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Is shadowing enough to be competitive?

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justin984

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I've been having trouble finding relevent clinical experience other than hospital gift shops or records. How much experience is required to be competitive? I know a few doctors I can shadow, and I'll prob check the listings for all local hospitals and call everyone who will answer a phone :D Is shadowing enough?? I hear of some people that have been paramedics for 10 years and shadowed doctors for 500 hours etc etc! I feel so behind!
 
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njbmd

Hi Justin,
Be sure to do a meaningful shadowing experience that you can write or discuss intellegently during an interview. A letter from this physician would be good too. You should also get some volunteer experience in a clinical or humanitarian setting but don't stress about it. Find a way to do something (help an adult learn to read, volunteer to read or write letters or poetry at a nursing home, tutor kids at an afternoon study hall) a couple of hours each week. Just have something that shows you have an interest in humanity. You DON't need to be an EMT unless you have the time and the interest in getting this certification. If the rest of your application is competitive, this part should not kill you unless you have nothing there.
njbmd :)
 

efex101

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No, shadowing "alone" without other activities will probably not be competitive enough for some schools. Sure we hear of folks getting in w/o any clinical/community volunteering but these are in the minority. Try to shadow *and* somehow get involved in some volunteering activity (medical or not) that shows your altruism and serving your community.
 

QofQuimica

Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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I actually called every school that I thought I might be interested in applying to, and several were willing to discuss my application with me and make suggestions about what I could do to strengthen it. It took a lot of time, but I got several good tips, and so I recommend doing this if you are wondering whether you are competitive for a given school. I was told by several schools that not only do they want me to have volunteering experience, but it should be medical volunteering, and it should be recent. So, even though I already have non-medical volunteering that I have been doing for years, and I am a (volunteer!) co-investigator for a clinical trial, I also started volunteering in the surgical waiting area of one of the local hospitals. Although, I have to say that the hospital volunteering seems to matter more to the state schools. The more research-intensive schools that I talked to were more interested in hearing about the clinical trial.
 
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