Clinical and Extracurricular Activities
1) How can I find a physician/dentist/pharmacist/physician assistant/optometrist/veterinarian to shadow?
Have you talked to your family physician, family dentist or the pharmacist where you obtain prescriptions? Talk to them, ask their advice. Be willing to volunteer, do not expect a paying job. Be flexible. Many of these professionals will need to get to know you before they allow you to observe patient interactions which requires discretion and maturity.
2) How do I become a volunteer at a hospital?
In order to become a volunteer at a hospital contact the Volunteer Department of the particular hospital at which you would like to volunteer. All the necessary contact can usually be found on the hospital’s website.
3) What are the pre-health student organizations on campus?
- Alpha Epsilon Delta - Pre-Health Honor Society
- Clinical Understudy and Research Education (CURE)
- Future Optometry Students of American (FOSA)
- Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA)
- Medicine, Education, Development For Low Income Families Everywhere (MEDLIFE)
- Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students (MAPS)
- Pharmacy Student Association (PSA)
- Phi Delta Epsilon-International Medical Fraternity
- Pre-Dental Society
- Pre-Medical American Medical Student Association (AMSA)
- Pre-Veterinary Society
For more information about these organizations click here
4) How important are extracurricular activities (i.e. joining a student organization, community service, etc.) when applying to a health professional program?
You want to become a professional. Physicians, Dentists, Pharmacists, Physician Assistants, Optometrists and Veterinarians are all community leaders and make themselves available to help members of their communities. You must show the professional schools you are applying to that this is the type of person you are. You need to demonstrate leadership in your community and have an extended record of this involvement. A single semester or few weeks involvement is not a commitment.
Some Dental Programs specify a minimum of 100 hours of Shadowing Experience. Physician Assistant programs vary but generally look for extensive direct patient interaction: this might include work as an EMT. (Ex: The University of Florida PA Program, looks for ~2000 hours of patient contact, which can translate to approximately 1 year of full-time experience)