sixty8

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Out of curiosity...wondering if caregiving could count as clinical experience.

It involved caring for a direct family member who suffered a med emergency (which ultimately led to him being disabled). I assisted with his daily needs throughout his recovery. Observed and assisted with patient interactions between him and various healthcare workers (Physical therapist, speech therapist, nurses, PCP, other docs, social worker, etc) as he was transferred from the ICU to clinic 1, clinic 2, and at home (where PT sessions continued). During this experience, I was often praised by his nurses and docs for being so involved in his life (though, not sure if they say this to everyone haha).

Got to see, do, and learn more than I would have ever compared to most hospital volunteers (and maybe certain entry-level positions?) out there. As I understand, the purpose of clinical experience is exposure to healthcare...which I definitely got. Although, I wouldn't say it was volunteering, nor was it employment in the strictest sense (though he did pay me here and there for my time).

What would disqualify this experience from being classified as clinical experience?
 

Hzreio

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Cmon man that's your family member of course you'd care. You're not going to get praised by adcoms for doing this. They would expect you to do what you did. Now, I can definitely see this as a topic for an adversity essay or even a part of your PS, which I think could be great to include especially if you could elaborate more on its impact on you. But if this is going to be your only clinical experience then that is going to be a red flag. I don't think it would be necessarily bad to put in your activities as "other", but don't expect it to hold too much weight.
 
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Goro

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Out of curiosity...wondering if caregiving could count as clinical experience.

It involved caring for a direct family member who suffered a med emergency (which ultimately led to him being disabled). I assisted with his daily needs throughout his recovery. Observed and assisted with patient interactions between him and various healthcare workers (Physical therapist, speech therapist, nurses, PCP, other docs, social worker, etc) as he was transferred from the ICU to clinic 1, clinic 2, and at home (where PT sessions continued). During this experience, I was often praised by his nurses and docs for being so involved in his life (though, not sure if they say this to everyone haha).

Got to see, do, and learn more than I would have ever compared to most hospital volunteers (and maybe certain entry-level positions?) out there. As I understand, the purpose of clinical experience is exposure to healthcare...which I definitely got. Although, I wouldn't say it was volunteering, nor was it employment in the strictest sense (though he did pay me here and there for my time).

What would disqualify this experience from being classified as clinical experience?
Nope. You're supposed to take care of your relatives.

What med schools want to see is your ability to interact with strangers.
 
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sixty8

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Nope. You're supposed to take care of your relatives.

What med schools want to see is your ability to interact with strangers.

My longstanding understanding of clinical experience is that it's a matter of getting the clinical exposure you need to find out if it's what you want to do...not a matter of doing it/ not doing it as the previous two comments have shared.

If the requirement was imposed to interact with strangers, couldn't the clinical experience requirement be easily replaced by non-clinical volunteering (especially in current times where clinical experience is difficult to find)? Heck, working a sales position in retail could demonstrate this lol.

Anyway, being directly involved with my family member's care for nearly 12 months did just that for me...expose me to healthcare. I observed and assisted in health worker-patient interactions throughout the 12 months.
 
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sixty8

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Not saying I'll claim this on my app btw...as I know many adcoms obviously don't share the same thoughts. I'm just stating an observation...
:)
 

Goro

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Med schools want to know two things:

That you know what you're getting into
That you really want to be around sick and injured people for the next 30-40 years.

Doing the above for a love one is expected...you're supposed to take care of family.

Doing it for strangers is the proof we want to see.

Nonclinical volunteering is to show off your altruism, as Medicine is a service profession.
 
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@Goro out of curiosity, the AAMC specifically lists this case as a great substitute for shadowing experiences (they said something about this being a good way to know what you're getting yourself into). Would you agree with that?
 
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sixty8

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Med schools want to know two things:

That you know what you're getting into
That you really want to be around sick and injured people for the next 30-40 years.

Doing the above for a love one is expected...you're supposed to take care of family.

Doing it for strangers is the proof we want to see.

Nonclinical volunteering is to show off your altruism, as Medicine is a service profession.

Actually, for some reason, as mentioned, the doctors and nurses didn't expect me to do as much as I did.

But, I see your points.
 

sixty8

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...

That you really want to be around sick and injured people for the next 30-40 years.

...

Doing it for strangers is the proof we want to see.

...

Continuing my thoughts...We often hear of folks staying at a job for the money. One could argue that the person with paid clinical employment is only doing it because he/she is getting paid, no?
 

Goro

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Continuing my thoughts...We often hear of folks staying at a job for the money. One could argue that the person with paid clinical employment is only doing it because he/she is getting paid, no?
That's not our problem in Admissions. The person is still engaged in patient conduct.

They're have to show off their altruism anyway. People get reject for having no non-clinical volunteering. As the wise @gyngyn has pointed out, any med school with a public hospital will be service loving.
 
