Admissions committees expect applicants to have a realistic understanding of the profession that they seek to enter. Gaining this exposure can take many forms and should start early in your undergraduate career, with your time-commitment and responsibilities evolving as you get closer to application. Some health professional schools require hands-on experience as part of your application portfolio and all programs strongly recommend it.
We encourage you to reflect on the following as you assess your involvement in clinical arenas:
- Have you had more than one sustained experience volunteering in hospitals, clinics, or private offices?
- Did you interact with patients?
- Have you shadowed, or observed, healthcare professionals?
- What did you learn about health care and the profession through this experience?
As you embark on new clinical activities and deepen your existing ones, don't forget to reflect on what you're observing and learning. We recommend keeping a journal or other record of your experiences to help you in the reflection process.
Not sure how or where to gain experience?
Thinking about gaining clinical experience abroad? Review these important resources before buying your ticket: