1. The SDN iPhone App is back and free through November! Get it today and please post a review on the App Store!
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice

Interview Feedback: Visit Interview Feedback to view and submit interview information.

Interviewing Masterclass: Free masterclass on interviewing from SDN and Medical College of Georgia

Hospice: Direct Patient Contact but.. no doctor contact

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by axp107, May 2, 2007.

  1. axp107

    axp107 UCLA>> Italian Pryde
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2006
    Messages:
    951
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Well I am really looking forward to volunteering with Hospice patients during the summer. I will get loads of patient contact except not any contact with doctors.

    Seems like it'll be a valuable experience, but would med schools also like some sort of interaction with doctors. I can see them wanting it.. but honestly, if you were to volunteer in the presence of doctors, I can only see you doing b*tch work like throwing away bandaids and stuff like that.

    Is hospice volunteer work and research enough for my app.. and maybe some shadowing? For my "clinical volunteering experience" part, I plan to work with hospice patients only.

    Thanks
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. moto_za

    moto_za Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,585
    Likes Received:
    43
    you should be fine..
     
  4. Wanna_B_Scutty

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2006
    Messages:
    590
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Yes.


    You know it. We know it. Deep down, the adcoms all know it. However, admissions is a silly game that we all must play.

    As long as you make sure you're getting real doctor time during the shadowing portions (and by "real doctor time," I mean you can rattle off stories of the things you've seen during interviews), this should be enough colical experience.

    Now you just have to check off the non-med-related volunteerism box, the research box, and the "something unique to you" box. Sigh. :p
     
  5. axp107

    axp107 UCLA>> Italian Pryde
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2006
    Messages:
    951
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Non-med related volunteering? Is that even necessary?
     
  6. emaj1n

    emaj1n M1
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    Messages:
    270
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Medical Student
    You'll get amazing patient contact (which will make for some great conversation during interviews). But don't sell yourself on contact with physicians. Through the hospice, you might meet a few physicians who can open doors to some other good opportunities (i.e., shadowing, letters).

    Research isn't required, but many other applicants will have it. It wouldn't hurt to be part of a research team for at least one or two semesters.

    You will need definitely need shadowing time. This is the unwritten rule (or maybe "law" is more appropriate). Most schools don't list shadowing as a requirement, but they expect you to have it (and more than just a few hours). Also, you'll probably have to shadow to get quality letters from physicians.

    One final thought: don't close the door on other clinical experiences just because you think you've satisfied the "checklist." Not only would other opportunities enrich your application, but they will most likely enrich your perspective on medicine and help you write your personal statement.

    Good luck!
     
  7. kypdurron5

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    Messages:
    1,293
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Can you give me some examples of conversation material that could arise from this kind of work? I'm training as a CNA now (just to get more patient contact/clinical exposure); I actually start clinical training tomorrow. I know up front that this is going to be a lot of personal care and very little "medicine" per se. It's really scraping the bottom of the barrel as far as clinical experiences go...so how would you respond to an interviewer that challenged you by pointing out that perineal care has nothing to do with the practice of medicine?
     
  8. sonofschmilsson

    sonofschmilsson arrogant bastard
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    i dont know about you, but when my perineum is bothering me i see a doctor
     
  9. kypdurron5

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    Messages:
    1,293
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    When my foot is gangrenous I see a doctor....but that doesn't mean clipping my toenails is a medical issue (diabetes aside).
     
  10. foofish

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,204
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Volunteering at a hospice is an amazing experience, and by far was the most meaningful of the various premed volunteering (heck, any volunteering) that I've done. So :thumbup: to you.

    The hospice I was involved with was incredibly responsive to the fact that I was premed--hospices don't tend to get too many--and hospice staff in general tend to be really helpful people. If it's an outpatient hospice, ask your coordinator if you might be able to get in touch with a hospice physician, and see if you can accompany him/her on patient visits in addition to your assignment. If you're in an inpatient hospice, they probably have rounds just like any hospital, and see if you can join in. :luck:
     
  11. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
    Faculty SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2005
    Messages:
    21,571
    Likes Received:
    26,989
    Status:
    Academic Administration
    One issue is "have you smelled patients" (clinical experience). The other is "do you know what doctors do" (shadowing).

    Some adcoms like to see shadowing. Some put less priority on that particularly if you have been employed in a health care setting, have family members who are physicians or otherwise have an "inside" view of medicine.

    At interviews, I'm less interested in what you've seen or what you've seen done as much as can you tell me about a memorable experience or a memorable patient. Can you tell me a story about a memorable patient? How you frame your story and the story you choose to tell can tell me a lot about you.


    Try to get in touch (through you contacts with the hospice) with a doc who focuses on palliative care and ask to shadow that doc. This would be very valuable even if only for a day or two or a couple of half days.
     
  12. moto_za

    moto_za Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,585
    Likes Received:
    43
    can you be specific why it would be very valuable to shadow a hospice doc? Is it good to talk about during interviews or just for the experience? thanks
     
  13. DoctaJay

    DoctaJay bone breaker
    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    3,012
    Likes Received:
    38
    Status:
    Fellow [Any Field]
    Hospice work is more than relevant, especially if you are excited about it (actually interested in it). Your genuine excitement will come across to the adcomm member and add a little light of sincerity to their drab world of PC and formality. I saw go for it...I don't think it will be any different than shadowing a doctor. The whole is point is exposure yourself to the healthcare environment so that you can make sure that this is really what you want to do.
     
  14. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
    Faculty SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2005
    Messages:
    21,571
    Likes Received:
    26,989
    Status:
    Academic Administration
    Well, the OP is doing clinical work with hospice patients. So it might be nice to know what a doctor's role is in caring for the dying. Shadowing a hospice doc (paliative care physician) seems like a good adjunct, just as an applicant who has been volunteering in "child life" might want to shadow a pediatric oncologist.
     
  15. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
    Faculty SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2005
    Messages:
    21,571
    Likes Received:
    26,989
    Status:
    Academic Administration
    Good care is prevention of worse things that can happen without care. You are also on the front lines to observe patients, know their habits and to report "up the chain" when there is a change in a patient. A change in bowel habits, a red area that might signal the start of a skin ulceration (the dreaded "decubitus ulcer" ), a new onset of sleepiness or confusion in the daytime are just a few of the things that a good CNA can observe and report.

    Some of the tasks of nursing, such as listening to patients and observing changes (visually, by sound, or by touch), are also useful skills for physicians. So while you are at the bottom (if you pardon the pun) you are also at the front line of patient care. Dr. Francis Peabody wrote in 1927 that the secret of caring for patients is to care for the patient. (JAMA vol 88, p.877). You are on your way in that regard.
     

Share This Page