Does My Speech Pathologist Experience Help Me?

Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts

OPM 304: Does My Speech Pathologist Experience Help Me?

Session 304

This premed is a speech pathologist who wants to know what their work experience would be considered. What is it classified as?

Questions answered here on the podcast are taken directly from the Nontrad Premed Forum over at 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.

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

[00:56] The MCAT Minute

The MCAT Minute is brought to you by Blueprint MCAT.

Did you know that mnemonics are a thing that will help you learn MCAT content faster? It works for medical school, for premed, and for anything in your journey.

The whole medical world works around mnemonics. And if you haven’t learned about mnemonics yet, you need to go over to Blueprint MCAT. Sign up for a free account and check out their spaced repetition flashcard platform that will help you learn these mnemonics. That way, you learn the content faster and retain the content more.

[01:38] OldPreMeds Question of the Week

“I am a practicing speech pathologist currently taking premed classes (among other things) to prepare for applying to med school in the future. And so, I am curious if ADCOMS would see my experiences as ‘clinical experience/hours.’ I have done several thousand hours of therapy and assessments with children/teens in a school-based setting. 

All of those hours of therapy and assessment time were billed to Medicaid. I also have well over a thousand hours of patient contact hours doing speech pathology work. It’s particularly related to the treatment of cognitive deficits as well as treating swallowing disorders. It also includes psychiatric technician work at inpatient skilled nursing facilities and at a local inpatient psych hospital. 

Both of these experiences seem much less ambiguous in terms of being ‘clinical experience’ so I’m not exactly concerned about having enough significant clinical experience. I am specifically wondering, however, if ADCOMS are likely to consider speech therapy/assessments in a school setting “clinical experience/hours.”

[02:48] Clarifying The Scope of Clinical Experience

'Location does not determine if it's clinical or not... Clinical does not matter where you are, it matters what you're doing, and who you are doing it with.'Click To Tweet

Hospice, for instance, takes place in a patient’s home, where you are just being with the patient. You are supporting them emotionally. As a hospice volunteer, you’re not there to poke and prod them with needles to take their blood pressure, check their vitals, all that stuff. You are there to support a patient emotionally in their home. That’s clinical experience.

Let’s think about the reverse. If you are in a hospital, does that automatically make what you’re doing a clinical experience? If you work in the cafeteria, is that clinical experience? If you work as a security guard in a hospital. Is that clinical experience? Obviously, no.

When we talk about clinical, it’s confusing, because it has the word “clinic” in it. But the location doesn’t matter. What you’re doing and who you’re doing it with is all that matters.

[05:35] Understanding the Nuances

Psychologists working with clients” is clinical experience. They call them clients. And just because you call people at a nursing home residents doesn’t mean they’re not patients. But that also doesn’t mean that if you work in the cafeteria at a nursing home, then it’s a clinical experience.

Again, what you are doing, and who you are doing it with is what matters. You could be someone who is a sitter or one who hands out medicine at a nursing home. And that’s clinical experience. You could be someone who plays bingo at a nursing home with the residents. And that’s not clinical experience.

'You have to use your critical thinking to determine is it clinical or is it not.'Click To Tweet

Use your brain. Don’t worry about location. What are you doing and who are you doing it with? That’s it.

[06:47] Is Working as a Speech Pathologist Clinical Experience?

In this case, Ryan is doing speech-language therapy and speech-language assessments, with patients, who are children and teens. And it just happens to be in a school-based setting. Hence, it’s a clinical experience.

All of your experience as a speech-language pathologist is clinical experience. It does not matter where you were doing it. You could do it in a house. You could do it with a mouse. You could do it in a box. It doesn’t matter.


Meded Media

Nontrad Premed Forum

Blueprint MCAT