January 1, 2021
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
As a high school student you may be wondering how to get pre-med experience.
You may be surprised to know that even if you are under 18 years of age, there are still many opportunities for you to learn about healthcare. If you are a high school student, it’s important for you to explore the many avenues to medicine.
At Global Pre-Meds, we provide doctor shadowing and global health programs for high school, university, and gap year students. We cater to students who are interested in nursing, becoming a doctor, physician assistant, midwife, or are still trying to decide if medicine is right for them.
High school students get exactly the same, one of a kind experience on the hospital frontlines, and you also have age appropriate supervision. We ensure your safety by providing 24/7 support and taking care of all of your needs while you are on our program.
Shadowing a physician is an essential first step on your journey to becoming a healthcare professional. By spending time in a clinical setting, you start to understand the roles and responsibilities of different healthcare professionals and decide what aspects appeal to you.
Shadowing a doctor also helps you start building connections in the healthcare field. You will need references, letters of recommendation, and people to cheer you on as you embark on your journey to medicine.
Each hospital has their own rules when it comes to clinical shadowing. Some have specific shadowing programs for which you can submit an application. Sometimes it’s a matter of finding a doctor who will allow you to observe them.
If you know someone in the medical field, the best thing to do would be to ask them about shadowing opportunities. Even if they are not in the field you want to observe, they may be able to help you find someone who is. The most effective way to get a positive response is to start with the people you know personally, even if that’s your family doctor.
Your easiest option would be to apply to our program. We look for motivated and mature students who want to learn. Once you apply, you have our full support to help you through the application process, finding insurance, your flights, and we take care of everything as soon as you step off the plane.
Rather than busying yourself finding the right doctor, who can work with your schedule and your interests, you can be confident in the fact that we have selected highly qualified medical doctors to serve as your mentors. Our partnerships with the local hospitals and medical professionals, along with our hospitality and support, make our program unique to other doctor shadowing programs.
Our high school students are able to observe medical cases most students would never get the chance to until much later in their medical career, if at all. Shadowing a doctor on the frontlines of an international hospital gives you access to medical cases that are unique to that country. You get to understand the impact of culture on medicine and how healthcare facilities work with more limited resources. This one of a kind experience helps you stand out from the crowd of other applicants to college and university programs.
Even if you are under 18 years of age, there are ways for you to get hospital experience that do not require prior medical knowledge. There are several volunteer positions at hospitals, where you can start familiarizing yourself with the facility and also demonstrating your interest in medicine to any college admissions officers.
Many colleges and medical programs look favorably upon applicants who have volunteer experience. This shows a willingness to give back to the community, as well as being an opportunity to learn more about the inner workings of a medical institution.
You can contact hospitals or clinics directly to ask if they have volunteer programs. You can also do a quick internet search, or use websites like VolunteerMatch or DoSomething to search for volunteer opportunities that you are interested in.
Because you are not a medical professional yet, do not count on getting volunteer experience where you are taking care of patients or even on the frontlines of hospitals. You may be helping with more administrative work, checking patients in, or helping more on the periphery of hospital functions.
If you are not able to find volunteer experience in a hospital setting, you can try other options that are related to healthcare, or even pursue something outside of medicine.
At Global Pre-Meds, we offer opportunities every week for our students to volunteer with local organizations. You can give back to the community in more ways than one. Your program fee also helps to pay the hospitals, doctors, and community members that make your learning experience possible. By participating in our program, you are increasing local access to healthcare.
It can be helpful to reach out to advisors at your high school or join a health club.
HOSA – Future Health Professionals is one student organization that focuses on providing educational opportunities for students who want to pursue a career in healthcare. It could be helpful to see if your high school has a chapter, or even look into starting one.
If your school does not have a HOSA chapter specifically, they may have a different health club that can connect you with doctors or healthcare professionals nearby. Sometimes these organizations will have guest speakers or events for you to shadow or learn more about the different medical specialities. It’s another great way to make connections with other students or professionals in this field.
We value the social connections students make on our programs. You will live with students from all over the world who have similar interests, learning and bonding with each other as you go on this learning adventure. Many of our students are still friends to this day, supporting each other on their journeys.
If you are interested in doctor shadowing or global health experience that can help you stand out, check out our program dates here.