Clinical Opportunities

Medical and health professions schools prefer candidates who have had some basic experience in the field through volunteering, internships, shadowing, or working in an office. Note: medical schools do not expect students to have “hands on” clinical roles; they simply want you to have exposure to how the health care team/system operate and have some experience talking with patients. There are countless ways to gain clinical experience – here are a few that our students have pursued:

Hospital Volunteer 

Volunteering with Health-Related Non-Profits: Hospice, Brandeis Buddies, nursing homes, etc.

Shadowing – Shadowing can be long-term or for a single day.  Due to hospital regulations, shadowing can be difficult to do without previous contacts. Because of this, most shadowing occurs when the student is already familiar with the health care professional; for instance, you may know some doctors who are family friends, or you meet someone while volunteering at a hospital.

Make sure you read these guidelines from the Association of American Medical Colleges on shadowing.

Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

Pharmacy Technician

Medical Scribe

Clinical Opportunities Abroad

Tread carefully when considering engaging in clinical experiences abroad, especially short term medical missions. Please meet with a Pre-Health Advisor if you are considering going on such a trip.

For more information, see the following:

AAMC Guidelines for Premedical and Medical Students Providing Patient Care During Clinical Experiences Abroad

“Some Health Programs Overseas Let Students Do Too Much, Too Soon”

Packing ethics into medical students’ global health trips