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Students standing outside the entrance to a hospital chatting.

Jumpstart your future in healthcare.

Now more than ever, the world needs competent, passionate healthcare professionals. Your future in healthcare matters.

Our Alumni Enter Great Medical Schools

John Daines headshot.

John Daines

  • Atlantis '17
  • BYU '19
  • Washington U. in St. Louis MD '23
Zoey Petitt headshot.

Zoey Petitt

  • Atlantis '17
  • U. of Arizona '18
  • Duke MD '23
Yong hun Kim headshot.

Yong-hun Kim

  • Atlantis '17
  • Stanford '19
  • Mayo Clinic MD '24
Megan Branson headshot.

Megan Branson

  • Atlantis '18
  • U. of Montana '19
  • U. of Washington MD '24
Sarah Emerick headshot.

Sarah Emerick

  • Atlantis '19
  • Eckerd College '20
  • Indiana U. MD '25
Elorm Yevudza headshot

Elorm Yevudza

  • Atlantis '16
  • Amherst '19
  • Columbia MD '24
Lauren Cox headshot.

Lauren Cox

  • Atlantis '18
  • Louisiana Tech '20
  • U. of Arkansas MD '24
Tiffany Hu headshot.

Tiffany Hu

  • Atlantis '16
  • UMD College Park '17
  • Michigan MPH '21 + MD '22
Kayla Riegler headshot.

Kayla Riegler

  • Atlantis '18
  • U. of Kentucky '20
  • U. of Kentucky MD '24
In a Nutshell
   

Medical schools want 3 things: (1)healthcare exposure, (2)GPA/MCAT, and (3)certain competencies. When you shadow with Atlantis, you get all 3.

1. Best Healthcare Exposure

Compared to typical clinical experiences, Atlantis shadowing brings far greater depth, breadth, quantity, and intercultural perspective: the four traits medical schools value in any healthcare experience.

Students smiling and wearing doctors coats while shadowing.
Atlantis students in the hospital (Genoa, Italy, 2019).

2. Focus More on Grades

Extracurriculars over breaks, better grades during your semester. Most students don’t prioritize GPA/MCAT enough; doing Atlantis shadowing over break accomplishes so much extracurricular-wise that you can cut out some activities during the year.

Students walking down a set of stairs.
Atlantis students walking down the steps of the hospital (Genoa, Italy, 2019).

3. Show AAMC Competencies

Atlantis shadowing lets you refine and showcase most of the competencies on which medical schools assess applicants, creating powerful stories for your applications and interviews.

Students chatting outside a hospital.
Atlantis students outside the hospital (Barcelona, Spain, 2019).

Watch a Video to Quickly Get a Visual Sense of the Experience

What’s an Atlantis Program?

  • 50–200+ shadowing hours
  • 1–10 weeks over academic breaks
  • Multiple specialties (1 per week)
  • Clean group housing, several meals, insurance, excursions & more
  • Some programs are multi-country
  • Some programs do a Service-Research Project
Students chatting by the oceanfront.
Atlantis students enjoying a program excursion (Genoa, Italy, 2019).

Keep in Mind

  • Financial aid makes it possible
  • Flexible dates work with your summer or winter break plans
  • Foreign language skills are not required
  • Some programs include the potential to earn a certificate from Harvard Medical School via an HMX online course
Atlantis students in the hospital.
Atlantis students in the hospital (Europe, 2018).
A basic table showing two comparison columns to indicate the benefits of 360 shadowing.

Alternatively, See a More In-Depth Version of The Above Table

Compare A Typical Applicant With an Atlantis Alum (in depth view)

Med School Concern #1: Exposure to Healthcare

Average Applicant to Med School

Average Applicant to Med School

Typical/Possible Atlantis Alum

AAMC-compliance

  • Did hands-on volunteering, possibly without proper training
  • Did hands-on volunteering, possibly without proper training

AAMC-compliance

  • Did observation-only, AAMC-compliant shadowing

Complexity of procedures

  • Observed day-to-day office tasks + appointments
  • Observed day-to-day office tasks + appointments

Complexity of procedures

  • Often observed complex procedures like a C-section, or a partial hip replacement

Closeness to MD-level work

  • Exposed to healthcare setting in general
  • Exposed to healthcare setting in general

Closeness to MD-level work

  • Focused on the MD profile + perspective

Number of specialties

  • Exposed to 2 or 3 specialties
  • Exposed to 2 or 3 specialties

Number of specialties

  • Saw 6 specialties in 6 weeks (typically one per week), and 8 or 9 total

Number of environments

  • Experienced one local environment and one hospital setting
  • Experienced one local environment and one hospital setting

Number of environments

  • Experienced a variety of cultures, department dynamics, hospital sizes, and city sizes

Number of doctors

  • Shadowed 2 or 3 doctors and potentially met their colleagues
  • Shadowed 2 or 3 doctors and potentially met their colleagues

Number of doctors

  • Shadowed 10 or more doctors and met many department staff and residents

Total number of hours

  • Completed a smaller number of hours
  • Completed a smaller number of hours

Total number of hours

  • Did 100+ shadowing hours in 5 weeks (20+ hours per week)

Hours over time

  • Picked up hours piecemeal throughout the year
  • Picked up hours piecemeal throughout the year

Hours over time

  • Concentrated hours over 6 weeks during summer break

Value per hour

  • Had less valuable experience in a given time
  • Had less valuable experience in a given time

Value per hour

  • Had highly valuable experience in a short time

Multi-country shadowing

  • Shadowed only in the U.S.
  • Shadowed only in the U.S.

