• AMA with Certified Student Loan Professional

    Join SDN on December 7th at 6:00 PM Eastern as we host Andrew Paulson of StudentLoanAdvice.com for an AMA webinar. He'll be answering your questions about how to best manage your student loans. Register now!

Concerned about clinical experience

Silac

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Feb 20, 2017
131
190
  1. Pre-Medical
    Currently I have about 50 hours of clinical volunteering doing ER volunteering, over 100 hours of hospice volunteering, and I am going through training for a program through my University that will involve weekly 1-on-1 patient interaction. I also completed a clinical research internship- however this included very little patient contact. I also have ~250 hours of shadowing among various specialties including primary care.

    As I look around it seems I have not put enough emphasis on my clinical experience. The hospice volunteering I do includes 1-on-1 patient interaction. This includes seeing the same patient every week for 2 or so hours. The patient can be either in their home, a nursing home, or some other sort of rehabilitation facility. I visit the patient every week until they pass away or are discharged from hospice. I also will go to the hospice services inpatient facility and make rounds to every patient in the facility who is willing to talk to volunteers and able. I will sit and talk with them, play card games with them, or just sit and give them company. To me, each hour of this experience is valuable and rewarding but I only do 2-3 hours a week. In total by the time I apply I should have somewhere between 200-300 hours of this activity.

    I'm concerned that this part of my application will not stand out or worse will be seen as insufficient because of a lackluster amount of hours.

    I feel good about my non-clinical hours, grades, leadership, and research. But this part of my application concerns me.

    I am considering beginning to volunteer at a free clinic next year. This would allow me to accumulate around 100 more hours of clinical experience. I am also extremely interested in the mission of this particular organization and attempted to start volunteering there this year but it didn't work out with my schedule.

    Do I need to make an effort to strengthen my clinical experience?
     

    Silac

    Full Member
    2+ Year Member
    Feb 20, 2017
    131
    190
    1. Pre-Medical
      I heard from Goro 300 hours puts you at the top 25% of national applicants. If you want to go to a Calfornia school, probably a bit higher. Keep in mind, clinical means patient interaction.

      Shadowing won't count.

      I'm a Texas resident. Depending on how my MCAT goes I'll apply to UCSF (I really don't know right now). But in general I don't have a particular interest in California schools as I don't think it would be a smart move for me to apply there as a Texan. At least that is my understanding right now.

      I do know that shadowing doesn't exactly count but I wanted to include it in the case it made any sort of difference.

      Are 300 hours of hospice volunteering really equal to 300 hours of something like the ER volunteering I did? In my experience I really don't think so. I dislike the emphasis on hour count. Regardless, I realize I need to play the game so that's why I am asking you guys what would be best for me.
       
      About the Ads

      Catalystik

      The Gimlet Eye
      Verified Expert
      15+ Year Member
      Sep 4, 2006
      35,025
      14,878
      The Other Side of the Portal
      1. Attending Physician
        Currently I have about 50 hours of clinical volunteering doing ER volunteering, over 100 hours of hospice volunteering, and I am going through training for a program through my University that will involve weekly 1-on-1 patient interaction. I also completed a clinical research internship- however this included very little patient contact. I also have ~250 hours of shadowing among various specialties including primary care.

        As I look around it seems I have not put enough emphasis on my clinical experience. The hospice volunteering I do includes 1-on-1 patient interaction. This includes seeing the same patient every week for 2 or so hours. The patient can be either in their home, a nursing home, or some other sort of rehabilitation facility. I visit the patient every week until they pass away or are discharged from hospice. I also will go to the hospice services inpatient facility and make rounds to every patient in the facility who is willing to talk to volunteers and able. I will sit and talk with them, play card games with them, or just sit and give them company. To me, each hour of this experience is valuable and rewarding but I only do 2-3 hours a week. In total by the time I apply I should have somewhere between 200-300 hours of this activity.

        I'm concerned that this part of my application will not stand out or worse will be seen as insufficient because of a lackluster amount of hours.

        I feel good about my non-clinical hours, grades, leadership, and research. But this part of my application concerns me.

        I am considering beginning to volunteer at a free clinic next year. This would allow me to accumulate around 100 more hours of clinical experience. I am also extremely interested in the mission of this particular organization and attempted to start volunteering there this year but it didn't work out with my schedule.

        Do I need to make an effort to strengthen my clinical experience?
        If you do all the things you project in this post, by the time you apply, you will have a decent breadth of experience and sufficient hours.
        I do know that shadowing doesn't exactly count but I wanted to include it in the case it made any sort of difference.
        Even though shadowing is a passive clinical experience, most schools will expect to see it. You have more than enough hours already, assuming you included a primary care physician.
        Are 300 hours of hospice volunteering really equal to 300 hours of something like the ER volunteering I did? I
        Yes.
         
        • Like
        Reactions: 1 user

        Silac

        Full Member
        2+ Year Member
        Feb 20, 2017
        131
        190
        1. Pre-Medical
          If you do all the things you project in this post, by the time you apply, you will have a decent breadth of experience and sufficient hours.Even though shadowing is a passive clinical experience, most schools will expect to see it. You have more than enough hours already, assuming you included a primary care physician.Yes.

          When you say if I do all the things I mentioned in the post are you including volunteering at the free clinic? All other activities I named I am currently involved in. At my current pace I will be hitting over 1000 hours of non clinical hours by the time I apply. I am beginning to think that I may want to start spending more time getting clinical experiences.

          I have an interest in attending a medical school that has strong research opportunities and is located in an urban area. As a result I am interested in attending many schools that are generally considered top school and have the associated difficulty of gaining admittance. For this type of school how can I be competitive in regards to clinical experience? Also of note I will be taking a single gap year and planned to get a position related to healthcare- I have no decided what this will be yet. However, since I will be applying immediately after I graduate I won't be able to discuss the content of my gap year besides speculatively so I am not sure how valuable that will be.
           

