No Clinical Experience, applying to Medical School

i've only heard of this with a couple of md/phd students - but i think you will find this to be exceedingly rare - if you have time, it doesn't take much to get your feet wet and take a look around. i never have time (or i don't make the time whichever) to do it during the year, but i've found that a few hours during the week in the summer will give you a decent exposure. there is something to be said about simply experiencing the environment, it will give you a context to place your reasons to be a doc. hah- but i haven't been accepted ...

-jot
 

mpp

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    I was accepted with little to no 'clinical' experience. I did have a lot of volunteer experience and some of it was in a sort of clinical aspect (in a long-term care facility connected to a hospital) but I had hardly any exposure to medicine in that experience. I did however have many lenghty discussions with various physicians, allied health (nurses, physical therapists, physician assistants, surgical techs, paramedics), and other health programs (optmetrists and dentists) before deciding to pursue medicine. I think that the admissions committees want to know that you know something about what a phsyician does...this could be by observing (shadowing), participating (volunteering or work experience) or by research.
     
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    doepug

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      I was accepted to an MD program with exceedingly little clinical exposure. I think it's all about articulating precisely why you want to be a physician, and being able to convince your interviewer that you understand what being a doctor entails.

      Don't worry, you'll get plenty of clinical exposure in medical school.

      Cheers,

      doepug
      MS III, Johns Hopkins
       

      Diogenes

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        Never fear Glucose; it is possible to get into med school with little or no volunteering/shadowing/research in a clinical/health setting.

        I applied with no volunteering, less than 10 hours of shadowing, and two different research experiences that were not health related. Plus one year (well, now it's one year -- at the time of applying it was less) of working at a pharmaceutical company in an analytical chemist kind of role. When I applied I made it clear I was interested in practicing medicine, not doing research.

        With this background and solid grades and MCAT, I got into UCSD and Georgetown. Not top 10's, I know, but UCSD is top 20.
         

        mystic_b

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          Originally posted by Diogenes
          Never fear Glucose; it is possible to get into med school with little or no volunteering/shadowing/research in a clinical/health setting.

          I applied with no volunteering, less than 10 hours of shadowing, and two different research experiences that were not health related. Plus one year (well, now it's one year -- at the time of applying it was less) of working at a pharmaceutical company in an analytical chemist kind of role. When I applied I made it clear I was interested in practicing medicine, not doing research.

          With this background and solid grades and MCAT, I got into UCSD and Georgetown. Not top 10's, I know, but UCSD is top 20.

          Hey, that sounds sorta like me, except I'm applying now. I've got the grades and the scores, but not too much on the clinical side. My year off has just started - I've thought about working in pharmaceutical companies in medicinal chemistry like I have in past summers, but I'm just not into that sort of work, I've realized. I mean, it's cool to play around with stuff for awhile, but not forever. I had another research experience in inorganic chem too.

          Did they ever ask in interviews about clinical experience/why you didn't have that much? Also, did they ask about the ten hours of shadowing? I'm going to have something like that too...
           

          Bikini Princess

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            Clinical exposure provides experience you can't get anywhere else. Many adcoms don't believe you when you say, "I want to be a doctor.." if you've never interacted with patients. To quote one adcom member, "It's like wanting to be a chef without ever once cooking your own food."
             

            spacecadet

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              I applied last year with very little clinical experience. I think I had about 12 hours in the ER at that point. I WAS asked about it at interviews.

              I did have some research experience in cell science, although not really medically-related.

              I didn't get in off the bat, and gathered some more clinical this spring. I did some shadowing and volunteered at the children's hospital. I sent update letters and I got into Baylor off the waitlist.

              I don't know if I got in because of the extra experience, or if I would have gotten in anyway. I'd suggest you go get some clinical experience right now though. I LOVED my shadowing experience, and it will make your life a lot easier if you have some concrete clinical experience to talk about in your interviews (even if it's too late to put it in your apps).

              By the way, my stats were low-ish GPA and very high MCAT. I'm a non-trad, 10 years out of undergrad.
               

              Diogenes

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                Originally posted by mystic_b

                Did they ever ask in interviews about clinical experience/why you didn't have that much? Also, did they ask about the ten hours of shadowing? I'm going to have something like that too...

                Yes, most did ask about it. I didn't have an excellent answer. I basically told them that I decided at apply to med school about the time I graduated, but once I graduated I needed to work to support myself, which precluded shadowing doctors during normal business hours. My limited shadowing experience was night shifts in ERs on the weekends. I definitely got in on my other merits. And I didn't get in outright -- just off of waitlists.
                 
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