You want the best pre-medical education possible, and it seems like AMO’s pre-med shadowing clinical experiences could be a great opportunity. The only problem? You have so many questions about their value and how they work!
Let us put your mind at ease. Here is a list of some of the most frequently asked questions and answers regarding our pre-med shadowing experiences.
What are the benefits of pre-med shadowing experiences? How can they help me get into medical school?
Pre-med clinical experiences have many benefits; they offer you a first-hand look at the daily life of a physician, can introduce you to a new medical specialty, and provide you with the opportunity to experience mentorship. These experiences can also provide you with a letter of evaluation that can be used when applying for medical school. The benefits don’t stop there. Having real-world experience will allow you to stand out from other medical school applications and may give you a point to focus on during medical school interviews.
Is there a difference between pre-med shadowing and observerships? Why can’t I apply for an observership?
Pre-med experiences require less knowledge and participation from the visitor than observerships. Observerships are specifically for medical students and graduates with more experience. Although medical students and graduates who participate in observerships are not able to interact with patients, they will be asked questions by their physicians. They may also participate in making differential diagnoses.
Pre-medical students are not eligible to apply for observerships, as it’s likely they don’t have the knowledge required to benefit fully from them. Pre-med shadowing experiences provide individuals an introduction to the healthcare system, the opportunity to earn a letter of recommendation, and experience to share during medical school interviews.
Why do pre-med shadowing experiences require me to pay a fee?
All clinical experiences offered through AMO require participants to pay a fee. Fees attached to experiences cover the planning of the experience, the physician fees, the institution fees, the processing of payments and documents, and supplemental services like support from our AMO Coaches and AMO Advisors.
While you may be able to find a pre-medical shadowing opportunity on your own, it may be difficult. Often times, physicians and hospitals are difficult to reach. They have busy schedules, and their contact information may not be readily available. We can save you time and money by helping connect you with physicians and institutions looking to provide you with an excellent clinical experience.
Will the doctor know I’m a pre-med student?
Upon reserving your clinical experience with AMO, we reach out to the precepting physician to let them know when to expect you. At this point, we provide them with your application so they can get to know you a bit before you meet. After all, you will be spending at least four weeks with the physician. Based on your application, it is likely that the physician will know you are a pre-med student, which can be a benefit to you for two reasons. First, the physician will be more likely to explain things in detail, allowing you to establish foundational medical knowledge. Second, they will be aware that you are looking for a letter of evaluation following the clinical experience.
I’m new to medicine, what if I feel confused during the experience?
If you feel confused or lost at any point during your clinical experience, that’s ok! As a pre-medical student, this is likely your first clinical experience, and you may have questions. The important thing is that should questions or feelings of confusion arise, you share them with the physician precepting your experience. Our physicians host clinical experiences because they enjoy teaching others. They will be happy to answer your questions and help explain topics of discussion in detail.
If questions arise while your physician is with a patient, make sure to write them down. Asking your physician these questions outside the consultation shows that you respect the patient’s time and are aware of your role as someone shadowing. Asking the question later also allows your physician to expand on the topic more than they might be able to while the patient is in the room.
How do virtual pre-med shadowing experiences work?
Virtual pre-med shadowing experiences are similar to those that are in person. With the use of live streaming audio and visual technology, you will virtually rotate with the physician during the experience hours. You will be able to observe their daily practices and have the opportunity to ask questions.
Can I participate in a virtual pre-med experience while I am in school/working?
This is a common concern for many pre-medical students who do not want to take time off from their regular education but who want supplemental learning experiences. To meet these needs, we offer flexible virtual clinical experiences. Flexible virtual clinical experiences are similar to our other virtual experiences in every way but one. In regular virtual clinical experiences, you are expected to rotate during all hours scheduled by the physician. With flexible virtual rotations, you can pick the hours and days you want to attend based on those offered by the physician. With this flexibility, you may be able to balance a clinical experience with your undergraduate studies or even a job.
Stand out from other medical school applicants!