Although academics are extremely important when considering a career in the health professions, it is also important to gain practical experience. By volunteering in one of the organizations identified below, becoming an EMT, or working in a medical office, you can witness firsthand what your future career can involve.
- Joining one of UCSB's many health professions organizations is a great place to begin collecting information and making connections for your future career. These organizations are intended to educate students about the specific health professions, provide insight into the application process, and help students prepare for a career as a health professional. Visit the Student Organizations section of the Health Professions webpage to find out more about the different pre-health clubs on campus.
- The UCSB Pre-Health Advising Facebook page and the Health Professions and Honors Listservs, frequently post volunteer opportunities.
- Finally, the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities Office (URCA) is a helpful resource for laboratory research opportunities. Visit the URCA website and look for jobs posted on the departmental listservs, or speak with your professors about potential research opportunities.
Medical (PA, DO, MD)
- COPE Health Scholars (formally known as the Clinical Care Extender Program) at St. John's Regional Medical Center in Oxnard
- Cottage Health, Santa Barbara and Goleta
- Health Career Connection– (Paid summer internships in health care organizations. Northern and Southern California and East Coast locations, for undergraduate students and recent graduates.)
- Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics
- Isla Vista Medical Clinic – (805) 963-1641
- Westside Medical Clinic – (805) 963-1546
- Eastside Medical Clinic – (805) 968-1511
- Santa Barbara Street Medicine
- Summer Medical and Dental Education Program
- The Santa Barbara Medical Reserve Corps
- EMT Certification Training
- Certified Nursing Assistant Programs (CNA)
- Home Healthcare Aid Training via UCSB Extension (does not provide units toward a UCSB degree)
- Eastside Family Dental Clinic– (805) 884-1998
- Dr. Stephanie Bregman – (805) 886-7541
- Goleta Neighborhod Dental Clinic
- Santa Barbara Dental Care – (805) 682-0282
- Santa Barbara-Ventura Counties Dental Care Foundation – (Ventura) – Maternal and Infant Oral Health Program – (Via a mobile dental clinic, aims to improve the oral health of Ventura county’s children) contact Jill Mellor, (805) 643-3762
- Summer Medical and Dental Education Program
- Animal Shelter Assistance Program
- C.A.R.E. 4Paws
- Davey's Voice (animal abuse prevention)
- Hearts Therapeutic Equestrian Center
- K-9 Pals
- Santa Barbara County Animal Care Foundation
- Santa Barbara County Animal Services
- Santa Barbara County Humane Society
- Santa Barbara Zoo
- SB Wildlife Care Network
- Email: Allison@hayashidaPT.com
- Student must have completed human science course work; anatomy is mandatory.
- Student must have junior or senior standing.
- Student must be interested in pursuing physical therapy school.
- Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital volunteer opportunities (bottom of the page). Application available on wesbite
- In addition to the above opportunities, there many other local physical therapy clinics that may also take volunteers.
Students interested in pharmacy may want to consider earning certification as a pharmacy technician in order to gain experience in the workplace. Students are also encouraged to contact local pharmacies and inquire about possible volunteer or internship opportunities. Also, UCSB Extension offers pharm tech training (does not earn units toward a UCSB degree). Finally, the UCSB Pre-Pharmacy club also has access to some local pharmacy volunteer opportunities.
International Clinical Experiences
Global experiences can be very helpful in preparing you to work in a diverse healthcare environment., but here are important guidelines to follow to ensure that you don’t put your future as a healthcare professional at risk. “If you can’t do it here, you shouldn’t do it there either.” Some examples include: delivering a baby, prescribing medicine, pulling teeth or participating in clinical procedures. If admissions committees find out that you have engaged in these activities, your acceptance could be in jeopardy—some schools may rescind their offer if you have been admitted as your actions show a lack of ethical principles.
Before participating in a health-related experience abroad, read the AAMC Guidelines for Premedical and Medical Students Providing Patient Care During Clinical Experiences Abroad and the ADEA Guidelines for Predental Students Providing Patient Care During Clinical Experiences Abroad.
