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Medicine is a demanding profession and getting into a medical school takes a lot of effort and preparation. Premeds have to complete a stellar medical school application, necessary prerequisite courses, secure an impressive GPA and gain necessary clinical experience. Medical school admissions committees look for students who have some clinical experience and know how to provide patient care.
Therefore, working in different clinical settings, engaging with patients, and knowing how to treat patients is necessary to become a successful medical student. The goal of pursuing an MD degree is to increase your medical and clinical knowledge and learn how to treat patients with care.
Gaining clinical experience before applying to medical school will not only make you a better applicant but a better physician in the future. So, try to find opportunities that will help you gain some hands-on experience in the field of medicine. Fortunately, premedical students can participate in different types of activities to get some clinical experience. Let’s explore different types of clinical experiences premedical students should try:
Work in the Field of Primary Care
Gaining some experience in primary care is highly beneficial for premedical students as it gives them an opportunity to deal with a variety of medical conditions. From internal medicine to family medicine and emergency medicine, working in the primary care field will help you treat patients with a myriad of health problems. You will develop important skills to become a good physician who is capable enough to treat medical problems.
You can find volunteer opportunities in the primary care field to gain some clinical experience that you can show in your medical school application and increase your chances of acceptance.
Work in Outpatient and In-Patient Settings
As a physician, you are supposed to work in a different clinical environment and deal with multiple medical cases. It will only be possible when you have worked in and outpatient clinical settings and know how to provide excellent care and engage with patients. The diseases you will treat in outpatient and inpatient settings are different.
Moreover, the type of treatment, diagnostic procedures, and patient care approach are different in each setting. When you work in both settings, you will have a clear idea of each environment and show the admissions committees that you are the right choice for their institute.
Perform Volunteer Work
Medical school admissions committees look for candidates who have performed different volunteer roles. You will find different volunteer opportunities at research centers, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, research centers, and local hospitals. Medical centers and hospitals always need volunteers to work in their different departments.
You can check their websites to stay informed about the available opportunities. Your premedical advisor will also help you find different volunteer opportunities that suit you perfectly. Performing various volunteer roles will not only gain some hands-on experience but develop some important qualities such as empathy, organization, and teamwork that are important for becoming a great doctor.
Spending time with physicians is another great idea to get some clinical experience. Getting a clear picture of what duties physicians perform in their daily routine is important to pursue a career in medicine. Shadowing physicians will help medical students to learn how to communicate with patients, order diagnostic tests, show sympathy, and create treatment plans.
Premeds also learn how to take a patient’s medical history, perform detailed assessment tests and use the information to make accurate decisions about the treatment to save the patient’s life. Working with physicians also provides students with the ability to perform better in their future careers and provide excellent patient care. By working with physicians, you will learn valuable skills that will help you become a competent physician.
Besides gaining clinical experience, you will also get letters of recommendation from physicians you work with. Submitting at least three letters of recommendation is an admission prerequisite. You can ask for letters of recommendation from medical doctors you work with.
Enroll in Summer Health Programs
Many medical schools and hospitals offer summer health programs for students willing to increase their medical concepts and gain some clinical skills for a myriad of health professions. The health programs are focused on improving clinical skills by providing real-life clinical scenarios to give students an opportunity to prepare for medical careers.
Working in summer healthcare programs gives students valuable academic and clinical experience. These programs are focused on basic sciences, clinical skills labs, career development seminars, clinical rotations, medical school application preparation, and much more. Participating in summer healthcare programs is definitely a great choice to prepare you for a challenging medical school journey and a rewarding medical profession.
Pursuing a career in medicine is a lifetime commitment. Gaining a deeper understanding of your upcoming professional life will help you make a well-informed career decision and obviously a better doctor. These are some effective ways to get clinical experience. As a medical school applicant, gaining clinical exposure will show the admission committees your ability to commitment and passion for a medical career.