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My specs aren't great, but the following is what I have so far (all happened before COVID):

1. volunteering at the hospital
at the front desk - greet and escort patients / push wheelchairs
at outpatient infusion - clean beds and rooms / restock items / bring items the patients ask

2. volunteering at a homeless shelter
collect survey from patients about their satisfaction / do arts and crafts with the patients

3. less than 30 hours of shadowing OB/GYN doctor

I am planning to start working in June at the hospital for more clinical experience.
I see many hospitals have a position as patient service representative that I will greet patients and do check-ins. Other than doing the check-ins, it seems similar to my volunteering experience. Will this be enough for the clinical experience?

Or I was considering doing the scribe as well. Because I am planning to take the MCAT next March, I was planning to do a part-time job only and it seems like many medical scribe jobs are full-time. I found one that is part-time and provides training, but it is virtual. Despite it is virtual, will this be still worth it?

If there are any other clinical experiences you guys recommend, please do so!
Thank you in advance :)
 
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COVID testing/contract tracing.

You might have to wait a cycle until COVID is over, or you're vaccinated. In the mean time, work on nonclinical volunteering.
So is contact tracing counted as clinical? It clearly involves patient interaction but also doesn’t involve going to a healthcare facility.
 
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Contact tracing is clinical? Huh? By that logic wouldn't a vaccine site volunteer or any other hotline/crisis hotline also be clinical? I thought it wasn't.
 

LizzyM

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I would not count contact tracing as clinical. You would be contacting people who are not patients and informing them that they have been in a location where someone was later diagnosed with COVID. You would be using communication skills, often in situations where people are frightened or troubled by the news but it is a bit of a stretch, particularly if it is done by phone.

There is the portion of contact tracing where someone who is positive is asked where they've been in the last 2 weeks and information about their contacts collected so that contacts can be informed ... are lay people doing that? Again, if you are talking by phone to a person with COVID, it clinical but because it is by phone, it is a "lesser" clinical experience.

In fact, is contact tracing going on at all these days? Is it being done by volunteers or only by paid health department staffers?

OP, get yourself a part-time, bedside/exam room job in a clinical facility. That is the safest bet for something that will clearly be seen as "clinical".
 
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Moko

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Contact tracing is important work to help prevent the spread of COVID, so it will be looked upon positively as an activity. While I would not fault an applicant for listing it as clinical, I agree with @LizzyM that it is a "lesser" clinical experience at best. I would still look for evidence of meaningful in-person patient interactions. How else can an applicant know that they are truly interested in medicine (the vast majority of which occur in-person in clinical settings)?

Contact tracing is clinical? Huh? By that logic wouldn't a vaccine site volunteer or any other hotline/crisis hotline also be clinical? I thought it wasn't.
I have similar views on volunteering at vaccine sites, blood drives, etc. All fine activities to have, but should not be the foundation of their "clinical" experience for the same reasons as above. For crisis hotline volunteers, I appreciate that they are interacting with those who are struggling with mental health issues, but I would still want to see in-person interactions where an applicant is not volunteering from the comfort of their home. Just my thoughts.
 
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I would not count contact tracing as clinical. You would be contacting people who are not patients and informing them that they have been in a location where someone was later diagnosed with COVID. You would be using communication skills, often in situations where people are frightened or troubled by the news but it is a bit of a stretch, particularly if it is done by phone.

There is the portion of contact tracing where someone who is positive is asked where they've been in the last 2 weeks and information about their contacts collected so that contacts can be informed ... are lay people doing that? Again, if you are talking by phone to a person with COVID, it clinical but because it is by phone, it is a "lesser" clinical experience.

In fact, is contact tracing going on at all these days? Is it being done by volunteers or only by paid health department staffers?

OP, get yourself a part-time, bedside/exam room job in a clinical facility. That is the safest bet for something that will clearly be seen as "clinical".
Thank you for your reply!

Would OP or exam room job not require any certificate or past experience?
I found a patient observation assistant job available. Will this suffice?
 

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Thank you for your reply!

Would OP or exam room job not require any certificate or past experience?
I found a patient observation assistant job available. Will this suffice?

Scribes work in the exam room and as far as I know, they are trained for a short period of time by the employer with continued training and guidance 'on the job'. Not sure what "OP" is in this context...

What does a patient observation assistant do? Is that what we used to call "a sitter" who stays with a patient who has delirium, dementia or is coming out of anesthesia? That's clinical if you are interacting with a patient in a clinical setting.
 
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Scribes work in the exam room and as far as I know, they are trained for a short period of time by the employer with continued training and guidance 'on the job'. Not sure what "OP" is in this context...

What does a patient observation assistant do? Is that what we used to call "a sitter" who stays with a patient who has delirium, dementia or is coming out of anesthesia? That's clinical if you are interacting with a patient in a clinical setting.
Oh, you mentioned OP in your first reply, so I was wondering what it was as well.

The job description for the patient observation assistant says staying at the bedside of the assigned patient and monitors the patient's condition and behavior visually and audibly.
 
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Contact tracing is important work to help prevent the spread of COVID, so it will be looked upon positively as an activity. While I would not fault an applicant for listing it as clinical, I agree with @LizzyM that it is a "lesser" clinical experience at best. I would still look for evidence of meaningful in-person patient interactions. How else can an applicant know that they are truly interested in medicine (the vast majority of which occur in-person in clinical settings)?


