Any way to get clinical hours during COVID-19?

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New Member
Jun 17, 2020
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Hi all,

I'll be starting a two-year master's program in bioinformatics this September - initially planned to get a PhD but was recently inspired to apply to med school. However, I have no (really 0) clinical hours, volunteering or paid, and am realizing that it will be very difficult to find these during COVID times.

Does anyone have any advice or ideas about how to get clinical hours during COVID-19? For reference, I'm in the Boston area (right next to MGH but they're not taking volunteers atm). I'm young and healthy, not scared to get exposed (not living with family), and genuinely excited about the prospect of giving back during these hard times. But it seems like every program I can find has shut their doors (for good reasons) - have people found opportunities? Any suggestions would be so appreciated!

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Volunteer work is likely to remain restricted due to increased risk of covid transmission both from patients/staff to volunteers and volunteers to patients/staff. This will likely be location specific with hotspot areas being more restricted. With volunteering being restricted, clinical opportunities in the near term will be through paid employment. Some paid employment opportunities would include being a scribe, medical assistant, phlebotomist, etc which may or may not require training/coursework.
If you really want to go to medical school, the next two years would be better spent being trained and getting full-time employment in a clinical setting than going to a bioinformatics masters program. That said, if you are not a likely candidate to be admitted to medical school, the master's degree could help you get a good paying job which will be more beneficial to you than two years of clincial employment if you don't ever get admitted to medical school.
Working in a clinical setting could set you up to shadow a physician which is a good idea so that you know what the practice of medicine is all about in the twenty-first century.
My local hospital is allowing volunteers to come back in September