Concerned about Clinical Experience during COVID-19

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confusedfuturedoc

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Jun 24, 2019
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    Hey y'all. So I am currently a rising junior, and I just have a couple of concerns. I have not really had the time to shadow/gain much clinical experience so far and have more so focused on research and other extracurriculars (I know I should've maybe started earlier but I just had a relatively bigger course load and I did not want to overload myself). I did start volunteering at a disabilities center last semester (I was not intending on making this my only clinical experience) but even that ended due to COVID-19. I was really hoping to get started with shadowing and volunteering at the hospital this summer, but that is not an option anymore with this pandemic. I did consider scribing and other positions of the sort, but I honestly don't think I would have the time for it once school starts back up, and I think I would rather prioritize mine and my family's health at the moment above anything. To keep myself a little busy, I did join a program in which I video chat senior citizens in nursing homes once a week to help prevent them from feeling socially isolated, especially during this pandemic. I also became a listener on 7 Cups. I know it isn't the more legit place to volunteer, but it definitely seems like a good learning experience so far. I also am dipping my toes into MCAT studying. I am just concerned because I don't even know if I will be able to start hospital volunteering during the fall since everything is still uncertain. I do intend on taking a gap year as of now, so that should give me more time to get some of that clinical experience before applying. I guess what I would like to know is will medical schools penalize me for this? I just feel really behind right now and helpless because of the pandemic. I honestly think I'm just looking for assurance since being a pre-med makes you kinda high-strung at times. Sorry for rambling lol.



    TL;DR : Will medical schools penalize me for not being able to have clinical volunteering/shadowing experience during this pandemic? Will they understand if I have to start these experiences a bit later than intended?
     
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    Monkeymojo

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    May 23, 2020
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      Obviously, it would have been better if you didn't wait so long to have clinical exposure but what's done is done. I would start hitting up local clinics ASAP in your area. I know there are multiple pre-med students around my college that are taking temperatures outside of stand-alone ER's over the summer as a way to volunteer, you might want to look into it.
       
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      candbgirl

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        I have no idea what 7 Cups is but the video chatting would probably be a start towards your nonclinical volunteering. It’s good you are planning a gap year. Realize you might need more than one year. Also realize that other applicants WILL have all of the expected activities when they apply so schools probably won’t be cutting applicants much if any slack . So you need to step up and figure out how you can get the things done to make your application stand out.


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        confusedfuturedoc

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        2+ Year Member
        Jun 24, 2019
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        1. Pre-Medical
          I have no idea what 7 Cups is but the video chatting would probably be a start towards your nonclinical volunteering. It’s good you are planning a gap year. Realize you might need more than one year. Also realize that other applicants WILL have all of the expected activities when they apply so schools probably won’t be cutting applicants much if any slack . So you need to step up and figure out how you can get the things done to make your application stand out.


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          Thanks for the response! I actually have a relatively good amount of nonclinical volunteering under my belt so far, so that is not really the issue I am having. I am trying to figure out stuff to do just to have something going on and to contribute to society as much as I can from home, but my concern is I just feel a bit stuck with clinical exposure. My plan was to continue volunteering at the disabilities center for the rest of the semester and then start shadowing and volunteering at the hospital this summer, but clearly those plans did not work out. I am hoping I can really get on it soon and hopefully have about 2 years of clinical exposure before I would apply after my senior year. I was just hoping medical schools might be understanding about not being able to get the exposure at this point in time for safety purposes. Of course I will get on it as soon as I can.
           

          confusedfuturedoc

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          2+ Year Member
          Jun 24, 2019
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          1. Pre-Medical
            Obviously, it would have been better if you didn't wait so long to have clinical exposure but what's done is done. I would start hitting up local clinics ASAP in your area. I know there are multiple pre-med students around my college that are taking temperatures outside of stand-alone ER's over the summer as a way to volunteer, you might want to look into it.

            I wish I didn't wait so much either, but that is why I will probably taking a gap year to make up for the lost time. Thank you for the response and the suggestion! I will try to look into that and see if there is something for me to do, but the problem is that this kind of defeats the purpose of me trying to be socially distant in order to protect my health and my family's health though. My parents are pretty paranoid and probably wouldn't even let me do that, to be honest, and I was hoping medical schools would prioritize our health before having to boost our resumes.
             
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