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How can a college student gain experience in the medical field?

I'm a rising junior at Saint Mary's College and my major is Allied Health Science. Hopefully after receiving my degree, I'd like to become a physician assistant one day, but to do that, I really need experience in the active medical field so currently I have no clue how to get started. #medicine #premed #physician-assistant

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Subject: Career question for you

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Damon’s Answer

Get a paid or volunteer position at the community hospital. It’s an application builder.
Thank you comment icon Thanks Mr.Anderson! Rashin
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Allison’s Answer

Hi Rashin! I am currently applying to PA school. The first things I did were volunteer at my local hospital and shadow. To volunteer, I looked on my local hospital website and reached out to the volunteer coordinator giving a background on who I am and expressing my interest in volunteering. To shadow, I emailed many medical offices and hospitals around me giving a background on who I am and expressing my interest in shadowing. I knew I wanted to go to PA school, so I would ask if there is a PA I could shadow, but if not I was open to shadowing other healthcare professionals (ie MD, DO, NP) to diversify my experiences. Email a lot of places though because many places will not get back to you. You can also try calling places as well. Also, do as well as you can in your classes, volunteer if you can, and take on leadership roles if you can. Don't feel bad about taking gap years prior to PA school to gain more experience. I have learned so much working as a medical scribe that I did not learn in the classroom. Good luck and let me know if you have more questions! :)
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much Allison! I really appreciate you sharing your experience with me! I'll let you know about the progress I make :) Rashin
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Richard’s Answer

Volunteer at your local hospital or low-income clinic. Ask physicians, PAs or other clinical providers if you can shadow them.

Consider becoming a scribe or EMT.
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Jeff’s Answer

As a pharmacist, I have a biased opinion but I've worked with many pharmacy technicians who went on to other related medical fields and felt their time working in the pharmacy really gave them in an edge. By working with many medications on a daily basis they learned the basics of what the meds were used for and the names of many of the products so they didn't seem so foreign when they came up in the classroom. Working in a hospital pharmacy would give you more interaction with other hospital staff and medical professionals while working in a retail pharmacy would give you interactions and experience working with patients.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the suggestion, Mr.Kreitman! Rashin
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