Jan 8, 2012
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Hey guys! I have the opportunity to work at a pediatrician's office (he works within a medical group consisting of other pediatricians but also has his own place). I do not want this experience to count as another shadowing experience since I already have 100 hours from a different doctor. And I really need to work on my "clinical" experience. I was mainly wondering what I can do at the office to make it more of a clinical experience rather than shadowing. I know I'm definitely not going to do anything "clerical" as that would be a waste.
-As for hospital volunteering, the hospital close to me has a waiting list until next May, which is why I opted to work at the doctor's office.
 
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gmcguitar4

Hey guys! I have the opportunity to work at a pediatrician's office (he works within a medical group consisting of other pediatricians but also has his own place). I do not want this experience to count as another shadowing experience since I already have 100 hours from a different doctor. And I really need to work on my "clinical" experience. I was mainly wondering what I can do at the office to make it more of a clinical experience rather than shadowing.
-As for hospital volunteering, the hospital close to me has a waiting list until next May, which is why I opted to work at the doctor's office.

You have to actually do something with the patients..some sort of interaction. Shadowing is just watching the doctor. At a private practice it is kind of hard to anything except watch.
 
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Really? so is there nothing I can do to make it more 'clinical'? Agh, and I was hoping to make this long-term..

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what if I'm allowed to take basic (height/weight) and blood pressure under supervision? would that be clinical?
 
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Those are "clinical" but I highly doubt you'd be allowed to do so, because you're encroaching into nurses' territory. If you want to do basic clinical activities like that, look for free clinics that actually need the help.
 
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gmcguitar4

Really? so is there nothing I can do to make it more 'clinical'? Agh, and I was hoping to make this long-term..
QUOTE]

I would start searching clinics/hospitals that need volunteers. That would be a great long term thing. As for this office, maybe you could get a job there or shadow a bunch of times, I don't see much beyond that.
 
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Those are "clinical" but I highly doubt you'd be allowed to do so, because you're encroaching into nurses' territory. If you want to do basic clinical activities like that, look for free clinics that actually need the help.

the practice serves the kids in the community, and after my first meeting today they said that I CAN take blood pressure and heights under supervision a few times if I wanted to and if the patient is OK with it (meaning, unless they request the nurse to do it).. Should I still go for it?
 
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the practice serves the kids in the community, and after my first meeting today they said that I CAN take blood pressure and heights under supervision a few times if I wanted to and if the patient is OK with it (meaning, unless they request the nurse to do it).. Should I still go for it?

A few times total or a few times every time you go in? I say you COULD do this, but you shouldn't make this be the primary focus of your clinical experience. I agree with what others have posted about volunteering at a clinic or getting a job with a substantial amount of clinical time. I don't know where you are located but you could look into being a scribe in the ER, I know that's a possibility in some locations.
 

sector9

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the practice serves the kids in the community, and after my first meeting today they said that I CAN take blood pressure and heights under supervision a few times if I wanted to and if the patient is OK with it (meaning, unless they request the nurse to do it).. Should I still go for it?
wait- are you getting paid for this or not?
 
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gmcguitar4

I agree with the post above. This shouldn't be considered your main clinical experience. Taking blood pressure or measuring height takes about 5 min and you get to do that sometimes. Not really much time with patients.

Unless you are paid, I would suggest finding something else to occupy most of your time.
 
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A few times total or a few times every time you go in? I say you COULD do this, but you shouldn't make this be the primary focus of your clinical experience. I agree with what others have posted about volunteering at a clinic or getting a job with a substantial amount of clinical time. I don't know where you are located but you could look into being a scribe in the ER, I know that's a possibility in some locations.

I am only working there 1 day a week for four hours, so I get to do this a few times every time I go (possibly every other patient). I've known the doctor for a long time, so it is ok with her.

and @sector9: no, I'm not getting paid... I'm volunteering. isn't that better?
 

sector9

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What exactly did they tell you that you would be doing for the majority of your time? I understand the occasional BP and height thing, but what are your primary responsibilities?
 
