Jun 1, 2009
419
2
Status
Medical Student
I have the same feeling that I think a lot of people have when they first start reading the forum: holy crap, how am i going to get into med school if i'm competing with people like this?

I was working on my application until I realized that compared to everyone else here, I have really little clinical experience. Most of my volunteering from the past year involves working with little kids, high school kids that have fallen behind in their science class, and helping people with mental disorders. I've only recently started volunteering at the hospital, and haven't been able to find a doctor to shadow with (don't have a family physician, don't know any doctors in this city, also, language is a problem here - i don't speak much french). I guess my only excuses are that I've always had a full class load (4~5 every semester), I'm supporting myself financially, working full time on a research project, and working on the side as a commercial photographer (i.e. i get paid minimum wage to take pictures that i would have taken for free).

I do have a pretty strong bio research background (mostly molecular biology and electrophysiology), and have received a government grant for research this summer. I know that's not really a replacement for clinical experience, but does that help at all? Or are they really looking for those hours in the clinic?

Do I have any chances of getting in to a good med school? It seems like people really emphasize the clinical experience here, but then I read posts that say they know this guy who got in without shadowing, or without much volunteer experience etc etc. Also, what method would you recommend for getting more clinical experience? What qualifies as "clinical experience", exactly? as interested as I am in the profession, I'm not sure if i see the value of carting boxes for 3 hours in a hospital compared to interacting 1-on-1 with elderly people with severe depression for 3 hours.
 

TopSecret

Removed
Jul 14, 2009
1,095
4
949, 310
Status
Attending Physician
I have the same feeling that I think a lot of people have when they first start reading the forum: holy crap, how am i going to get into med school if i'm competing with people like this?

I was working on my application until I realized that compared to everyone else here, I have really little clinical experience. Most of my volunteering from the past year involves working with little kids, high school kids that have fallen behind in their science class, and helping people with mental disorders. I've only recently started volunteering at the hospital, and haven't been able to find a doctor to shadow with (don't have a family physician, don't know any doctors in this city, also, language is a problem here - i don't speak much french). I guess my only excuses are that I've always had a full class load (4~5 every semester), I'm supporting myself financially, working full time on a research project, and working on the side as a commercial photographer (i.e. i get paid minimum wage to take pictures that i would have taken for free).

I do have a pretty strong bio research background (mostly molecular biology and electrophysiology), and have received a government grant for research this summer. I know that's not really a replacement for clinical experience, but does that help at all? Or are they really looking for those hours in the clinic?

Do I have any chances of getting in to a good med school? It seems like people really emphasize the clinical experience here, but then I read posts that say they know this guy who got in without shadowing, or without much volunteer experience etc etc. Also, what method would you recommend for getting more clinical experience? What qualifies as "clinical experience", exactly? as interested as I am in the profession, I'm not sure if i see the value of carting boxes for 3 hours in a hospital compared to interacting 1-on-1 with elderly people with severe depression for 3 hours.
You may want to go through the directory and call every single doctor's office to ask if anyone is looking for volunteers. Once you're in the office you can then ask to shadow. You should try the university docs first and then private practice docs who are volunteer faculty. If none of the above are available then go for regular private practice docs. The important point here is to have some exposure to the profession before investing huge amounts of time and money.
 

red10

7+ Year Member
Jun 2, 2009
1,429
24
Status
Medical Student
Contact someone at your school about shadowing opportunities (career center, pre-med advisor, etc).

You can get clinical experience by working drawing blood, taking patient stats (pulse, bp) etc. get creative if you have to.

You seem to have a ton going on and you're on the right path for sure. Don't get yourself too worried, but you do want to have some experience seeing what a doctor actually DOES. otherwise, how do you know you want to do medicine?
 
OP
runawayclock
Jun 1, 2009
419
2
Status
Medical Student
I've volunteered in hospitals/nursing homes in high school (sadly doesn't count on the AMCA application, right?), and I have doctors/nurses in my family - it's just that they're in Korea, and it's not really practical to ship myself over there for a shadowing experience. :-/
 

TopSecret

Removed
Jul 14, 2009
1,095
4
949, 310
Status
Attending Physician
I've volunteered in hospitals/nursing homes in high school (sadly doesn't count on the AMCA application, right?), and I have doctors/nurses in my family - it's just that they're in Korea, and it's not really practical to ship myself over there for a shadowing experience. :-/
If you already have volunteer time in hospitals and nursing homes, then you could try your hand at other things like research, outreach programs, part-time work (gotta pay the bills), etc. Be sure to mention that you have some exposure to health care in your personal statement.
 

ygree001

10+ Year Member
Nov 18, 2008
304
0
Status
Resident [Any Field]
You already have volunteering and community service. You don't need to volunteer in a hospital, you need to shadow. Cold call, speak to friends, etc, to find someone to shadow.