          Silac

          Full Member
          2+ Year Member
          Feb 20, 2017
          131
          190
          1. Pre-Medical
            It's not so much the hour count, it's the commitment. You really think having 30 clinical hours won't raise some eyebrows about your commitment to serving patients?

            I think, don't know for sure, MD-PhD may be a bit more lenient because of the commitment research requires.

            Yes I think that would be highly questionable. In my case I will have been volunteering for the hospice service 1 to 2 times a week for 3 years. In addition to the other activities I described.
             

            Catalystik

            The Gimlet Eye
            Verified Expert
            15+ Year Member
            Sep 4, 2006
            35,025
            14,878
            The Other Side of the Portal
            1. Attending Physician
              1) When you say if I do all the things I mentioned in the post are you including volunteering at the free clinic? All other activities I named I am currently involved in.

              2) At my current pace I will be hitting over 1000 hours of non clinical hours by the time I apply. I am beginning to think that I may want to start spending more time getting clinical experiences.

              I have an interest in attending a medical school that has strong research opportunities and is located in an urban area. As a result I am interested in attending many schools that are generally considered top school and have the associated difficulty of gaining admittance.
              3) For this type of school how can I be competitive in regards to clinical experience?
              4) Also of note I will be taking a single gap year and planned to get a position related to healthcare- I have no decided what this will be yet. However, since I will be applying immediately after I graduate I won't be able to discuss the content of my gap year besides speculatively so I am not sure how valuable that will be.
              1) I am referring to your active clinical experience in the ER, hospice, and the free clinic. I am not including the shadowing.

              2) We didn't discuss this previously at all. I'd agree that 1000 hours is well over what is usually seen for nonmedical community service.

              3) You will be if you complete the hours you outlined, acquired over a period of time.

              4) You are correct that future hours will not be much regarded.
               
              • Like
              Reactions: 1 user

              LizzyM

              the evil queen of numbers
              Verified Expert
              15+ Year Member
              Mar 7, 2005
              25,864
              44,844
              1. Academic Administration
                Hospice volunteering for 3 years puts you, I think, in the top 10% of volunteers. We really don't see many people who stick with something for many years... they check the box and move on. Having other clinical and non-clinical volunteering and shadowing and research means you've really hit all the categories that might be looked for.
                 
                • Like
                Reactions: 1 user

                Silac

                Full Member
                2+ Year Member
                Feb 20, 2017
                131
                190
                1. Pre-Medical
                  1) I am referring to your active clinical experience in the ER, hospice, and the free clinic. I am not including the shadowing.

                  2) We didn't discuss this previously at all. I'd agree that 1000 hours is well over what is usually seen for nonmedical community service.

                  3) You will be if you complete the hours you outlined, acquired over a period of time.

                  4) You are correct that future hours will not be much regarded.

                  I didn't intend to dishonestly represent myself so I'd like to clarify that I am not actively volunteering at the ER. That was over few months and I decided to stop because I wanted to be more involved with patients- which lead me to hospice. I will have to get involved in the free clinic when I have more time. I enjoy my non-clinical volunteering so I'd rather not stop- something will have to go.

                  I really appreciate your insight. I feel more confident with my approach now.

                  Hospice volunteering for 3 years puts you, I think, in the top 10% of volunteers. We really don't see many people who stick with something for many years... they check the box and move on. Having other clinical and non-clinical volunteering and shadowing and research means you've really hit all the categories that might be looked for.

                  Wow! That's really encouraging. Well I don't plan on stopping until I no longer live in this area. Like I said above I tried to volunteer at the local free clinic but due to incompatibility with class schedule I have not been able to yet. Would it raise any eyebrows if I started to volunteer there during my senior year (currently a junior)? I started an organization that is focused on the alleviation/education of issues faced by a population who heavily relies on services supplied by the clinic so my interest in volunteering there is totally genuine. I also have been heavily exposed to palliative care and I'd like to be around patients who are undergoing curative care so I can get a more complete experience. My concern is that I will come off a box checker if I throw in the volunteering the year I am applying. What are your thoughts?
                   

                  LizzyM

                  the evil queen of numbers
                  Verified Expert
                  15+ Year Member
                  Mar 7, 2005
                  25,864
                  44,844
                  1. Academic Administration
                    It would be fine to pick up clinic volunteering in your senior year (are you applying as a senior and taking a gap year?) and describing it as an effort to get some exposure to patients undergoing curative care to augment your long-term experience with hospice patients. That would be a great way to up your game and the fact that you've had an ongoing focus on the population served by that specific clinic will be evident too if anyone sees that you started an organization to help meet the needs of a specific population and you then volunteer in a clinic to serve the same population.
                     
                    • Like
                    Reactions: 1 users

                    Silac

                    Full Member
                    2+ Year Member
                    Feb 20, 2017
                    131
                    190
                    1. Pre-Medical
                      It would be fine to pick up clinic volunteering in your senior year (are you applying as a senior and taking a gap year?) and describing it as an effort to get some exposure to patients undergoing curative care to augment your long-term experience with hospice patients. That would be a great way to up your game and the fact that you've had an ongoing focus on the population served by that specific clinic will be evident too if anyone sees that you started an organization to help meet the needs of a specific population and you then volunteer in a clinic to serve the same population.

                      Yes I will be applying as a senior and taking a gap year. With your advice I feel pretty good about starting at the clinic senior year then! I wish I could get involved sooner but I just don't think it's an option right now, unfortunately.
                       
                      About the Ads
                      This thread is more than 4 years old.

                      Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

                      1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
                      2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
                      3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
                      4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
                      5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
                      6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
                      7. This thread is locked.