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What should pre-med students do over the summer?

#highschool #pre-med #medical #medicine #medschool #premed #healthcare #summerjob

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Tamera’s Answer

Hi Helen, thanks for posting this question on the forum. I would think first think about whether or not you want to work in the clinical setting or more in the lab. During high school, I volunteered at a local hospital and this experience truly sparked my interest in the medical field. I worked as an EMT before PA school and I highly recommend looking into EMT programs during your summer break. It is a great exposure to medicine as a student and the pre-hospital setting. I also worked in a lab one summer during undergrad and realized that environment was not for me. However, with this experience I realized that I wanted to be more in the clinical setting. Therefore, as a student you should try all the opportunities available to you and go from there.
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Julia’s Answer

I'm currently a medical student and looking back, the most important thing is to get exposed to the field and learn the language. I was a medical scribe for 2.5 years which allowed me to shadow and gain valuable healthcare experience. You'll be working closely with physicians and be able to determine whether this field is right for you. The process of medical school and becoming a physician is a long and stressful road so high school is a good time to do some shadowing in multiple fields (even outside of medicine) to see which one you like most.

I didn't have any connections as I'm a first generation college student so start out with volunteering at hospitals. Once you get your foot in, see if you can make connections to shadow some doctors.

Be flexible, be open-minded. Don't be afraid to ask questions about what adults like and dislike about their job. I made sure to try other fields before going to medical school to make sure this is what I truly wanted to do. Sometimes the experience outside of medicine is going to make you a better doctor in the future. Good luck!
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Shannon’s Answer

Daniel's answer is very complete. I can add one point. All the professors, doctors & hospital staff are instrumental in helping you develop. They won't help everyone, especially students who are conceited & think they know everything already. Step one is to recognize which people are worth learning from. Could be a CNA, could be a maintenance person, could be a professor, could be a patient. Be humble & don't underestimate anyone. Step two is to display your eagerness to learn. Ask a lot of questions. Asking the right question to the right person is an important thing to learn in itself, and learn to avoid being obnoxious about it. Then in EMT class and while volunteering at the hospital, ask away. A great way to do this is to say "Doctor, I was reading about patent airways in JEMS (the EMT journal). They said _____ but I don't understand (this point)." Do this as much as possible, without being a pest, and you will be seen as eager to learn. Develop this skill in college. By med school you'll be really good at it. This is a fast way to impress everyone you work with. Doctors will go out of their way to teach you if they see that you're eager & good to work with.
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Karl’s Answer

It really depends on what you may be thinking about doing. If you are thinking of specializing then you may want to get some exposure in doing lab research or working in a lab. However, as was suggested earlier just trying to get any volunteer activity in a hospital or clinic.
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Alexis’s Answer

Being a pre-med student it is extremely important to gain exposure into the medical field. Jobs such as: certified nursing assistant (CNA), certified medical assistant (CMA), emergency medical technician (EMT), etc. are all great. Volunteering is great as well whether it’s writing cards to nursing home residents, making a meal for a Gift of Life House, volunteer at a shelter or Ronald McDonald House, etc.
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Alexis’s Answer

Being a pre-med student it is extremely important to gain exposure into the medical field. Jobs such as: certified nursing assistant (CNA), certified medical assistant (CMA), emergency medical technician (EMT), etc. are all great. Volunteering is great as well whether it’s writing cards to nursing home residents, making a meal for a Gift of Life House, volunteer at a shelter or Ronald McDonald House, etc.
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Matthew’s Answer

Hi Helen,
I would suggest getting as much exposure to the medical field as possible. That can be through volunteering at a hospital, shadowing different physicians, and much more. Something I did over the summer was become certified as an EMT. I would then get first-hand experience with patient care.
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Ryan’s Answer

There's endless possibilities, from people simply volunteering or to shadowing doctors or to getting jobs as an EMT/Medical assistant/Medical scribe. It really depends on what field you're interested in and what sounds the most fun/rewarding experience for you. If you haven't been exposed to the medical field before, make sure you get as much experience as you possibly can before applying so you know what you're getting into.
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Daniel’s Answer

Taking any courses such as EMT, CNA, Shadowing, MCAT Prep, Volunteering at your local hospital, College courses over the summer (if feasible), Study if you want to specialize in something specific and looking and medical schools. Internships are good as well as they provide a form of work experience.
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