Experiential Preparation

Graduate schools expect that by the time you send in your application, you will have taken the initiative to gain first-hand experience through volunteer work, an internship, or a job in a healthcare setting. Patient contact is critical for you to decide if you are comfortable working with sick people. It also helps you develop the critical interpersonal skills you’ll need to be a clinician.

Many students want to “shadow” but that can be very difficult to arrange and also has limitations. Often with shadowing you do not actually have direct patient contact. Read the AAMC website to hear what medical schools say about shadowing and gaining healthcare experience. 

Other activities such as community service, athletics, and campus clubs can demonstrate your ability to work with others on a team, deal with problems, plan and promote events, among many other life skills.