Premed summer programs during COVID-19

October 6, 2020

Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.

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Are there summer programs for premed students during COVID-19? The answer is YES!

While there are always virtual learning and volunteer opportunities available, there are also in-person options to help premed students get their clinical experience hours.

With enhanced safety measures, at Global Pre-Meds we are able to give high school and college or gap year students the opportunity to shadow a doctor on hospital frontlines.

Doctor shadowing is an important part of gaining medical experience before applying to any programs or universities. Some programs even require that you shadow a doctor for a certain number of hours before you can apply to their institution.

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that it has been challenging for students who are interested in medicine, to continue getting that first hand experience. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, medical school applications for the year 2020 rose about 17% more than the year before, creating a record number of applicants. We can help you stand out from the crowd.

We are dedicated to providing learning opportunities to future health care workers, but we were not immune to the impacts of coronavirus. We closed many of our programs until we knew how to safely provide premed summer programs during COVID-19. And now we can!

Volunteering as a pre-med during COVID-19

We know that as a student interested in medicine you have a lot to give. Summer break can be a great time to add some volunteer hours to your resume.

While many volunteering opportunities have been shut down, there are still some contactless ways to help your neighbors or the healthcare community. You could make masks and donate them to people in need or to healthcare workers. You can also volunteer for meal delivery programs, which don’t always require contact and help older and immune compromised people access food during this challenging time.

There are also several online volunteer options that have started popping up in the last few months. You can search sites like Idealist or VolunteerMatch and adjust the filters to find opportunities over the summer.

If you can find a hospital that is willing to have students, there are volunteer opportunities more focused on medicine and healthcare.

While these options may not be as valuable to you as hands-on medical experience, it’s still helpful to have volunteer experience on your medical school application. This shows a commitment to helping others and also gives you experience working with different groups of people, which will make you a better doctor, nurse, midwife, or physician assistant!

Shadowing a doctor during COVID

Unfortunately due to COVID-19, many hospitals are not allowing premed students to shadow in person. However, we are offering doctor shadowing programs at Global Pre-Meds. There is no searching for a program that allows it or finding a doctor who will accept you – we take care of everything.

Our program is curated so that you are only in contact with whom we have chosen to include in this program. You and your mentor will have American standard PPE every day that you are in the hospital, and there is no physical contact between you and patients. By shadowing abroad with us, you limit the chance of transmission between you and your potentially vulnerable loved ones. You will be socially distancing within the bubble of your peers and our staff. You can learn more about our COVID-resilient programming here.

Check with your university or program to see what qualifies as clinical experience or shadowing hours before you commit to any program. You also want to ensure that any in-person shadowing opportunity you find is following the most up to date health and safety protocols.

If you cannot find any in-person shadowing opportunities, there are more virtual options that have been made available in the last few months. You can find some examples through universities or your local hospitals.

Online summer school options for premed students

Universities and schools all over the world have had to make changes to their school year due to the impact of COVID-19. Many schools have decided to go online at least part-time, which can be frustrating for students, but can also present an opportunity.

You could use this time to take an online course that may further your premed education. Look into universities that have peaked your interest and see if they are offering anything for students. From virtual shadowing to courses for credit, schools are making adjustments to how they deliver education.

At Global Pre-Meds, we provide a more hands-on learning approach, while keeping in line with all ethical guidelines. Students will get to spend a great deal of time with their mentor as they diagnose and treat cases that are often unique to that country.

Because you are learning at an international hospital, you will gain a global health perspective that is difficult to teach in a classroom or online. Considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is a unique time for pre health students to learn about international healthcare.

Our mentors will host global health seminars to provide a more in-depth learning opportunity and more time for you to ask any questions. This helps students understand the context of these cases and identify what makes the country’s healthcare system different from their own.

In addition to a wonderful learning experience, we can offer a social experience that will help you make the most of your summer break. You will be staying with your peers at the beautiful Global Pre-Meds guesthouse, safely meeting students from all over the world who also share your passions. Enjoy meals prepared in house by our chef, and immerse yourself in the culture.

Regardless of which opportunity you choose – volunteering, shadowing, or academics – there are options for premed summer programs during COVID-19. This pandemic has taught us just how important healthcare professionals are to the world. We can help you stand out from the crowd. Apply today for Global Pre-Meds!