I have similar views on volunteering at vaccine sites, blood drives, etc. All fine activities to have, but should not be the foundation of their "clinical" experience for the same reasons as above. For crisis hotline volunteers, I appreciate that they are interacting with those who are struggling with mental health issues, but I would still want to see in-person interactions where an applicant is not volunteering from the comfort of their home. Just my thoughts.
I currently work at a research clinic as an intern that mainly is focused on COVID vaccine trials at the moment. I've been given the training and have been doing patient visits that involve bloodwork, vaccine administration, and adverse event assistance. Would this still be considered a "lesser" clinical experience?
 

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Oh, you mentioned OP in your first reply, so I was wondering what it was as well.

The job description for the patient observation assistant says staying at the bedside of the assigned patient and monitors the patient's condition and behavior visually and audibly.
"OP" is "original poster".... I was addressing @lialalala by the title "OP".

Patient observation assistant is a sitter. That's fine as a clinical experience.
 
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I would not count contact tracing as clinical. You would be contacting people who are not patients and informing them that they have been in a location where someone was later diagnosed with COVID. You would be using communication skills, often in situations where people are frightened or troubled by the news but it is a bit of a stretch, particularly if it is done by phone.

There is the portion of contact tracing where someone who is positive is asked where they've been in the last 2 weeks and information about their contacts collected so that contacts can be informed ... are lay people doing that? Again, if you are talking by phone to a person with COVID, it clinical but because it is by phone, it is a "lesser" clinical experience.

In fact, is contact tracing going on at all these days? Is it being done by volunteers or only by paid health department staffers?

OP, get yourself a part-time, bedside/exam room job in a clinical facility. That is the safest bet for something that will clearly be seen as "clinical".
So if I have done contact tracing with actual COVID patients, this would fit into the “lesser clinical experience” category?
 
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Also, just out of curiosity, if things stay shut down for a long while (late 2022 onwards), would ADCOMS start looking at virtual patient experiences as more clinical?
 

LizzyM

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These are healthy people who have volunteered to participate in research studies. They are research participants; they are not patients. I've always had a rather strict definition of clinical experience that requires that the activity be in close proximity to PATIENTS.
I currently work at a research clinic as an intern that mainly is focused on COVID vaccine trials at the moment. I've been given the training and have been doing patient visits that involve bloodwork, vaccine administration, and adverse event assistance. Would this still be considered a "lesser" clinical ex

Also, just out of curiosity, if things stay shut down for a long while (late 2022 onwards), would ADCOMS start looking at virtual patient experiences as more clinical?
Not likely to happen. I expect that we'll be back to "new normal" by September.
 
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YCAGA

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These are healthy people who have volunteered to participate in research studies. They are research participants; they are not patients. I've always had a rather strict definition of clinical experience that requires that the activity be in close proximity to PATIENTS.



Not likely to happen. I expect that we'll be back to "new normal" by September.
Research participants are not necessarily healthy and patients are not necessarily sick.

Also, research participants are definitely patients to the physicians responsible for them. They have to take a full H&P, order and interpret labs, follow up on reactions/complications, have regular check ins which involve another physical exam and history, discuss risks and benefits, etc. Just because the participants are being studied doesn’t mean they are not patients in a practical sense and in terms of one’s ethical duties as a physician.

COVID is a bit unique because of the scale of the phase 3 trials, but at least in the pediatric world, research studies, especially involving fairly rare diseases, are routinely done through a patient’s established specialist who is often heavily involved in the study.

So when a student says they are doing clinical research with research participants, they often (normally?) are working in a doctor’s office and functioning as an MA in addition to a research assistant. And I think we would all agree that a medical assistant is clinical experience.

So in summary, a blanket statement that clinical research isn’t working with “patients” seems overly restrictive.

Obviously you have more experience than almost anyone on this forum and I respect your opinion even if I disagree.
 

LizzyM

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Clinical research doesn't always involve repeat visits, labs, or any of that other stuff. You can recruit people for a clinical research study in a clinic waiting room, ask them to fill out a survey, and their participation is done.

Your best odds of having an application that checks all the boxes is to have clinical experience that is not clinical research. That's all I'm saying.
 
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YCAGA

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Clinical research doesn't always involve repeat visits, labs, or any of that other stuff. You can recruit people for a clinical research study in a clinic waiting room, ask them to fill out a survey, and their participation is done.

Your best odds of having an application that checks all the boxes is to have clinical experience that is not clinical research. That's all I'm saying.
That’s a fair point. Clinical research doesn’t always involve a well-defined physician-patient relationship, but it often does. So my point was saying something along the lines of “clinical research is not patient contact” seems too inflexible of a rule.
 

LizzyM

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That’s a fair point. Clinical research doesn’t always involve a well-defined physician-patient relationship, but it often does. So my point was saying something along the lines of “clinical research is not patient contact” seems too inflexible of a rule.

I don't want anyone to have a deficit in their application because they thought that clinical research counted as "clinical" but the adcom reviewer did not.
 

Planes2Doc

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Keep up with the volunteering. Volunteering is great since you get the clinical experience with a minimal weekly experience. You can focus on your grades and MCAT with all the time you save. Good luck!
 
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