Optometry or Dental Considered Clinical Experience?

jd1031

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Hello,

I'm wondering if working in the Optometry/Dental Field would count toward clinical experience for medical schools apps? Thanks!
 

jaxasp

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really? i thought any exposure to 'patients' would count
 

DeadCactus

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Yes. Medical patients. Patients seen by the kind of professional you want to be. Reverse the situation. Would a pre-dent student gain anything from shadowing an oncologist?
 

Stratego

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LizzyM, an SDN poster who's an adcomm, has said that "if you are close enough to smell patients, it's a clinical experience." Her newer definition says that there should be someone on the premises who can write prescriptions. Both optometrists and dentists have limited prescription-writing ability, and while they mainly do preventive care, they do see sick people too (eye infection, corneal ulcers, diabetic retinopathy, tooth abscess, gum infection, etc). I think this would be partly clinical experience, but it should not stand alone. You need to have face-to-face patient interaction with medically-ill people in a clinic or hospital where doctors work, too.
 

Texan88

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LizzyM, an SDN poster who's an adcomm, has said that "if you are close enough to smell patients, it's a clinical experience." Her newer definition says that there should be someone on the premises who can write prescriptions. Both optometrists and dentists have limited prescription-writing ability, and while they mainly do preventive care, they do see sick people too (eye infection, corneal ulcers, diabetic retinopathy, tooth abscess, gum infection, etc). I think this would be partly clinical experience, but it should not stand alone. You need to have face-to-face patient interaction with medically-ill people in a clinic or hospital where doctors work, too.
Just for clarification, what about pharm tech certifications?

I listed giving vision screenings to children and being certified to lead vision screenings as an EC, too...hopefully they consider it as clinical experience :scared:
 

Stratego

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The small portion of pharm tech work that involves interacting with patients at the window and instructing on medication use/side effects can be considered "clinical experience". I'd say doing vision screenings should "count" too, in a small way, as the population you were working with was generally healthy, getting routine care. But again, neither of them should stand alone. They should add to your clinical experience working with patients in a hospital or clinic environment, not substitute for it.
 

LizzyM

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A clinical experience is one where you are close enough to smell patients.

A clinical setting is one where you are in proximity to someone who can write prescriptions.

Doing vision screening and/or working along side a dentist would be "clinical" in my mind although I agree that another experience in a medical setting would be desirable in such a case. Learning to commuicate with patients, help put them at ease, answer their questions is very similar in dentistry, podiatry, medicine, optometry. Someone who explores a few different professions before deciding on medicine would not be penalized for having clinical experiences with other health professionals.
 

drmonti

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Yep! I shadowed both my optometrist and dentist and wrote them on my amcas. I got asked about it a few times in my interviews too and I spun it as helpful with patient-doctor contact. My interviewer and I at one school ended up talking about how much we hate the dentist ha!
 

Longshanks

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Yes. Medical patients. Patients seen by the kind of professional you want to be. Reverse the situation. Would a pre-dent student gain anything from shadowing an oncologist?
That depends. There is such a thing as dental oncology.
 

plsletmein

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There are also people in oral/maxillofacial surgery that have joint MD/DMD degrees and others that have just a DDS
 

mrivera

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No. But you can use it in your essay to say how you explored other fields(optometry,dentistry) but you realized Med is what you want
 
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jd1031

jd1031

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Thanks for the replies! I asked this question because I recently graduated from college and moved back to my hometown. There are numerous job offers for dental receptionist/assistant around my area and not many medical-related ones (except for M.D., D.O., RN, or LVN). I have medical-related clinical experience in the past, and i plan on volunteering. Anyways thanks for the info!