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Shadowing/clinical experience/volunteering?

Discussion in 'Physician Scientists' started by [insertname], May 12, 2014.

  1. [insertname]


    Apr 18, 2014
    Hi all,

    I am wondering what the expected number of hours for shadowing, clinical experience, and volunteering(clinical and nonclinical) are for successful MD/PhD applicants. I know it's traditionally fewer hours than is expected of hopeful MD's, but I cannot locate a thread that discusses a ballpark of the hours needed.

    Thanks in advance!
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  3. StIGMA

    StIGMA Doctor Professor PhD 7+ Year Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    You need enough shadowing/clinical hours to know definitively that you want to commit yourself to a career in medicine. That is typically 40+ hours. Volunteer only if you care about other people, and spend as much time doing so that represents this commitment in some balance with your other life activities. ~2-4 hours/wk is typical for volunteering, for the entire semester, often for multiple semesters. Other people do week-long mission trips or the like. Don't look at volunteering as "what is the minimum I can get away with." Instead, try to do something meaningful in an area/issue that matters to you.

    There are no "ballpark of hours needed." You need shadowing and you don't need volunteering. Without shadowing, how do know you want to pursue a career in medicine? I'd recommend at least 40 hours of each. Ideally, in 4 years of college, you would have volunteered much more than that.
    Last edited: May 12, 2014
    cooltrumpet likes this.
  4. [insertname]


    Apr 18, 2014
    Thanks for the quick response, @StIGMA! And absolutely, I am not asking so I can pursue these activities, but rather to make sure I'm already there as application season rolls around.

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