCOPE meetings, including the “Dispelling Premedical Myths” talk by Dr. Michael McCullough, provide non-traditional views on maximizing happiness and productivity in the premedical journey.
4. Tight-Knit, Diverse Premedical Community
One thing that makes SCOPE interesting and special is that it allows students from a range of undergraduate schools to collaborate and network. Students have been known to contact other SCOPE students to stay with them overnight for medical school interviews, for example.
5. Student-Run Non-Profit…For Students!
SCOPE is very unique in that it provides student leadership opportunities and the possibility for creativity and initiative in improving the program. For example, the interpreter program, which is one of the biggest benefits SCOPE gives the hospital (largely because there are no in-house interpreters on weekend and overnight shifts), was founded by students.
6. Known Nationally
Because of the size of the program (50-60 students) and the alums at schools throughout the country, there is a network of medical schools familiar with SCOPE. Applicants have mentioned their medical school interviewers recognizing the program based on alumni, and the unique features of the program listed above.
7. Non-Profit Incubator
SCOPE is also extremely unique in that it has launched several other nonprofits, including Kaeme, a nonprofit founded by SCOPE Students that is reforming the orphan care system in Ghana.