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May 24, 2021
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Hey! I never really write in discussion posts but I feel like I needed some advice, tips, or any help. Much of my social group is not pre-medical students so I have no idea or any extra friendly advice. I go to UIUC pursuing a chemistry major, and hopefully medical school post-undergraduate. I plan on taking the mcat towards the end of junior year as well. I am currently entering my junior year this upcoming fall. I have a 3.45 cgpa overall so far. During the school year I have research internship at a startup company as well in my college town. As well at school I bartend part-time at the college bars. I am in a fraternity within my school and heavily involved in executive positions and committees. I was a recruitment chair and now currently a mentor and aid the new recruitment chairs. I am also involved in weekly volunteering at the school's local soup kitchen and blood donation organizations. I am also an organic chem 1 tutor listed under the professor's course, I offer tutoring to other students who are in need of help. I have shadowed a couple times with a physician. Currently during the summer I have been working full time and I recently secured a volunteering/internship at a trauma 1 hospital. Many hospitals and offices are not offering much volunteering or shadowing programs lately because of Covid-19. So when I secured the position at the hospital I would hope it was offering potential opportunities to gain clinical experience. But, so far I have been volunteering and aiding with paperwork offering not much clinical experience. I feel unproductive with gaining experience so far and if my application is starting to become competitive or not. Any advice or tips as in what I should do or whats my next step. Thank you! Hope you have a great summer.

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Well you have your foot in the door as the pandemic does whatever. That’s a good step. Make it very well known you want a more a “clinical” role where you bring things to patients, see if they need anything etc. But keep doing what you are doing /until you get something else. Hopefully as the summer moves on you’ll be able to get more clinical exposure. But also keep looking for something else. Check with the volunteer office at the current hospital and see if anything else is available. At least you are trying to get your application in order. And that’s a good thing.
You can reach out to those physicians you already worked with and see if you can add hours there or ask them if they can refer you to other physicians who might be willing to take a student in for shadowing. Alternatively you can check with DO state society some have lists of DO willing to have students in their offices. I agree that you can use your current hospital volunteer position to find other opportunities however if that is not happening you may want to explore other options such as hospice or work as an aide (paid or volunteer).
If you can't add meaningful clinical experience I would consider taking a gap year and working as MA or scribe. I wouldn't rush with the MCAT either. Your c GPA is not stellar (? science GPA) and you'll want to show a strong performance on MCAT.