Health Care ExperienceMedical and health professions schools prefer candidates who have had some basic experience in the field through volunteering, internships, shadowing or working in an office.
Opportunities During the Pandemic
Many hospital and clinical settings are currently closest to in-person student participation. Many opportunities are still available to engage in virtually to gain experience:
- Department of Community Service (Waltham Group)
- Find local opportunities using VolunteerMatch.com and Idealist.org
- Ways to Help During the Pandemic
- Red Cross blood drives or virtual disaster responses
- United Way local volunteering for nonprofits
- Virtual Shadowing Nano Courses in Emergency Medicine (University of Colorado)
- VirtualShadowing.com Online Youtube Shadowing Series
- Crisis Text Line, Call2Talk, or other local crisis phone support line
- Support local hospice or nursing homes as needed
- Remote internships for a healthcare organization
- Informational Interviews with providers or health students on our Health Professions Group on LinkedIn
- More ideas available on "Ideas for Pre-Health Students During COVID-19"
Medical schools do not expect students to have “hands on” clinical roles; they simply want you to have exposure to how the health care system operates and have some experience interacting with patients. There are countless ways to gain clinical experience, such as:
- Hospital volunteer
- Volunteering with health-related non-profits
- Emergency medical technician
- Certified nursing assistant
- Pharmacy technician
- Medical scribe
Why An Obsession with Clinical Hours is Harmful to Medical School Applicants
Clinical summer internships and opportunities are available locally and nationally. To find available research internships, please navigate to research experience.
The father of a Brandeis student reached out to help connect students with surgeons in his field of colorectal surgery. Over the years the program has expanded to also include OBGYN and general surgery. Students have the opportunity to shadow in Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania and California.
The duration of each site varies anywhere between two and eight weeks and has the potential to extend into the academic year. Some sites are primarily research based whereas others are clinical or offer a blend of both.
All Brandeis students are welcome to apply regardless of major or year, however preference is given to sophomores and juniors who have completed 3-6 semesters of coursework.
“This experience has reaffirmed my goal of becoming a doctor. It has helped me determine which areas of medicine that I would like to explore the most: surgery, clinical, or a mixture of both.”
Cynthia Crispino ’21
Biology Major & Brandeis Summer Shadowing Program Participant