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Clinical Experience

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by RubRoss LSU, Dec 8, 2005.

  1. RubRoss LSU

    RubRoss LSU Trumpet Extraordinare
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    Hey Everyone,

    Here's a question:

    How would one seek employment in a clinical setting with patient interactions, such as a hospital, clinic or docotor's office? I know I could volunteer, but if I can make money while I work it would be even better. Thanks for anyone who can help me with my question!

    Ross
     
  2. medicalbound

    medicalbound Senior Member
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    One common way to do it is to earn your EMT certificate. You can then work as an ED tech or similar at a clinic. You get great patient care experience and if you work at least part time, and hospital benefit packages are often very attractive (including tuition reimbursement).
     
  3. bolnoi

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    How necessary is clinical experience? I have none. And there is a university hospital here and i can inquire about volunteering over this winter break, but i'm a bit hesitant. I feel like i wouldnt be helpful and i wouldnt learn anything and that it would just be a waste of time. Is there any alternative? I was thinking about asking some doctor to shadow, but it's the same way. I'll feel pretty stupid if i just stand there and have to talk with his patients and embarass some doc.
     
  4. chaeymaey

    chaeymaey 1K Member
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    I started out as a volunteer, built some contacts, then enquired about employment. I've had a paying job for over 2 years at another branch of the hospital where I was volunteering for only 2 months. You should have some volunteer experience, just to show there's some altruism in there. Besides, volunteering can be a very rewarding experience, depending on which hospital you're at.
     
  5. bolnoi

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    i dont get this "altruism". paid or unpaid is not the issue here. I can work in a research lab unpaid. When I study at school, I actually pay a large tuition.. I just dont like the job of driving some random people in wheel chairs,etc. Doctors dont do any of this and I dont intend to become a nurse.
     
  6. medicalbound

    medicalbound Senior Member
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    Your concerns are the reason why I actually learned skills so I could contribute to the medical team. There are only so many beds you can make, and blankets to distribute as a volunteer before you realize that you want to be able to work closer with the team. It's not all like this, but it seemed it at times.

    As for necessity, it depends on the school(s) and the rest of your application. One thing is for sure, it is never a bad thing unless you do not prioritize your time effectively and you drop the ball somewhere else. Some schools really look favorably at clinical time to help alleviate their concerns that you know what you are getting into. An advisor for my state med school talked to our undergrad class and stated that they typically "expect" 500 hours of clinical time, although it is not required and I know of people who have gotten into med school with much less or none.

    Regardless of necessity, it is a very good way to become accustom to the medical environment and patients. Also, you become very close to the doctors and can attain stellar LORs from them (not from speculation, but from real experiences). Also, some people find out that they can't stand dealing with sick people or bolt after their first trauma. It affirms that you understand the profession you are trying to enter. I could go on and on regarding the benefits of good clinical experiences, but I'll leave some other topics for others.
     
  7. medicalbound

    medicalbound Senior Member
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    I hope I don't sound too harsh here, but I don't think you are considering this appropriately. It doesn't matter what doctors do or do not; you are not a doctor. You are not even a medical student. You are a premed student who has no clinical skills who wants to become a doctor. Those "random" people are the reason you are going into the profession. If you don't want to do scut, you might want to consider another profession because you will loath your first several clinical years as a med student and as an intern.
     
  8. bolnoi

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    I am sure I've seen sick people and trauma. I saw people injured in high school sports/accidents,etc. And i did work as a lifeguard where we actually had some real "emt-type of work". But why the **** should i make up a bed for some sick people, if i have no plans of becoming anything other than a doctor(and a dr never does any of those things that volunteers do)? And you say that you get into close contact with the dr, learn from him,etc. Well that's equivalent to a hooker or a valet interacting with some Ceo and claiming that he/she has done a step towards becoming the same Ceo. The only thing here is the recommendation, but I dont expect I'd get a strong recommendation from such an experience anyway. But damn will i be pissed if those colleges really require you to have 500hrs of suck-up experience. I suspect that they do:(
    Because i know many university hospitals like NYU have these programs, where it's supposed to be like a privilege that they let you volunteer, i.e. they get applications and if you're not quick enough, you cant even get the volunteering job, they fill up quickly. but their job is so demeaning and useless.
     
  9. bolnoi

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    hm, you dont learn how to become a nurse by cleaning somebody's diaper's. But you do learn how to become a nurse(actually nurses dont do this either, but i'm sure there are people in the hospital who are paid to do this).


    p.s. i wish i had a paramedic certificate... then i might've actually done something useful. but not many students have those certificates, and neither do i.
     
  10. chaeymaey

    chaeymaey 1K Member
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    I never made beds as a volunteer. I answered patient calls and would get things for patients and help them out resulting in direct patient contact. I also discharged the patients. I got to play with the Peds kids, which was cool and sad when you saw how these kids were in and out of the hospital. I also liked helping out the postpartum moms. Most of my volunteering involved working with the unit secretary. I did that stuff for two months then I got my job as a scribe, where I'm thrust into internal medicine everyday. I have over 800 hrs of clinical experience there and I got 2 Doc LOR's (could have gotten more, but didn't want overkill). I guess it depends on where you live. I think if your hospital already has med students, your work as a volunteer or employee might be more menial than at a hospital that doesn't and really needs the help.
     