The University Of Minnesota Global Health Ambassadors for Patient Safety Workshop (GAPS online workshop) is a good way to prepare what you need to know when seeking health experiences internationally. UMN also has an interactive tutorial on “Learning Ethically While Abroad.”
The Forum on Education Abroad has guidelines for undergraduate health related programs abroad.
Global Activities by Students at Pre-Health Levels (GASP) has additional resources about best practice standards in health-related settings abroad for undergraduate students.
Study abroad can be a profoundly valuable experience, but we recommend that you start planning early and explore all your options with the EAP Office (South Hall 2431) in addition to speaking to your Department and College Academic Advisors. UC Education Abroad offers Public and Global Health Programs too.
Community Service Opportunities
- Adventures in Caring (aka Raggedy Ann/Andy) – e-mail: infor@adventuresin caring.org
- Alzheimer’s Association Central Coast Chapter
- American Red Cross Santa Barbara County
- Arthritis Foundation Southern California Chapter
- Asian Liver Center at Stanford University
- Big Brother's and Big Sisters, Santa Barbara
- Braille Institute Santa Barbara
- Breast Cancer Resource Center of Santa Barbara
- Camp Laurel – (A Pasadena, CA camp for children with HIV/AIDS)
- Cancer Camp Kids – (List of camps for kids with cancer and their siblings)
- Cancer Center of Santa Barbara – contact the volunteer coordinator at (805) 898 – 2116, or e-mail email@example.com
- Chemistry Outreach Program--partnership between local 5th grade teachers and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
- Child Abuse Listening and Meditation (CALM)
- Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
- Cottage Health (Including Cottage Hospital)
- Diabetes Resource Center of Santa Barbara County
- Doorway to Health
- Friendship Manor Retirement Community – phone (805) 968-0771
- Hospice of Santa Barbara
- The Painted Turtle - A critical care camp for children facing chronic and life-threatening medical conditions.
- Planned Parenthood, Santa Barbara County
- Rape Crisis Center
- Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care
- UCSB Community Affairs Board (great link to a variety of community service opportunities)
- Habitat for Humanity of Southern Santa Barbara County
- Isla Vista Teen Center – phone (805) 968-1624
- Muscular Dystrophy Association
- National Multiple Sclerosis Society
- Sansum Diabetes Research Institute
- Santa Barbara County Public Health Care Centers
- Santa Barbara Village--help local seniors remain independent
- Sarah House – (HIV/AIDS and hospice care)
- School on Wheels – (Tutor homeless children from kindergarten through twelfth grade)
- Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation – (Provides financial assistance and support to families of children with cancer)
- SciTrek--help 2nd-5th grade students experience the scientific process first hand
- Transition House – (Provides food, shelter, and services to families who have lost their housing)
- United Blood Services Central Coast – (Coordinate a blood drive for your organization)
- UC Davis Childrens Hospital
- UCSD Medical Center
- UCSF Medical Center
- www.volunteermatch.org – really helpful website that will help you find many additional volunteering opportunities; you can also search for listings in any area code.
Conducting research is another great way to stand out as an applicant in any health-related profession. Approximately 85 percent of all medical school matriculates have conducted research in some capacity.
As a premiere research institution, UCSB is an ideal environment for this pursuit. The majority of UCSB faculty members are top researchers who are actively involved in their fields. Through special research assistance courses, UCSB students have the opportunity to work alongside these professors, gain valuable research experience, and earn academic credit.
If you are interested in potential research opportunities, please visit the links below:
- Faculty Research Assistance Program (FRAP is intended to provide opportunities for undergraduates to gain valuable research experience while earning academic credit via special research assistance courses (99RA or 199).
- UCSB Undergraduate Research Website (listing of undergraduate research programs)
- Students may also contact individual departments to inquire about potential research opportunities.
UC Center Sacramento Internship Opportunities
A number of health-related internships are available through the UC Center in Sacramento Program. For more information on the UCCS Program, visit www.duels.ucsb.edu/opportunities/uccs.