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Medical Career Exploration Program

Program Description

Brigham and Women's Medical Career Exploration Volunteer Program (MCEP) is designed to give undergraduate college students an opportunity to gain experience in a prestigious Harvard affiliated teaching hospital in order to help them make informed career/educational decisions while also availing them the opportunity to give back to the community. The program features a rotation of assignments that builds experience and culminates in a letter of recommendation and the opportunity to round with a physician for one day.

Those enrolled in the BWH MCEP are expected to make a minimum commitment of 12 months and 140 hours (60 hours of ambassador service and 80 hours in a department role) to volunteering at the hospital. We encourage participants to stay longer than 9 months to maximize professional and educational relationships.

Phase One

  • Patient Access Ambassador (30 hours)
  • Central Transport Ambassador (15 hours)
  • Wayfinder Ambassador (15 hours)

As an Ambassador in the Patient Access Services department, MCEP volunteers will gain hands-on exposure to the patient, visitor and family member experience. Stationed at the main information desk, main duties include: greeting patients, answering basic questions, and escorting visitors to sites throughout the hospital. Bilingual skills are very helpful.

"BWH truly is titanic in size. Today I saw 6-7 patients of varying backgrounds. The most memorable included a woman who was very happy to see me simply because I let her know her husband was waiting for her at the front desk; I helped a man heading towards ambulatory registration who asked me about my background and hope of becoming an MD; and a grandmother with her daughter telling me all about how she came in for an ultrasound of her partially occluded carotid artery and that she was never able to find the Vascular Lab." -BWH Patient Access Ambassador Volunteer

As an Ambassador in the Central Transport department, MCEP volunteers will serve as transport assistants, learning behind-the-scenes hospital operations. This will be achieved through the transport of patients, specimens, equipment and packages to all ambulatory, lab, and inpatient units.

"I witnessed all types of (professional) relationships within the hospital and saw lots of things that I never really thought I would. I have always equated hospital life to what I had viewed on television shows. From my perspective, real life is so much better." -BWH Central Transport Ambassador Volunteer

Phase Two

Department Placement (80 hours)

This phase of the BWH pre-medical volunteer experience involves experiences which will help students gain confidence in their communication and caring skills while providing a better understanding of a specific clinical environment in the hospital. This experience will open up opportunities to interact with patients, families and clinical staff such as nurses, technicians, patient care assistants and potentially physicians.

Phase Three

Round with a Physician for one day and Letter of Recommendation (At completion of 140 hours)

Please view the following links for further information on eligibility criteria and how to get started:

Please contact the Office for Sponsored Staff and Volunteer Services at BWH to request more information and/or to enquire about program requirements by calling 617-732-5998 or sending an email to with MCEP in the subject line.