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Continuing my thoughts...We often hear of folks staying at a job for the money. One could argue that the person with paid clinical employment is only doing it because he/she is getting paid, no?

You are combining two concepts into one:
1. the value an experience has for you
2. the value the organization has for your experiences.

Spending time in the hospital while helping a family member can fulfill concept #1 for you because you get to know what you're getting into. It will not do as well for concept #2 because the organizations want to see you spending your time helping others.

Meanwhile, paid clinical employment may not actually show a pre-med what medicine is all about (not fulfill concept 1) but would make schools think an applicant is committed to helping others.

It's a very heavily overlapping Venn diagram but, as in your example, not a perfect circle.
 
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Hzreio

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@Goro out of curiosity, the AAMC specifically lists this case as a great substitute for shadowing experiences (they said something about this being a good way to know what you're getting yourself into). Would you agree with that?

where did you read that?
 

Goro

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@Goro out of curiosity, the AAMC specifically lists this case as a great substitute for shadowing experiences (they said something about this being a good way to know what you're getting yourself into). Would you agree with that?
I disagree with it. Their view of shadowing seems to merge it with clinical experiences with patients. But shadowing is a passive experience that more designed to let you know what a doctor's day is like and to see how different doctors approach patient care.
 
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chemistry hahgdgjjhdf

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Continuing my thoughts...We often hear of folks staying at a job for the money. One could argue that the person with paid clinical employment is only doing it because he/she is getting paid, no?
I emailed some of the schools that I want to attend and most said it’s acceptable. I would just email each school. My caregiving is more focused on hospice patients though.
 
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Tenk

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This is the kind of stuff you talk about in essays and during interviews because it has obviously impacted you in some way otherwise you wouldn’t have made a thread about it. However, it’s not the stuff you put down for hours and to check boxes because that actually just makes it look like you were almost doing it for the experience and not the person.
 
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sixty8

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That's not our problem in Admissions. The person is still engaged in patient conduct.

They're have to show off their altruism anyway. People get reject for having no non-clinical volunteering. As the wise @gyngyn has pointed out, any med school with a public hospital will be service loving.

Speaking of non-clinical volunteering, years ago on here, it was widely accepted to have just clinical volunteering as it would hit multiple birds with one stone - healthcare exposure, it is volunteering so it shows one's altruism and finally, it shows one's ability to work around strangers.

What changed for med schools to implement a separate non-clinical requirement?
 

Catalystik

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-wondering if caregiving could count as clinical experience.

It involved caring for a direct family member who suffered a med emergency (which ultimately led to him being disabled). I assisted with his daily needs throughout his recovery. Observed and assisted with patient interactions between him and various healthcare workers (Physical therapist, speech therapist, nurses, PCP, other docs, social worker, etc) as he was transferred from the ICU to clinic 1, clinic 2, and at home (where PT sessions continued).

What would disqualify this experience from being classified as clinical experience?
My school would give you "credit" for the experience, but I suggest it should be listed under Other (and named something that includes Caregiver), rather than Volunteer or Employment. The experience should not be your sole exposure to active patient interaction experiences, though. You need broader experience that will appeal to a wide range of med schools.

I can see that with careful record-keeping, you might get some (passive) shadowing hours to add to your list under Physician Shadowing/Clinical Observation. Keep in mind that dedicated shadowing, where you get a view of all the physician's activities, would be preferred, so be sure to get some.
 
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Goro

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Speaking of non-clinical volunteering, years ago on here, it was widely accepted to have just clinical volunteering as it would hit multiple birds with one stone - healthcare exposure, it is volunteering so it shows one's altruism and finally, it shows one's ability to work around strangers.

What changed for med schools to implement a separate non-clinical requirement?
I don't know exactly, but this changeover appears to have occurred when medical schools shifted to a competency-based curriculum.

These requirements for competency we're not only for medical school but also for residency.

I don't have the list, but there are six different items, and medical knowledge is only one of them. The rest are humanistic domains
 
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KnightDoc

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Speaking of non-clinical volunteering, years ago on here, it was widely accepted to have just clinical volunteering as it would hit multiple birds with one stone - healthcare exposure, it is volunteering so it shows one's altruism and finally, it shows one's ability to work around strangers.

What changed for med schools to implement a separate non-clinical requirement?
Competition. Most applicants have it, so why settle for those who don't?
 
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drbatsandwich

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Taken from a page on the AAMC website entitled "Five Ways to Gain (Clinical) Experience Without Shadowing"

"Serving as a caretaker for an ill family member can provide first-hand experience with the types of challenges patients can face when dealing with chronic illness, such as the costs of obtaining medication, the impacts of nutrition on patient health, and the difficulties of scheduling and attending medical appointments. Some students have developed empathy as they supported family members in this way, and have shared this experience on their application or personal statement."

Edit to add: The other four experiences they mention are hospice volunteer, hospital scribe, CNA, and volunteer EMT.
 
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