The following message is sent on behalf of Graham Robinson, director of the hospice program, and AJ Blair of Serenity Hospice. If you have specific questions, please reach out to the contact included in the email.
Dear Undergraduate Pre-Medical Student:
We would like you to know about THE PRE-MED HOSPICE VOLUNTEER PROGRAM. This program connects Pre-Med undergraduates with patients receiving palliative care through Hospice (an organization that helps patients achieve the highest quality of care at the end of their lives). With Hospice volunteer training, regular patient visitation, and on-going support, this program offers a unique opportunity to meet directly with patients and cultivate your identity as a caregiver.
Here are two comments from past Pre-Med volunteers:
- “Working in Hospice has made me realize how vital end of life training is within the healthcare system. I realized throughout this program that death is not synonymous with failure; rather, death is an inevitable aspect in every life. However, with proper care and support, death can even hold beauty.”
- “My participation in the Pre-Med Hospice program has been one of the most instrumental decisions in my life…”
Your participation will make a difference to the Hospice patients, their families, and the Hospice team. While meeting with your care-receiver, it is likely that your view of medicine and vocation will be deeply affected. Finally, your exposure to patients and their families navigating the complexities of dying will provide you with exceptional credentials for your medical school applications.
THE PRE-MED HOSPICE VOLUNTEER PROGRAM includes the following components:
- Screening interview and acceptance by the Hospice
- Up to 16 hours of training as a Hospice volunteer
- Weekly or bi-weekly patient visits
- A community of support shaped by Resource and Reflection meetings and online resources
- A year-end reflection essay
- A Certificate of Completion for inclusion in your medical school applications
This integrated and holistic program is a collaborative effort between Ardmore Presbyterian Church, Serenity Hospice and Ascend Hospice, and is funded by the Athena Institute for Women’s Wellness. Due to the demanding nature of this experience, the emotional complexity of Hospice, and spiritual issues raised by death - your learning cohort will be moderated by a Chaplain. Note: This program is open to all persons regardless of religious belief, race, creed, or national origin. First-year students need not apply nor any students not intending to go to medical school to become a physician.
You can view student reflections and a program synopsis at the following link: www.athenainstitute.com/sciencelinks/APCathenahospice.html
If you intend to go to medical school to become a physician, we hope you will consider applying to this program. If interested, please follow application directions attached. If you have any questions, feel free to contact AJ Blair of Serenity Hospice (ABlair@serenityhospicenj.com)
Graham S. Robinson
Rev. Dr. Graham S. Robinson
National Director; Pre-Med Hospice Volunteer Program