Do I have enough clinical experience?

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deleted919245

Hi all,

I am a non-traditional student applying in the 2021-2022 cycle and was hoping to get some feedback on whether I should be prioritizing clinical exposure during my application year.

I graduated in '17 and have since worked exclusively in clinical/translational research. In one experience (~1.5yrs), I was a research phlebotomist, assisted during X-Rays and MRIs, interviewed patients about medical history, basic measurements (bp, BMI, proportions, etc.), done assessments for frailty, and consenting for clinical trials (discussing trial drugs, side effects, etc.). However, with some exceptions where research visits turn to clinical visits (due to concerns, and i stay to translate/assist), this is pretty much all for research.

In a separate research experience, I've had the privilege to travel with a transplant team to procure organs. While I'm there to collect research samples, the majority of these trips involves assisting with prep before surgery, during surgery (e.g. holding instruments, helping open the chest, holding things in place, tying knots, etc.), quick procedures outside the sterile field, setting the back table, and other tasks like that. It may go without saying, but these trips are all on clinically dead individuals. I'm also present during actual transplants in my home institution, but these experiences simply involve collecting research samples and watching the surgeries. Unfortunately the job's call schedule/unpredictability doesn't let me commit to any volunteering or other experiences, but it will be ending in the summer.

Other than that, I have 60+hrs of shadowing and only 40 of clinical volunteering (I was about to start a volunteer position at a clinic, but that was a month before everything closed because of covid). I also have a ton of non-clinical work/volunteering/ECs/pubs, but that's less relevant for this post.

While I would prefer to continue working in research, might it be worth it to do scribing, or something similar as I apply?

Thank you in advance for any advice!
 
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It seems a solid amount of experience. The fact that it is being done in conjunction with research projects does not take away from the fact that you are still performing clinical tasks and working with patients. If you want your brand or niche to be based in research, then I say continuing makes sense. The quality and depth of your experiences here should translate well.

David D, MD - USMLE and MCAT Tutor
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D

deleted919245

It seems a solid amount of experience. The fact that it is being done in conjunction with research projects does not take away from the fact that you are still performing clinical tasks and working with patients. If you want your brand or niche to be based in research, then I say continuing makes sense. The quality and depth of your experiences here should translate well.

David D, MD - USMLE and MCAT Tutor
Med School Tutors
I appreciate the input! I do see my profile being research-focused along with my clinical aspirations, so continuing with translational research would be my preference. Thanks again.
 
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