After looking through a good portion of the 299 posts that up when searching "clinical experience" I've yet to run across a post offering a definitive answer the relatively simple question of what is or is not considered significant clinical experience. I realize that we all come from diverse backgrounds and have different perspectives on the question, but I'd think with the few MS 0's, students and adcom members that frequent the board, that we might be able to come up with a general consensus on what's realistic to expect from a traditional or semi-traditional applicant these days. And not to seem pretentious or assuming, but I was thinking that since it seems to be such a popular question (300 posts??) with such varied answers, that we might be able to sticky/add it to an FAQ somewhere to end the debate once and for all.. The criteria that keep getting thrown around seem to consistently involve: -- Direct, face-to-face patient contact "Close enough to smell patients" -- Interaction with medical personel/exposure to the American medical system (and the challenges and pitfalls thereof). Certain experiences seem to be consistently regarded as significant clinical experience, but may not be reasonable for traditional applicants: -- Clinical research: Interviewing patients re: health history (Ideal, but an admitedly rare experience) -- Work experience as either an EMT, CNA, M.A, or other position requiring a completion of a certificate-granting program or other form of post-secondary education aside from a Bachelor's. Now, there seem to be a handful of experiences that occupy a sort of grey region, about which there doesn't seem to be much consensus: They include: -- Shadowing -- Hospital volunteering -- Work experience in a clinical setting (PCP's office, etc) limited to clerical work (Patient contact, but not really significant?). -- Mission trips (those that involve patient care present ethical dilemmas, and those that don't seem to represent glorified shadowing, or "voluntourism") --Others? (I've seen everything from Hospice to Soup kitchen??) One could argue that "Clinical experience" is just a broad term encompassing a spectrum of different experiences, but different schools seem to have widely varying attitudes regarding the aforementioned activities, some going so far as to say that some activities (Shadowing in particular) don't constitute clinical experience... Is anybody who's particularly well-informed willing to offer his or her insight on the issue?