Jun 10, 2019
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I just graduated this past spring and am figuring out how to boost ECs during my gap year(s). During undergrad, I worked as a clinical research assistant (continuing this currently). I've performed blood draws on study subjects (research setting) and on patients in unit (hospital setting). I also administered psychiatric assessments on people during study visits. Recently, I spoke with a medical school dean of admissions for insight and was pushed to pursue medical scribing instead. I'm a little discouraged because I'm just not sure how this role has to more to offer when I've been interacting with physicians, nurses, patients/study participants, and even medical students as a research assistant. It just feels like I should be checking off boxes for my resume . . . I've also shadowed physicians and volunteered (clinical and non-clinical) during undergrad. I guess I'm just confused on what actually counts as "clinical experience"?
 
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Jul 30, 2019
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Any experience where you’re interacting with PATIENTS. Unfortunately, clinical research usually involves research participants, not patients, and it won’t count as clinical experience. There is actually another thread here that talks about this in depth.

Gist of it is, if you’re interacting (“smelling”) with a patient that’s under/going to be under the care of a physician, it’s clinical experience. The physician doesn’t necessarily have to be present, and the setting doesn’t necessarily have to be a hospital/medial setting.

An example of this is hospice visits at their homes. Even though there’s usually not a physician present, nor is it a “medical setting,” it’s still clinical, since the patient is under the care of a palliative physician, and you’re still bound to hospice rules.
 
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LizzyM

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Hi, you're new here so you haven't been introduced to my measure of clinical experinece. First, it has to involve patients. If you are working with research participants or blood donors or students, your work does not meet the definition. Secondly, you have to be in very close proximity to the patients and not dealing with their records in the basement. You don't need to be authorized to touch them or stick needles in them but that would be close enough.

Being a clinical research assistant is the worst of both worlds because it is not clinical (the people in the study are usually not "patients" seeking clinical care) and it is often not considered to fit the definition of "research" which often holds the expectation of testable hypotheses at the bench (I could get into why I disagree with this but I'm telling you of the biases I see among adcoms).

Doing blood draws on patients in a hospital setting is clinical exposure (paid or volunteer). Shadowing is good. Non-clinical volunteering is good because it shows you are willing to help people even if you don't get points for it on the "clinical experience" side. It is considered more altruistic, if you will.
 
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Sep 11, 2020
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For what its worth I think scribing has something to offer. I scribed in an ED and liked learning about medical decision making and the roles of each position in the ED like techs, nurses and physicians. At my job the doctors would explain abnormal imaging, EKGs and labs while walking us through their differentials. I also scribed in a private practice specialty clinic and this was a good experience as well because you get to see what continuity of care looks like. Scribing is what you make of it. You can show up and write charts then go home, but if you're inquisitive its likely you'll learn more than you think. Eventually I moved on to medical assisting which is where I had my "aha" moment because of the actual 1:1 with patients. For me, each had value. Maybe you could consider medical assisting/patient care tech/CNA.
 
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Jun 10, 2019
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Any experience where you’re interacting with PATIENTS. Unfortunately, clinical research usually involves research participants, not patients, and it won’t count as clinical experience. There is actually another thread here that talks about this in depth.

Gist of it is, if you’re interacting (“smelling”) with a patient that’s under/going to be under the care of a physician, it’s clinical experience. The physician doesn’t necessarily have to be present, and the setting doesn’t necessarily have to be a hospital/medial setting.

An example of this is hospice visits at their homes. Even though there’s usually not a physician present, nor is it a “medical setting,” it’s still clinical, since the patient is under the care of a palliative physician, and you’re still bound to hospice rules.
Thank you so much for your insight!
 
Jun 10, 2019
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For what its worth I think scribing has something to offer. I scribed in an ED and liked learning about medical decision making and the roles of each position in the ED like techs, nurses and physicians. At my job the doctors would explain abnormal imaging, EKGs and labs while walking us through their differentials. I also scribed in a private practice specialty clinic and this was a good experience as well because you get to see what continuity of care looks like. Scribing is what you make of it. You can show up and write charts then go home, but if you're inquisitive its likely you'll learn more than you think. Eventually I moved on to medical assisting which is where I had my "aha" moment because of the actual 1:1 with patients. For me, each had value. Maybe you could consider medical assisting/patient care tech/CNA.
Thank you for taking the time to respond! I was under a completely different impression about scribing but am now considering it from a different perspective.
 
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Hi, you're new here so you haven't been introduced to my measure of clinical experinece. First, it has to involve patients. If you are working with research participants or blood donors or students, your work does not meet the definition. Secondly, you have to be in very close proximity to the patients and not dealing with their records in the basement. You don't need to be authorized to touch them or stick needles in them but that would be close enough.

Being a clinical research assistant is the worst of both worlds because it is not clinical (the people in the study are usually not "patients" seeking clinical care) and it is often not considered to fit the definition of "research" which often holds the expectation of testable hypotheses at the bench (I could get into why I disagree with this but I'm telling you of the biases I see among adcoms).

Doing blood draws on patients in a hospital setting is clinical exposure (paid or volunteer). Shadowing is good. Non-clinical volunteering is good because it shows you are willing to help people even if you don't get points for it on the "clinical experience" side. It is considered more altruistic, if you will.
Would being a clinical research coordinator in oncology clinical trials working with patients be considered clinical by your definition?

Edit: How do you distinguish participants from patients?
 
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Jun 10, 2019
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Hi, you're new here so you haven't been introduced to my measure of clinical experinece. First, it has to involve patients. If you are working with research participants or blood donors or students, your work does not meet the definition. Secondly, you have to be in very close proximity to the patients and not dealing with their records in the basement. You don't need to be authorized to touch them or stick needles in them but that would be close enough.

Being a clinical research assistant is the worst of both worlds because it is not clinical (the people in the study are usually not "patients" seeking clinical care) and it is often not considered to fit the definition of "research" which often holds the expectation of testable hypotheses at the bench (I could get into why I disagree with this but I'm telling you of the biases I see among adcoms).

Doing blood draws on patients in a hospital setting is clinical exposure (paid or volunteer). Shadowing is good. Non-clinical volunteering is good because it shows you are willing to help people even if you don't get points for it on the "clinical experience" side. It is considered more altruistic, if you will.
Thank you for your detailed response! I'm starting to pick up on what you're putting down because it seems like clinical research is difficult to categorize. Part of my duties involved finding patients in unit who were willing to donate blood for future research purposes, and then drawing blood - that seems more like what you've described? Anyways, I'll definitely be seeking out more opportunities for sure now.
 
Sep 11, 2020
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Thank you for taking the time to respond! I was under a completely different impression about scribing but am now considering it from a different perspective.
You're welcome :) Some offices I've heard of even have a position that is an MA with scribing duties so you could look for that as well. I think its state dependent on whether you have to have a license/certificate. Good luck!
 
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LizzyM

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Would being a clinical research coordinator in oncology clinical trials working with patients be considered clinical by your definition?

Edit: How do you distinguish participants from patients?

This is where things get dicey. Let's start with whether patients are billed for clinic visits. That might be one clue that they are not soley research participants but are patients as well. There might be other ways to determine if someone is a patient vs a research participant but I'd start with that one.
 
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