Medical and Healthcare programs
want to know if applicants have gained valuable experiences. Admissions
committees will review students' understanding of the medical field, clinical
experience, volunteer/community service, and research experience. There are many
paths to take in order to gain these types of experiences. The Office of
Premedical Professions suggests the following:
Shadowing a healthcare provider
is a great way to find out if a career in medicine is the right path. It allows for better understanding of what a
healthcare provider typical day is like, and may provide good experience to
present in applications and interviews for medical programs.
How to find a
doctor to shadow
students have a relationship with any healthcare providers, we recommend
starting by asking them. It is also an option to ask teachers, professors, and
premed advisors if they know any healthcare providers that other students have
shadowed in the past. It is appropriate to contact hospitals through their
volunteer office, or search online for local healthcare providers. It is a good
idea to call their office or email them at least a few weeks in advanced. It is always good practice to send
thank you notes after participating in a shadowing experience.
Working in a lab setting will help make
for a competitive applicant with scientific inquiry and building a strong
foundation or a continued science and medical education. It will also help to determine if medical
research is the correct path.
Students currently enrolled in
college can first check the science department bulletin boards or web sites for
opportunities to assist with faculty research projects. Also, it is a good idea
to express interests in research to academic or premed advisors. It never hurts
to approach instructors, both science lab and lecture, about any research they
might be involved in.
Pipeline and outreach programs
are designed to prepare and inspire students to pursue careers in medicine and
medical research. Information for each state is available at the Association of American Medical Colleges website.
Volunteering is a great
opportunity for students to show personal interests and aspirations in the
application. Getting involved on campus and joining clubs is a way to find
community outreach experiences. Check out these Premed Clubs, or True Blue Connects for ways to get involved.
Admissions committees evaluate applicants based on the AAMC Core Competencies. When gaining experience it is important to reflect on what competencies are being gained and how they can apply to being a healthcare professional
Next Step: Letters of Recommendation