Clinic Experience

All of the health professions require significant experience in a health professional setting. Medical, dental, and optometry schools want the experience to be sufficient for the student to have a mature understanding of the profession and to be able to reflect upon it. All schools require clinical experience. Some schools have set at least 150-200 hours of clinical experience. Many osteopathic medical schools require experience with an osteopathic physician. Pharmacy, physician assistants, and physical therapy schools may have more defined minimums for hours of experience and types of settings (and whether those are paid or volunteer). This experience needs to be at least partly after you begin college. These experiences should involve both shadowing and direct patient interaction.

Questions to begin to ask yourself to determine what kind of interests you have:

  • What Health Profession draws your attention the most? 
  • How do you know if that Health Profession is right for you? 
  • Do you want the hands-on experience to ensure this is the right Health Profession for you?
  • Would you want to experiment with another field to ensure that Health Profession is right for you?
  • Do you want to research to see if you will pursue it long-term, or might you prefer a research career to a medical one?
  • What are you passionate about? Any social issues, research, or careers that immediately draw your attention?
  • Do you want to be near home, or a new area, or stay in South Bend, Indiana?

Students should record and reflect upon these experiences while protecting the privacy of any patients they have observed. Student reflections should not contain details that allow a reader to identify a patient. The same respect for patient privacy is proper for conversations with fellow students.

The Center has provided helpful resources to begin your experience locally below. We ask you to search for opportunities you are interested in, which sometimes may involve 'cold calling.'

Sign up for Irish Compass and join the Clinical Alumni Network. Utilize your network, including your childhood pediatrician. Contact local hospitals and clinics when at home. Use your network back home and among your peers (and parents).

Helpful Resources