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How important is clinical experience when applying??

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by Moestar, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. Moestar

    Moestar 5+ Year Member

    Sep 1, 2006
    Hi everyone!

    I'm looking into applying for osteopathy in the states (i'm canadian) for 2008 and have read that many schools are looking for clinical experience. So is that basically if you have worked/volunteered in a hospital in the past? Does it include anything else? I don't really have any clinical experience, just working in doctor offices and I was planning on volunteering at the hospital for this summer but would only be a couple of months of volunteering prior to submitting the application.

    So I guess generally I just wanted to know how important is clinical experiences to the schools when they're looking at the applicants?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated! :)

    Thanks a lot!!

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  3. DrVanNostran

    DrVanNostran 10+ Year Member

    Mar 19, 2006
    Working in a doctors office is usually pretty good. But, have you shadowed anyone? Also, imo some volunteering better than none.

  4. lrobin15

    lrobin15 OMSI 2+ Year Member

    Feb 17, 2007
    Knoxville, TN
    This is how important: My cousin had a 3.94 gpa with a 4.0 bcmp gpa and a 33T MCAT (Absolutely brilliant. Only studied for the MCAT by reading one Barrons book for ~3 wks).

    He applied to 7 allopathic (stupid) and 4 osteopathic (stupid again). He interviewed at all osteopathic and 6 allopathic schools. Guess what? He didn't get accepted to any schools. That's right. After the season was over, he requested info from most of the school reasons and they said it was because he had NO clinical experience. They were afraid he didn't really know what he was getting in to and even questioned his motivation.

    Guess what, they were right! He didn't bother applying the next round and went into a phd program in nanoscience.
  5. GreenShirt

    GreenShirt 10+ Year Member

    Feb 6, 2007
    Working in a Dr's office sounds like clinical exposure to me. What do you do there? Some of the school's specifically require CE, but it's implicit at most.
  6. DoctorMom78

    DoctorMom78 Sky Glory 2+ Year Member

    Sep 28, 2006
    Speedwell, TN
    :eek: :eek: :eek: WOW!!!! I was going to say that it was EXTREMELY important, but that just about sums up what I though.

    OP: GOOD LUCK!!! Go and get some clinical experience ASAP!:luck: :luck:
  7. Lamont

    Lamont Neverending Storyteller 2+ Year Member

    Feb 22, 2007
    go shadow someone for an extended period of time (at least a few weeks on separate occaisions) to get a true idea about medicine. I shadowed in a peds ICU for a few weeks whenever i was on break from college and boy howdy it helped me out later on. showed me that I was getting into something I wanted to do and also kinda sorta got me a freakin' spectacular letter of rec from someone who knwos me and can attest that im a good person etc.
  8. Clinical experience isn't very important. I know plenty of people who got in by volunteering for less than 20 hours in the course of their undergraduate studies.
  9. FizbanZymogen

    FizbanZymogen Guitar Hero Champion 5+ Year Member

    Nov 1, 2005
    Get experience at your local ER and get patient exposure. It makes for some great interview stories and shows you know what the heck you are getting into (even if you have no interest in Emergency Medicine).
  10. DragonWell

    DragonWell Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Nov 20, 2004
    How imp't is clinical experience to get you into a specific school? Debatable, varies by school and even by who interviews you - basic science PhD vs. clinician (MD,DO)

    The real question you should be asking is how imp't is clinical experience in deciding that medicine is truly the path for you? And the answer is invaluable. Forget about the application and interview. You owe it to yourself to get some clinical experience before you embark on this journey, just to find out what you are really getting in to. You can't do this by reading a book or watching a video - a lot of things sound good on paper or look good on ER. You have to actually experience even a little bit and then see how you feel.
  11. spicedmanna

    spicedmanna Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

  12. Moestar

    Moestar 5+ Year Member

    Sep 1, 2006
    Wooww!! Thanks so much for your input!! So many of them!
    Yeah you're so right about getting clinical experience to make sure that you want to get into medicine. Volunteering at the ER would def. help with that. Well the doctor's office that I worked in was for a psychiatrist and he was more of a psychiatric consultant for companies and I did mostly admin work.