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tasks: basic receptionist like getting patient files, checking them in; then taking bp/height (when it gets busy, esp in the mornings); take patients to room; and I can also shadow the doctor sometimes if the patient is "okay" with it. but i already have a lot of shadowing hours.

also, after searching forever, I found a very similar thread from last year http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=712395 and they said it does fall under 'clinical'. i'll start hospital volunteering this may, if i get in (interview process)
 
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tasks: basic receptionist like getting patient files, checking them in; then taking bp/height (when it gets busy, esp in the mornings); take patients to room; and I can also shadow the doctor sometimes if the patient is "okay" with it. but i already have a lot of shadowing hours.

also, after searching forever, I found a very similar thread from last year http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=712395 and they said it does fall under 'clinical'. i'll start hospital volunteering this may, if i get in (interview process)

This is clinical and counts as a clinical experience if you do it every single time you go (especially if you do some of it at least every patient). As has been said in other threads, it is what you make of it. I did no more than this in an ER and got a lot of very good experiences out of it through interactions with the staff and patients. Or it can be mindlessly boring and a waste of time. It is part choice and part luck, I suppose.
 

sector9

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tasks: basic receptionist like getting patient files, checking them in; then taking bp/height [of the patient] (when it gets busy, esp in the mornings); take patients to room; and I can also shadow the doctor sometimes if the patient is "okay" with it. but i already have a lot of shadowing hours.

also, after searching forever, I found a very similar thread from last year http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=712395 and they said it does fall under 'clinical'. i'll start hospital volunteering this may, if i get in (interview process)
I say go for it. I also say shadow the doctor whenever you can because that's going to be a whole lot more interesting than your other responsibilities.

And of course it is clinical. Look at all the mentions of "patient" that I bolded above. What else would it be besides clinical volunteering?

If you were stuck in a back room making photocopies and coffee, then that would just be nonclinical volunteering. This definitely is clinical volunteering
 

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While you may be able to stretch the details of this experience to fit the definition of clinical experience, I am not sure if it really is in keeping with the spirit of what programs are looking for when they ask for clinical experience.

Anyone can be taught to take a blood pressure in about 5 minutes, and recording height and weight are easy enough. What value does learning how to take a BP reading and record height and weight have, and how does it contribute to making you a better medical student?

Until you find a position where you can do things similar to what you describe above, and also be involved in such a way as to learn more about different patient presentations, treatments, and provider/patient relationship in the clinical setting, there may very well be more valuable experiences out there.

That's just my opinion of course. I haven't applied, and different ADCOMS are looking for different things.
 

sector9

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While you may be able to stretch the details of this experience to fit the definition of clinical experience, I am not sure if it really is in keeping with the spirit of what programs are looking for when they ask for clinical experience.

Anyone can be taught to take a blood pressure in about 5 minutes, and recording height and weight are easy enough. What value does learning how to take a BP reading and record height and weight have, and how does it contribute to making you a better medical student?

Until you find a position where you can do things similar to what you describe above, and also be involved in such a way as to learn more about different patient presentations, treatments, and provider/patient relationship in the clinical setting, there may very well be more valuable experiences out there.

That's just my opinion of course. I haven't applied, and different ADCOMS are looking for different things.
I disagree with this comment.

You do realize that this a premed forum right? What do you think is within the "spirit of what medical schools want"? It isn't a stretch at all to call it a clinical experience. The point of clinical experience before medical school is not so you know how to do the procedures yourself (i.e. the complaint about how easy it is to take BP and weight). The point is to be in a setting where there are sick people and make sure that you have a better idea about what you're getting into.

I am really confused about why there are so many negative posters in this thread. This is a volunteer activity in a clinic where there are patients. The poster is clearly talking about a position where he or she will be interacting with patients, not stuck in a back room. Not everyone has to be an ER scribe or phlebotomist, like so many people on SDN suggest in every "clinical experience" thread.

My recommendation to the OP is to take this opportunity and put in at least a year there volunteering on a weekly basis. I would also strongly suggest shadowing in multiple specialties, as it sounds like from the opening post that you have only shadowed one doctor.
 
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