  11. jebus

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    Doctors do have to interact with a number of people from a wide variety of backgrounds. Seeing how they do it, seeing how other healthcare workers do it, working as part of a healthcare team (Yes, it's a team, and the doctors are the leaders - that's why 2ยบ applications stress leadership) are all important lessons and are integral to the work of a successful physician. You have to develop those skills - observe others, practice them. Scut work isn't just scut work. It's an opportunity to learn what physicians do, both with regard to treatment of biological problems and how to CARE for patients.
    If you approach this all with an open mind you'll walk away from it with more than you would if you simply view it as a series of hoops you have to jump through.
    Now go sign up for that volunteering, you silly goose.
     
  12. medicalbound

    medicalbound Senior Member
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    I don't know what you are trying to say in your first sentence (qtd above), but I'm assuming you mistyped something. As far as what I was recommending, your perceptions are incorrect. I have over 2500 hours working at a clinic as an EMT and the experience is far from your "hooker" analogy. I have triaged and assessed a few thousand patients in that time. I do phlebotomy, EKGs, wound care, POC tests, IV starts, CPR, assist with procedures,... Not only am I working with other healthcare providers, I am there to see and *learn* from the physicians so I am better prepared to become a physician.

    Your original question was: "How would one seek employment in a clinical setting with patient interactions." What are you planning on doing for your patient interactions if you are above volunteering and don't want to get additional training?
     
  13. DropkickMurphy

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    If you don't want to push wheelchairs, change bedpans and do whatever else is required of you to do what is best for the patient in question- even if it is not the most glamourous- then perhaps you might be advised to reconsider your dedication and motivations for becoming a doctor. I don't mean to be rude, condescending, just honest. If you find yourself looking down upon these activities, then eventually chances are good that you will start looking down upon those whose job entails doing such "scut" work and when you start doing that you are no longer a good physician because you've lost your respect for your colleagues.
     
  14. futuremd22283

    futuremd22283 Titleist
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    Along the same lines as medicalbound, I would recommend getting an EMT certification. I recently did this through LSU Fire and Emergency Institute (Saw LSU in your name, I'm assuming you go there). I just got hired as an ER Tech at Our Lady of the Lake hospital, they always need help in the ER. I'll be making decent money while gaining valuable experience with the patients. As an ER tech, you can perform lots of basic life support techniques as well as venipuncture, caths, etc. PM me if you want more info on it. Good Luck.
     
  15. DropkickMurphy

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    By the way, as a practicing ALS level EMS provider and supervisor with almost 9 years of experience, I can tell you that our jobs involve far more of the scut work you so hate than the "high speed" activities that probably hold your interest.
     
  16. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Just to clarify -- virtually all med schools are going to require that you have some sort of clinical experience -- it has basically become a prerequisite for entry to medical school. The reason is that adcoms want to (1) see that you really have an interest and committment in health care, and more importantly (2) have some sense of what doctors do (in real life, not TV), and thus they want you to have some interaction with patients, and some ability to observe doctors in their professional setting. Medicine is too long a road to follow to only find out during 3rd year clinical rotations (and after $60k of debt) that you don't enjoy it, so adcoms want you to be going to med school with your eyes wide open. It matters not that you won't be helpful (you won't) -- you need to be there, front row center, to observe. And seeing traumas or other exciting parts of medcine is fine, but is not necessarily the point -- it is seeing the doctors interaction with the patient, and some of the more mundane forms and aspects of medicine that sometimes makes the best clinical experiences. One interviewer indicated to me that in her view, the best clinical experience was one in which the applicant had "a substantial likelihood of getting thrown up on". Meaning, they want you up close and personal with patients, and seeing the doctor patient interaction. Scut work is fine -- the point is for you to be there and see things, not add value. Get as much clinical experience as you need to make sure you know what medicine and being a doctor is all about before you go further in the process, or you may find yourself stuck on a road to a career you really might not want.
     
  17. -Goose-

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    :laugh:
     
  18. FrkyBgStok

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    so say I shadow a doctor, but because of a daughter and working my volunteering is limited. would shadowing for a coule months a couple days a week be sufficient?
     
  19. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    There is no specific recipe/formula for what is sufficient. Do as much as you can fit in without neglecting your other obligations.
     
  20. RubRoss LSU

    RubRoss LSU Trumpet Extraordinare
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    I appreciate everyone's comments and opinions. I realize now that clinical experience is something that must be achieved from the bottom up, much like excelling at a sport or an instrument. More often then not I try to dive head first into whichever thing I'm interested at the time and do not realize that I first must be patient and enter at the bottom of the totem pole. Anyway, I am going to apply for some volunteer opportunities and take it from there. Good luck with your endeavors and hopefully we will all reach the same goal one day..... an MD
     
  21. mstald1

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    If you are in Baton Rouge and are applying to LSU-NO or Shreveport, then I would recommend volunteering at Earl K. Long. I volunteer there in the ER and it is quite the experience, you get to do all sorts of things that at other hospitals you are not permitted to do. Also, because it is a teaching hospital there are lots of residents, interns, and students working there who love to have someone to whom they can explain all of there new-found knowledge. The in-state medical schools know that anyone part of that program has received some quality clinical experience. If you want to get paid I recommend the Lake ER as a scribe (which requires no previous training) or as a tech (which does require prior qualifications, bu gives good experience). The scribe program is also well-known at the medical schools and gives a good opportunity to work directly with both the doctors and the patients. Hope this helps.
     

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