Clemson Students Launch PreMed Shadowing Program
Date Posted: 04/20/15
One of the more important things pre-meds can do to strengthen their med school application is shadowing experiences. Admissions committees love to see applicants who have been exposed to the profession of medicine. They often feel this shows the applicant knows what medicine is actually like and what they should expect from their future career. These experiences are great for applicants to talk about on personal statements, AMCAS activities, and interview day. But, shadowing is notoriously one of the hardest things for premed students to get into. Unless you have a physician as a family friend, how do you go about finding someone to shadow? Most students who try emailing physicians don't receive a response and those who call a doctor's office are often shut down by an office manager before ever speaking to the physician. Some colleges have programs set up with local physicians to offer shadowing opportunities, but these are far and few between.
Students at Clemson University recently started a new program to help solve this problem. The program is called Clemson Medical Experience Development (CMED). The founders (both students at Clemson) recognized the need for the program to be as unobtrusive in the lives of physicians as possible. That's why they made an online scheduling system. This means no more emails or phone calls for physicians to respond to. They simply sign up and indicate when they're available. Students can go on the system and see which providers are available and sign up for a slot. The students all undergo confidentiality training, demonstrate vaccination status, pass a TB test, and accept a code of conduct.
The program, which started testing in fall 2014, has already logged over 400 shadowing hours. CMED was initially capped at 40 students for testing, but the hope is to allow the program to grow to fill the needs of the entire university. You can read more about CMED here.