    It sounds like the amount of CE experience depends on the person, and the school!
  13. HemaOncoDoc

    HemaOncoDoc One Step At A Time 10+ Year Member

    May 8, 2006
    Exposure to the clinical setting will help round out your application and indicate that you're aware of how the medical profession operates on some level and you're not going into medicine, blind. There are many ways that individuals fulfill this (ie volunteering, clinical research, administrative work within a doctor's office, etc)

    IMHO, it can only help. Putting in dedicated hours may even allow you to get a persuasive LOR. Best of luck!
  14. Orthodoc40

    Orthodoc40 7+ Year Member

    It's very important!

    What you do NOT want to do is appear to be the typical premed that 'just did enough to fill out their experiences'. Adcomms are smarter than that.

    The reason for clinical experience is to explore & test your interest in medicine, not to fill out your experiences. The importance is for you, too, though. You need to know what you're really getting into and why. They are usually (not always) pretty good at telling the difference in motivation.
  15. MossPoh

    MossPoh Textures intrigue me 7+ Year Member

    Apr 24, 2006
    Tally/Willkillya County
    Shadowing or clinical experience is absolutley important. It isn't to quite the same degree as in some countries. In germany, some schools require you to do a couple months of being a nurses b!tch pretty much. You really have to run through the gauntlet and do scut before starting....although that isn't every one. I think it should be required that you follow a doctor around for 2 weeks and participate in call and everything else with him/her to truly understand. Even shadowing doesn't have the same effect to me. I had way too many doctors tell me I could leave or do other stuff during the "boring" parts of their work. I chose to stick around, because not everything in medicine is exciting.....I even had my dad's pager (he is a doctor part-time at the hospital) and had them set it up so I got paged whenever the surgeon I was with got paged.....So I went in at 3 a.m. a couple times that week for surgery.....which was interesting. *cough* A bit extreme probably, but I know after that, and all the other crappy stuff I still want to do that is a good sign right?
  16. scdocusc

    scdocusc 2+ Year Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    I agree with the above poster. I think shadowing is really quite insufficent experience. Work somewhere, you can ALWAYS find a job in healthcare. Granted it probably will be bitchwork it gives you a way more consistant view of medicine. Just a little info: Working in a hospital as a phlebotomist is awesome experience and you get to stick people with needles which is cool. You also get to see the crappy side of working in healthcare such as: waking up at 5:30 am every morning, having people crap on you, barf on you, curse at you, hit you, spit at you, having kids fight you, having parents of the kids fight you harder, dealing with nurses who have power complexes, and crappy hospital administration. These are sides of healthcare which are never seen shadowing or even volunteering for that matter. (they protect volunteers from crazy ER draining meth-heads) good luck and have a blast.
    -sc doc

    ps: I really do love medicine (not sarcastic)
  17. Bacchus

    Bacchus Administrator Moderator Physician 10+ Year Member

    Apr 27, 2007
    I've heard mixed emotions regarding shadowing. I have a friend at Jefferson that told me it came down to his interview, but that his clinical experience helped. He shadowed, but not a lot. My experience, which I am recommending to you, is contact your PCP if he or she is a DO. If not, see if someone in the practice is. I guess, since I'm applying to both MD and DO applicant pools, I will "luck out" because my DO school of choice, PCOM, is where my mentor family practitioner graduated from. But as other posters said, get the "dirty" clinical experience. Volunteer at a hospital as a unit aide if you can. I just finished at HUP on an ENT floor and it was one of the most interesting experiences I have ever had.
  18. nlax30

    nlax30 Fellow Physician 10+ Year Member

    Oct 4, 2006
    Be sure to jot down some notes about your experience after you shadow. It's also about the quality of the experience and what you get out of it as opposed to the quantity of shadowing you did. I didn't have an obscene amount of clinical experience (1 summer of working as a CNA in assisted living center, and then a few weeks here and there of shadowing various physicians along with some volunteer activity) but I did have some good experiences "in the trenches" so to speak that I was able to talk about on my essays and in my interview.

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