Imagine the following scenario:
An anxious pre-med student walks into her first day shadowing a family practice physician. Immediately, she thinks, “This is what I want my future to look like!” She spends 3 hours meeting clinic staff and interacting with patients. Today is her first experience in a clinic, and it’s a little overwhelming. It’s also enthralling! She leaves knowing that her decision to pursue a pre-med degree is validated, and she is excited to return for her next shift. As time passes, her clinical experience whizzes by, and she can look back on it as a success. She has seen multiple cases and gotten to know what the day-to-day practice of family medicine looks like.
Fast forward: it is now about a year later. Now it is time for the pre-med student to complete medical school applications! She finished her experience at the family practice months ago, and she is sure to include this experience on her CV. She begins to write a description of her time shadowing in the office, but our student has trouble finding a way to communicate her experience there. ‘It was positive,’ she remembers. ‘I learned a lot.’ She thinks about what she should write down and wishes she could remember more details.
A few months later, our pre-med student starts to write her secondary essays for medical school. One of the essay questions asks her to describe her clinical experience and detail a specific instance where she felt challenged in a clinical setting. She thinks about her time shadowing at the family practice… but fails to recall any challenging moments or details of her time there.
Time flies by, and our pre-med student gets invited to interview at one of her top choice schools! She starts to prep, looking at common interview questions, and sees that one common question asks interviewees, again, to discuss their clinical experience in depth. Our pre-med student wishes that she could remember more. It has been more than a year since she absorbed this experience. While she has a positive recollection and knows that she learned from it, it is difficult to recall details or anything she feels that she can talk about at length in an interview.
At Code Blue Essays, we know how easily this can happen. We have seen it happen to some of our most promising medical school candidates! As a pre-med student, you go into clinical experiences excited and anxious. You are ready to absorb all you can, but are you fully prepared? Clinical experience involves an onslaught of information and interaction, and even if you work in the same clinic for a year or more, it can be hard to keep up and remember all of the knowledge gained.
We designed our Clinical Experience Journal with exactly this concern in mind. Our Clinical Experience Journal tells you, as a pre-med student, what to note before you enter a clinical setting. We provide a place to document any and all information you could need throughout your application process. The journal tells you what to expect and gives insight on what to pay attention to during your shadowing. After you complete a shadowing shift, you can easily record your experiences in the journal. There are places to document specific cases with clear prompts, eliminating the guesswork. We also provide you with a place to record information about the networking you do during your clinical experiences- these contacts are vital for possible letters of recommendation or mentoring opportunities.
Getting into medical school is competitive. Admissions committees review thousands of applications each cycle, and the competition is only getting tougher. Applications hit a record high last year at 62,443. Clinical experiences are one area of your application that makes you a unique candidate. Being able to recount specifics from those clinical experiences makes you stand out from the crowd and makes your personal statement, essays, and interview answers sincere and concrete. Preparing to answer these questions with our Clinical Experience Journal allows you to be sincere and provide concrete answers. Above all, remember that your clinical experience is a time for you to grow and learn about yourself. Enjoy the encounters and the people you meet along the way. Leave the application worries to us by tracking your activities in our easy-to-use Clinical Experience Journal!