Clinical vs Volunteer Experience: Do You Need Both?

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Session 220

This premed has 4 years of clinical experience as a CMA, but do they still need volunteer experience prior to applying to med school?

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[00:50] OldPreMeds Question of the Week

“Hi my name is John and I am new to the forum. I just recently started my journey as a premed and I listen to the podcast often, It has already answered many questions I had before setting down this road but I can’t recall if this has been covered or not.

Will I need volunteering hours in the future if I have been working as a CMA for the past 4 years?

I currently work in a Cardiologist office for a DO and he’s one of the coolest doctors I have ever worked for. In my 4 years as a CMA I have worked in Internal Medicine, Neuro and now Cardiology.

Just curious if me working in the field close enough to “Smell” the patient will suffice or do I NEED to volunteer at a doctor’s office or hospital. I would have no problem doing this as I am in very good standing with the owners of the office I previously worked at and am currently employed by one of the largest hospital systems in the state (South Carolina). Thank you for all you do, I really enjoying listening to all the podcast.”

[02:16] CMA as Clinical Experience

Let’s assume here that CMA stands for Certified Medical Assistant. Interestingly, every state uses different language and terms for different roles.

So if you are a certified medical assistant, that’s a great experience! You’re doing vitals and you’re helping out. You’re checking the patients and doing all that kind of stuff where you’re getting close enough to smell the patients.

What you don’t want to do is to stop doing clinical experience. But you can stop being a CMA and go to hospice work if it’s more flexible with your time so you can take classes, etc.

'You don't have to keep doing the same thing. Just keep your foot in the door in the clinical world to help with your experiences.'Click To Tweet


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