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Is this considered "Clinical Experience"

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by DUDev, May 13, 2014.

  1. DUDev


    Jan 5, 2014
    Hey all,

    With my summer approaching, I'm continuing my exploration of both the medical and dental fields to decide which one is right for me. I understand for admission to both schools, clinical experience is required. I was drawn into a fantastic program at my local hospital, where I would work with Pediatric blood and marrow transplant patients. My responsibilities would include having fun with the children while their parents take a break, playing games, and lending a listening ear.

    I was wondering if this would be considered a "clinical experience' in the realm of medical and dental school admissions. I believe it would be, as I would be directly interacting with the patients, although I wouldn't be directly viewing patient-doctor contact.

    On an semi-related note, I was hoping for some advice from some SDN members who are going through a similar decision between medicine and dentistry. I am currently a rising junior, and I will be taking a summer course at my university for the first half of this summer, and then studying and taking either the DAT/MCAT in early September. I'm shadowing a few dentists whilst taking my class. Would you recommend taking the MCAT if i am not entirely certain I want to pursue dentistry, in order to cover my grounds? And then take the DAT if im fully decided on that path later on? Or would you recommend me deciding on my set path before the 2nd half of summer and studying/taking the corresponding exam.

    Thank you!
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  3. LizzyM

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

    Mar 7, 2005
    Are they wearing ID wrist bands in a health care setting? Then they might be patients.
    Are you close enough to smell them? (you need not be touching them and they need not smell bad, just talking about your proximity to them).

    A clinical experience as a volunteer or an employee may or may not put you in close proximity to physicians or other health professionals. If this is the case, then shadowing is a good idea in addition to whatever other clinical experiences you have.

    With regard to the DAT, are you very skilled in eye hand coordination and the seeing of things in 3D? Do you have strong fine motor skills? If not, you might be better suited for the MCAT rather than the DAT.
    DUDev likes this.
  4. DUDev


    Jan 5, 2014
    Yes, I would be directly interacting with the children. I would be facilitating in helping them enjoy their stay in the hospital, while they wait or are in between procedures such as marrow or blood transplants. I wouldnt be involved in the medical aspect of the transplants. Rather I would help keep them company and play with them so that they would feel less stressed and ease their pain.
  5. ciestar

    ciestar 2+ Year Member

    Sep 18, 2013
    That sounds clinical to me.
  6. Catalystik

    Catalystik Providing herd protection Physician Faculty SDN Advisor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Sep 4, 2006
    Inside the tesseract
    And to me, too.
  7. TKE340

    TKE340 2+ Year Member

    Aug 12, 2013
    My school defines clinical experience as being involved with or witnessing direct patient care (shadowing, emt, medical scribe, et.). Just interacting with patients outside of their care would not be considered clinical experience. The idea is to understand the day-to-day operation of healthcare professionals. That being said, schools vary wildly in these types of distinctions so the best advice anyone can give you is to contact a handful of schools you are interested in and ask them directly. They can also give you tons of advice on how improve your application in other areas as well.
  8. AndyQC


    Mar 14, 2014
    This part is extremely important. I had assumed that serving as a volunteer at patients' homes would qualify as a clinical experience. However, I recently learned that at least some schools prefer that you spend time with patients in a hospital or clinic.
  9. LizzyM

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

    Mar 7, 2005
    I think that there are different life experiences that adcoms like to see in an applicant.

    One is that you are familiar with what a physician does, where it is done, and what proportion of the day/week is spent in direct patient care, paperwork, continuing education, consultation with other team members, teaching at the bedside and/or research (some academic physicians), practice management (some physicians). This can be acquired by shadowing and some other ways.

    Second, are you comfortable around sick and/or injured people, the very old, the mentally ill, and other people who find themselves in need of health care. What experiences have you had that make you feel that you would like to work with/for those folks? How have you demonstrated that you care about the well being of others, particularly those who are socially marginalized?

    Separate from clinical settings, are you inclined toward serving others? What roles have you had that required you to be of service to others?

    Finally, are you intellectually curious? In what ways have you demonstrated that curiosity? (Hint: scientific research)

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