We are happy to announce that AMO is now offering pre-med clinical experiences! We know the value that these experiences can bring to your medical education, and we want to share these with you.
Although there are many more, here are six of the most noteworthy ways a pre-med clinical experience can benefit you!
Connect Textbook Learning with Real-World Scenarios
Depending on the undergraduate degree you are working to earn, you may not have the opportunity to gain medical insight from the perspective of a physician. A pre-med clinical experience provides you with the opportunity to shadow a U.S. physician so you can see how your school’s curriculum translates to a working healthcare system. You can see how the physician-patient relationship plays out in real-time and the process of providing medical attention to a patient from diagnosing symptoms to carrying out a course of care. A pre-med clinical experience can also provide great talking points during medical school interviews.
Evaluate Becoming a Medical Professional
Because this experience may be entirely new for you, it may change how you feel about medicine and your connection to it in the future. A pre-med clinical experience gives you insight into what it is like to be a physician. If you enjoy what you experience, it can solidify your goal of becoming a doctor in the future. If you don’t love it, this pre-med clinical experience may help you realize medicine, or a certain specialty, is not the field for you. Deciding you need to change career paths or change the area of medicine that you practice in can save you from making the decision later when you have already invested a considerable amount of time, energy, and money on medical school.
Need help deciding if medical school is right for you? Check out these resources from the Association of American Medical Colleges to help you make an informed decision regarding the future of your education.
Stand Out on Medical School Applications
It’s no secret that medical school in the U.S. is extremely competitive. Between 2018 and 2019, medical schools accepted just 41% of applicants. With these numbers, it’s more likely for an applicant to be rejected than accepted into a program. For this reason, it is extremely important that you do everything you can to stand out and impress those reviewing applications.
A pre-med clinical experience can show medical schools that you are serious about the field as you have invested your time and resources into an early experience. While clinical experience is not required by medical schools, it is preferred.
The most important thing to remember about clinical experiences listed on medical school applications is that they should never be just that—part of a list. If you do get an interview with a medical school, you can discuss your pre-med clinical experience in-depth, outlining what you experienced and how it has affected your desire to become a physician. In order to craft good responses on this topic, it is your responsibility to immerse yourself while participating in a pre-med clinical experience.
Meet Other Medical Trainees
Depending on the experience you select, you may be rotating with other pre-med students who are also in the process of applying to medical school. Throughout your experience, you may become close to other participants. You may exchange knowledge regarding the curriculum covered in the clinical experience or even the process of applying to medical school.
It is also possible that you will meet current medical students who are completing clinical experiences to earn letters of recommendation to use as they apply for residency positions. These individuals may be able to give you advice on how to best navigate the process of applying to medical school. They may also be able to provide tips on how to make the most of your studies, should you be accepted.
Earn a Letter of Evaluation
According to many sources, the most important aspects of your medical school application are your MCAT scores, your GPA, and the content within your letters of evaluation (also referred to as letters of recommendation). Upon completion of a clinical experience with AMO, you will be eligible to request a letter of evaluation from your precepting physician. While individuals may upload 10 letters to their medical school applications, most schools prefer that individuals submit two to five letters.
It’s important to note that the content of the letter of evaluation is of equal importance to the credentials of the physician writing it. Letters of evaluation sent to medical schools should outline your accomplishments and goals as much as they discuss the actual experience. For your letter-writer to know these details, it is important you have candid conversations about your plans for the future and the inspiration behind them.
While a letter of evaluation from your precepting physician may seem like the most valuable takeaway from your clinical experience, you might find something more meaningful and long-lasting in the process. Many medical students, medical residents, and practicing physicians have at least one mentor in their field that they can call on for advice. If you put in the work to genuinely get to know them and let them know you as well, your precepting physician could be this person!
Want to know more about finding a mentor? Check out our post, Finding Mentorship in Medicine.
Excited about the possibility of participating in a pre-med clinical experience? We offer many experiences for you to choose from!