3:08 PM

Shadowing is great, but once you further into your journey to medical school, more admission committes are looking for hands-on clinical experience. This means hands-on patient contact in a clinical or medical setting.

Medical school is long and can be daunting, admission committees want to make sure incoming medical students really know what they're getting into and a committed to pursuing medicine. Shadowing is an awesome way to gage your interest in the healthcare field, but once you make the decision that you seriously want to apply to medical school, hands-on clinical experience is INVALUABLE. I've heard many stories of stellar applicants with 3.9 GPAs, volunteer experience and shadowing hours get rejected from medical schools because their applications lacked sufficient clincial experience.

Shadowing can be very passive. Most like you are like a shadow in the room, standing back and just listening to the doctor interact with his/her patient. This is experience is valuable but real medicinie is hands on and messy and requires a lot of face-to-face patient interaction. Medical Schools want to make sure applicants have some background before admitting them. So...

1) Shadow FIRST
- make sure you are truly interested in medicine and healthcare

2) Volunteer at local clinics and hospitals
- get used to being a healthcare setting without any required medical training 

- this sometimes requires extra training, but many clinics and hospitals have on the job training
  •  CNA
  • EMT
  • Medical Scribe- this is awesome and becoming more popular. It's basically shadowing but you get paid for it!
  • Medical Assisting
  •  Phlebotomy (the people who draw your blood and what I did!)

* most of these require classes and training but can be done in short time and now you can get paid and get clinical exposure at the same time!
  • Clinical Research- this also looks amazing on applications 

I personally received a great on clinical exposure from my work-study on my college campus. My university was affiliated with the state hospital, so I worked as an Office Research Assistant in the Gynecologic Oncology division. I was able to learn about medical records, run errands for administrative staff and doctors at the hospital and even work on a study with an attending physician!

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