Health care experience is a necessary part of preparing for admission to medical school.  The experience can consist of shadowing a physician, volunteering in the emergency room of a hospital, or working as an emergency medical technician.  Other forms of medical experience may also be appropriate, but it is essential that the work involve direct contact with patients, rather than paperwork, the changing of bedding in hospitals, etc.  The acquisition of medical experience is a means by which the applicant can demonstrate familiarity with the health care process.  If the experience is gained while serving as a volunteer, it is also a demonstration of the applicant's commitment to service. 

The practice of medicine is currently much different than it was even 10 years ago, and it continues to change rapidly.  It is thus important that the medical experience be fairly recent, i.e. within the past two or three years.

To arrange for the acquisition of health care experience, a candidate can schedule a meeting with a physician to discuss the possibility of shadowing, or the personnel offices of hospitals can be contacted in order to apply for a position as a volunteer.

The Health Professions Advising website has been developed by
the WWAMI School of Medical Education in partnership with the
Honors College Office of Undergraduate Research & Scholarship.