Is Crisis Text Line during COVID actually Clinical Hours?


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OPM 246: Is Crisis Text Line during COVID actually Clinical Hours?

Session 246

Have you had trouble finding clinical experience during the pandemic? Does a crisis text line count as clinical experience for your application?

Questions answered here on the podcast are taken directly from the Nontrad Premed Forum over at premedforums.com. Please go ahead and register for an account, ask your question, and have fun with the community.

Also, please be sure to check out all our other podcasts on Meded Media as we try to bring you as many resources as you need on this journey. Check out Mappd.com to see how we’re changing the premed landscape!

By the way, I’m starting a shadowing program that I’m starting called eShadowing.com. It’s happening Mondays at 8 pm Eastern. We’re going to have a live physician. This is a bit similar to the Specialty Stories podcast.

Listen to this podcast episode with the player above, or keep reading for the highlights and takeaway points.

[02:24] OldPreMeds Question of the Week

“Hi, I’m curious to see what others think about a clinical experience that occurs virtually. I’ve volunteered with Crisis Textline for some time (even before I decided to go to med school). Basically, it is a non-profit service that handles crisis through text. 

I’ve helped people avoid suicide and discover resources that could change their entire situation. The experience can be quite personal, even from a distance.  

Is this clinical experience? Should we still focus on the in-person format for getting clinical experience? (Phlebotomy tech, for example) I plan to, but I have to admit that helping people virtually for a couple of hours a week has benefits for a non-trad.”

[02:57] In-Person vs. Virtual Clinical Experience

During this Covid-19 pandemic when hospitals and clinics shut out anybody who wasn’t necessary to be in the clinic or the hospital, students were freaking out. They’re worried about how they could get the clinical experience that medical schools want and need.

One thing you could do is volunteering at a Crisis Text Line. That’s considered clinical experience. This is a good clinical experience for someone even outside of the pandemic.

I know a physician in the area who does a lot of medical-legal work. And to do a lot of medical-legal work, you need to maintain some clinical practice. And his clinical practice is running a crisis hotline. And so if it’s good enough for the lawyers, maybe it’s good enough for the medical schools. If in the long run, you want to run a Crisis Text Line as a physician and be their medical director, you can do that. 

“You still need to focus on in-person clinical experience because you need to prove to yourself that you like being in the hospital or a clinic setting.”Click To Tweet

Medical schools are going to want to make sure that you enjoy and that you understand that whole situation. And so when it comes to Crisis Text Line versus a clinical setting experience, I don’t want you to avoid a clinical setting just because you’re having a lot of fun in the text line. Try to do a little bit of both.

'If you only have time for one thing, go into a clinical setting as much as possible, interacting directly with patients.'Click To Tweet

Preferably, a clinical setting should be your first preference because the experience you get there is something you just won’t get from a virtual/remote position.

[05:40] Everything is Virtual

We are in a situation in our world right now, with the pandemic, that everything is virtual. They’re going in potentially for their anatomy lab, but then everything else is virtual.

Medical schools are making virtual school work. They’re going to understand your online classes are your online labs. They’re going to understand your online shadowing.

On a side note, I’m starting a shadowing program that I’m starting called eShadowing.com. It’s happening Mondays at 8 pm Eastern. We’re going to have a live physician. This is a bit similar to the Specialty Stories podcast.

There are also some other shadowing opportunities that you could check out such as VirtualShadowing.com and WebShadowers.com. So get as much shadowing as you possibly can.

'Doing something is better than nothing right now.'Click To Tweet

Medical schools are seeing all the students who have something even if they’re just virtual. So go out there and do something. Even if in the long run, it doesn’t count for anything, still do something.

Try to get into a real-person clinical experience which means being around the patient and being close enough to smell the patient. That is what’s going to help when it comes to proving to yourself that this is something you enjoy.

At the end of the day, the goal of clinical experience is to prove to yourself that this is what you want and that you can handle this.

Links:

Meded Media

eShadowing.com

VirtualShadowing.com

WebShadowers.com

Nontrad Premed Forum

Premedforums.com

Specialty Stories

Mappd.com

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