Is My Clinical Experience Too Old?

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OPM 335: Is My Clinical Experience Too Old?

Session 335

This nontrad is wondering if they should include three years of clinical working experience they have from 12 years ago on their application.

Questions answered here on the podcast are taken directly from Go ask your questions there and use #OPMquestion.

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.

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OldPreMeds Question of the Week

“Is clinical experience from 12 years ago too old to include on my application? I worked as a behavioral health technician and rehab when I was 22 for three years. Should I include this on my application? Or does it look too much like a stretch for adding clinical hours?”

Crafting Your Medical School Application: Balancing Past, Present, and Future

An essential aspect of your medical school application is the narrative it weaves. It tells a story of your origin, your journey so far, and your potential future path. This snapshot of your life becomes particularly rich when you’re a non-traditional applicant, as you bring a wealth of past experiences to the table. However, ensure that your application isn’t too heavily anchored in the past, especially when it comes to clinical experience.

“Your application is a snapshot of where you've been, where you're at, and where you're going.”Click To Tweet

If your only clinical exposure dates back significantly, it may appear as though you’ve been more interested in other pursuits than in patient care. Hence, it’s crucial to demonstrate recent engagement in a clinical setting, showcasing your ongoing commitment to medicine.

Navigating Medical School Applications with Older Experiences

Navigating the medical school application process often involves grappling with insecurities, especially when your experiences date back several years. You might worry about how to present these experiences or fear that they may reflect negatively on you due to their age. However, it’s crucial to remember that this is your unique story.

“This is your story. It's your journey. It's your authentic self that you're putting into this snapshot.”Click To Tweet

Every experience, even those from over a decade ago, contributes to your journey and authenticity. For instance, your work as a behavioral health technician 12 years ago demonstrates early exploration into healthcare. Even if you’ve taken detours since then, these experiences remain valid and valuable. Embrace your individual path, as it’s perfectly okay to have an unconventional trajectory.

Overcoming Naysayers and Valuing Your Unique Path

You may face questions about your career path, such as why you stopped being a behavioral health technician 12 years ago. These inquiries are part of your unique journey, your story, your authentic self. Some medical schools may doubt your commitment due to your unconventional path.

Naysayers will exist everywhere. However, it takes just one person to appreciate your journey, to see the value in your experiences.

Consider the case of Antonio Patterson, a medical student who shared his story on The Premed Years Podcast Episode 508. Antonio is a 50-year-old medical student who spent 31 years as a pre-med student. Despite knowing he wanted to attend medical school, life, family, and other obligations took precedence. He even joined the church and became a pastor. Yet, his desire to become a physician never wavered.

His journey wasn’t straightforward. Figuring out how to get to medical school, what to do, and when the right time was – all of these were challenges he faced. Yet, at the end of the day, he fulfilled his dream. Now a second-year med student, he recently spoke at our conference about his journey.

'There's no right or wrong in this journey. Ultimately, it's your story. It's your passion. It's your path.'Click To Tweet

Antonio’s story underscores that there’s no ‘right’ path to medical school. It’s about embracing your journey, overcoming naysayers, and staying true to your authentic self and aspirations.

Pursuing Passions and Exploring Medicine

Remember, there’s no single ‘correct’ path to medical school; your journey is uniquely yours. Live your life, pursue your passions, explore medicine, healthcare, and the life of a physician. Strive to be a good human being, work hard to achieve good grades, and embrace all the wonderful experiences that come your way.

If you need assistance with your applications, whether that involves writing essays, working on secondaries, or preparing for interviews, we’re here to help. Our small team of advisors at Medical School HQ are ready to guide you through the process. Your journey to medical school can be challenging, but with the right support, it can also be incredibly rewarding.


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