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With wanting to go into the medical field, do you get to have some practice (hands-on)?

I want to know if I would be able to do practice on people. #doctor #medicine #healthcare #pediatrics #hospital-and-health-care

Thank you comment icon Yes you will have many opportunities to observe and be able to hands on practice with patient care. Usually the hands on experience will begin in medical school and residency program. I hope this helps. Angela Redito Ichinose

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James’s Answer

hi sophia.


i graduated from med school in 1993 and have been a family physician for 20+ years.


i read and agree entirely with Dr. Boyd's comments. however, i wanted to add few things.


first, i think you are maybe asking about experience prior to entering medical school. everyone's experience will be different but here's mine. i volunteered to be a blood pressure screener for about 1 semester. that allowed me to train in taking vital signs and interact with individuals.


then 1 summer i was able to do a preceptorship with my family physician in my hometown. that was awesome. mostly he allowed me to wear a white coat and go into each clinic room with him to see patients. but we also went to the hospital and a nursing home. this was my first time evaluating a patient on my own and then presenting the case to a physician. i also spent one night in a rural emergency room. so that summer was the first time that i got to "lay hands" on a few patients.


one summer i spent at the texas medical center in houston in a program for minorities who were pre-med. again we got to wear the white coat. everyday i attended the morning report where the previous night's admissions were presented and discussed. that showed me what residents and medical students did in the hospital. they rotated us through several services like pediatrics, internal medicine, general surgery, and such. and during some of our classtime we got to dissect cadavers under the guidance of the professors.


second, i want to mention a few other things about med school. i believe the first patient interaction i had then was during the 2-week phlebotomy experience. during those two weeks you had to get up very early, go to the hospital, and draw blood from patients. of course there was initial training and someone to supervise you. this allowed you to perform your first basic procedure on patients. and it got you a bit familiar with the hospital layout and responsibilities of some of the ancillary personnel.


also, although i didn't partake of this myself, i knew numerous other students during the first two years who would spend nights in the ER or elsewhere in the hospital just because they wanted early exposure to certain specialties.


lastly, you should also be aware that numerous medical students have trained or worked in other areas prior to medical school. some have been nurses, physical therapists, nutritionists, dentists, ENTs, etc. so those students were way ahead of the game when it came to hands-on patient experience.


good luck!

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Theresa’s Answer

Medical school is typically a four year program though that may be changing. Most programs have also converted to an organ system based corrculum. What this means is when you study the heart you will simultaneously study the anatomy, physiology, pharmacology...of the system. Included in this is the course on Introduction to Clinical Medcine where the student learns history , physical exam and diagnostic skills. This is done in classroom with an instructor, with highly technical simulation systems and with “standardized” patients.


Standardized patients are people who volunteer to act as patients with a certain disease processes. You practice what you are learning with the standardized patients first. This is very important because Step II Clinical Skills (CS) of the boards involves engaging with a series of standardized patients during an 8 hour day. You are graded by the standardized patient and the physicians administering the board on your history physical exam and differential diagnosis of each patient.


In your third and fourth years you will rotate through the various clinical specialties in the hospital. During this time you will see and perform procedures on real patients. So by the time you graduate you have the basic skills and familiarity with hospitals to be successful in your residency training.


I hope this answers your question.

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Rehana’s Answer

You have to go to medical or nursing school to become a healthcare professional to practice. You do not need healthcare prior experience to get into a school, but you do need to maintain a good GPA.
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Richard’s Answer

Residency is the time for hands-on training. Early in residency you will be performing the duties of a physician including procedures with supervision of an upper level resident or an attending physician. By the end you will be working independently. You will be given more responsibility as you prove your worth to your more senior colleagues.
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