Being pre-med does not only mean taking science classes and maintaining a good GPA. In order to become a great applicant for Medical Schools, there are various criteria you need to meet. Volunteering, shadowing, research, clinical experience, and a great MCAT score is what these schools will be looking at.
Volunteering can be completed at any program or organization even if it is not medical related. Do something that you like and have fun doing. In attempt to try and get volunteering experiences, download the Volunteer Match App; this gives you a plethora of options to volunteer anywhere around your area. It is best if you stick to one main volunteering program rather than many little ones.
2. Clinical Experience
Clinical experiences can be either paid or volunteering opportunities. There are various programs in which you can get great experience and hands on activities in the medical field. These include EMT, CNA, Phlebotomist, Medical Scribe, etc. Below are a few opportunities where you can get started. Reminder: these clinical experiences do require additional costs and schooling in order to receive a working license/certification.
3. Shadowing Experience
Shadowing a physician means that you follow their everyday routine and all activities they do. Shadowing gives you the sense of what it’s like working with patients, working with other health care practitioners (nurses, PAs, and others), and what the challenges and rewards are of working in the medical profession. Although shadowing is arguably the most difficult clinical experience to receive, it is still very beneficial and is worth pursuing.
Research can be done under any branch in the college courses, it does not have to be science-based research, it can be anything you are interested in. The easiest way to find research is to get to know your professors ahead of time and ask them if there are any available spots in their labs. Get to know them so that they are aware of your work ethic and dedication for their lab work.