3 answers

Best pre-college volunteer options for aspiring pharmacists?

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What can I do to volunteer in high school if possible and what school is best for this career option? I want my application to be as strong as possible for med school, and that includes any experience I can get before applying for colleges, but I don't know where I'd start, how I can do it and the proper steps to get there. As for schools, my dream school is UCLA, however, I'm not entirely sure how good that school is for the degrees I'd need (however I hear UCLA is good across the board with education). That and if I don't get accepted I know it's good to always have back up options so I just wanted some input!

Thank you so so so much for taking the time to read and respond!
#medicine #pharmaceuticals #pharmacy #pharmacist #pharmacists

3 answers

Scott’s Answer


Its great that you want to volunteer while in HS! It does not matter for what you volunteer, do it as much as possible, and when you do make sure you receive a certificate, or record the experience yourself (what, when, (including # hrs), who (name/contact info of someone who can verify your participation), where, and, most importantly, WHY. Your reason for volunteering is not because you need to impress a college recruiter. You enjoy helping people....just like a pharmacist helps people!

I'm not sure what the qualifications are to be a pharmacist, but would expect them to be fairly generic, and require some State level license. Typically, when there is a state license involved, the schools in the state provide a program targeted specifically for that states license. Since you are in NC, I am confident your least expensive college option will be in NC. You should target an accredited school in your state (there are three in NC), then you should investigate internship options (see first step below). Complete your Freshman year (and if possible the entire program) while living at home. Save money!

Scott recommends the following next steps:

  • https://jobs.cvshealth.com/page/show/internships
  • College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences - Buies Creek, North Carolina Campbell University
  • Eshelman School of Pharmacy - Chapel Hill, North Carolina UNC
  • School of Pharmacy - Wingate, North Carolina Wingate University

Allison’s Answer



Volunteering in pharmacy can be tricky because of drug handling laws and patient privacy laws(HIPPA). Some hopitals will have volunteer opportunities in the summer starting at age 16. It is good to get a feel for healthcare. So look for any heathcare exposure opportunities.

Some small, independent pharmacies might let you " shadow". That is where you come in and watch the "flow" of business and interactions. The big stores like Cvs,walgreens, walmart, rite aide, etc. usually are prohibited from allowing shadow experiences. A job delivering for a local pharmacy also gets you face to face with patients, but those usually require that you are 18 or over.

Allison recommends the following next steps:

  • Check summer opportunities at hospitals
  • Check colleges with pharmacy schools for high school pre-pharm summer programs

James’s Answer


You might find a non-profit healthcare provider that could use some help. Good Samaritan is a great organization and may be located in your area. If you can't find one call a local hospital hospital emergency room and find out where they recommend patients go for prorated follow up care.

James recommends the following next steps:

  • Contact Good Sam.