Medical How do I address a lack of clinical experience due to COVID?

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Jun 11, 2010
Somewhere west of St. Louis
  1. Non-Student
I'm a non-trad (senior graduating in a few weeks with a psychology BA), 23 y/o, starting my post-bacc this fall. I was supposed to start volunteering at my university's hospital just before the pandemic began, but my program was unfortunately suspended indefinitely not long after my orientation/screening was completed. There are no volunteer activities being carried out, to my limited knowledge, in the Bay Area, where I live. I'm also asthmatic, so the idea of being a hospital at the moment gives me a lot of anxiety. Having pneumonia and even walking pneumonia in the past were traumatic. experiences for me, and it seems that even the youngest, fittest among us can have devastating outcomes with this illness.

That said, I'm wondering what this community's thoughts are on approaching your post-bacc years /eventual med school application processes potentially "deficient" in clinical exposure, as I'm not sure when volunteering, let alone shadowing (most doctors I had hoped to shadow are specialists now working remotely, and the ED setting seems like it won't be safe for a while), will become an option again. I do have some research experience, albeit only a summer internship and an RA role in a psych lab. Will admins be understanding of candidates who are completing their requirements at this time, and focus more on other stats? As a nontrad, I don't want my application to be delayed until my later 20s, and also feel so daunted by the people able to currently apply with hundreds upon hundreds of clinical experience hours. I want so much to substantiate my resume...but how can this be done at the moment?
Without clinical exposure, your app will be non-viable for med school. You wont' get cut any slack for not having it due to COVID.

You're expected to demonstrate that you know what you're getting into and that you really want to be around sick people for then ext 30-40 years.

Here's a harsh truth: your safety, and that of your family and society, are more important that your medical education. Hence, if need be, you apply cycle instead of this one.
Oct 14, 2011
  1. Academic Administration
Being an asthmatic should make you very wary of getting sick due to COVID-19, from what we are learning about it. That said, there are many people who apply to medical school in their late 20's and early 30's (or later) and are successful. They get their ducks in a row with respect to clinical exposure, academic rigor, MCAT, and volunteer experience. Apply when you really have the best possible application or you will be wasting time and money unnecessarily.
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