Agreed. And, one other thing to understand is that it's more about the quality of the experience than the quantity, as almost every person will tell you. Get the experience to help you, in addition to helping others.1. Clinical: definitly need some. volunteering in hosps is one way. donot try to complete a set # of hours, but try to stick w/ one place for a long time. the longiveity of ur experiences matters a lot. so the least u need is about 6 months of clinical volunteering (say once a week 5-6 hr/week). this is the least. if you can do it for longer a year, 2 years great!!!
2. Reseach: not an absoulte persay, but it is weighed upon heavily. generally lack of research wont kill u at many skools, but lack of clinical will. so if u want to go to reserach heavy JHU, duke, etc,it is good to have some research. summer reserach programs give u good experience. plus u can also guage from reserach whether u r better in lab or in hosp.
3. shadowing: again good to have some, but if you have good volunteering that should cover for it. by good volunteering i mean a year or 1.5 yrs. if you can find a doc to shadow definityl do it. it gives u things to talk abt in interview.
so importance in my view clicnical >>research>>shadow
all three are important.try to get into all three, but donot jump of the bridge if u cannot do reserach or shadow a doc.