Multi-country shadowing

  • Shadowed in Spain, Italy, and Hungary, plus the U.S.

Relevant study abroad experience

  • Had done non-healthcare study abroad
  • Had done non-healthcare study abroad

Relevant study abroad experience

  • Combined the best of study abroad’s cultural immersion with world-class clinical shadowing

View of the medical profession

  • Wasn’t aware of the parts of medicine that differ across cultures
  • Wasn’t aware of the parts of medicine that differ across cultures

View of the medical profession

  • Developed a balanced view, identifying what’s essential vs. culturally contingent in medicine

Knowledge of comparative healthcare policy

  • Lacking firsthand knowledge of different advanced healthcare systems
  • Lacking firsthand knowledge of different advanced healthcare systems

Knowledge of comparative healthcare policy

  • Informed and able to maturely analyze comparative healthcare

GPA

  • Achieved similar results to peers
  • Achieved similar results to peers

GPA

  • Spent more time studying and achieved better results than peers

MCAT

  • Scored average on the MCAT
  • Scored average on the MCAT

MCAT

  • Scored above average by focusing more on academics and doing more MCAT prep

Number of distractions

  • Spread thin with commitments to volunteering, clubs, societies, publications, sports, hobbies, leadership roles, etc.
  • Spread thin with commitments to volunteering, clubs, societies, publications, sports, hobbies, leadership roles, etc.

Number of distractions

  • Focused on one or two extracurricular activities they were passionate about

Energy level

  • Was tired and overwhelmed but felt like they hadn’t done enough
  • Was tired and overwhelmed but felt like they hadn’t done enough

Energy level

  • Was less overwhelmed, with space to enjoy classes and fall more in love with medicine

Confidence in healthcare path

  • Is fairly confident, but hasn’t had it “click” that medicine is their calling
  • Is fairly confident, but hasn’t had it “click” that medicine is their calling

Confidence in healthcare path

  • Is very confident, having seen incredible procedures and realized, “This is where I want to be, serving people”

Service Orientation

  • Wrote in their personal statement about approaching medicine with a service mentality
  • Wrote in their personal statement about approaching medicine with a service mentality

Service Orientation

  • Actually spent quality time with passionate, other-oriented doctors abroad whose salaries are relatively lower

Social Skills

  • Shared in their interview some examples of doctor-patient interactions and some takeaways
  • Shared in their interview some examples of doctor-patient interactions and some takeaways

Social Skills

  • Shared unique stories from a wealth of experiences where their social strengths and weaknesses played out

Cultural Competence

  • Was able to talk generally about personal growth with study abroad or with an academic program serving immigrant communities
  • Was able to talk generally about personal growth with study abroad or with an academic program serving immigrant communities

Cultural Competence

  • Showed a rare perspective, having seen different cultural backgrounds on display, in a healthcare setting, as a genuine outsider

Teamwork

  • Saw multiple examples of teamwork while shadowing
  • Saw multiple examples of teamwork while shadowing

Teamwork

  • Saw an even wider range of teams within the hospital departments, with unique stories about doctors in Surgery versus doctors in Internal Medicine, for example

Oral Communication

  • Showed no/little practice with another language in a clinical setting
  • Showed no/little practice with another language in a clinical setting

Oral Communication

  • Talked passionately in their interview about communicating across the language barrier within the hospital; even though most doctors will speak English, there will be some language barrier some times

Resilience & Adaptability

  • Shadowed close to home in a familiar setting
  • Shadowed close to home in a familiar setting

Resilience & Adaptability

  • Stepped outside their comfort zone and managed lack of sleep or changes of plans, showing resilience with interesting travel stories

Note that some elements in the above only take place in certain programs e.g. multi-country experiences only happen in multi-country programs. Also, Atlantis programs do have far greater depth, breadth, quantity of shadowing, and degree of intercultural perspective, than the vast majority of clinical experiences that premeds have; however the examples above are illustrative of why that generally is, i.e. not all Atlantis participants have seen a certain exact type of surgery. Please see our many testimonials to obtain many perspectives on the program.

 

 

A basic table showing two comparison columns to indicate the benefits of 360 shadowing.

Compare A Typical Med School Applicant With an Atlantis Alum

Compare A Typical Med School Applicant With an Atlantis Alum

Med School Concern #1: Exposure to Healthcare

Average Applicant to Med School

Average Applicant to Med School

Typical/Possible Atlantis Alum

Depth

  • Surface-level
  • Surface-level

Depth

Breadth

  • 1-3 medical specialties
  • 1-3 medical specialties

Breadth

Quantity

  • Average quantity
  • Average quantity

Quantity

  • 50-200 hours in one school break
  • Concentrated
  • Time, energy, and academic focus saved by not having to find–and travel weekly to and from–a weekly 2 hour campus clinical experience, for instance

Intercultural Perspective

  • Shadowing/volunteering in one country, one cultural context, one regulatory environment
  • Shadowing/volunteering in one country, one cultural context, one regulatory environment

Intercultural Perspective

  • Shadowing in a new country, context, and environment (but at the same sophistication level as the US)

GPA/MCAT

  • Average stats; study time taken by inefficient extracurriculars
  • Average stats; study time taken by inefficient extracurriculars

GPA/MCAT

  • Such an intensive experience during breaks allows for the “luxury” of focusing on academics during the year

Stories

  • Ordinary stories for apps/interviews, fewer opportunities to develop competencies
  • Ordinary stories for apps/interviews, fewer opportunities to develop competencies

Stories

See a much deeper version of this table.

 

 

Take The Quiz

We’ve built the “Shadowing and Extracurricular Readiness Score” calculator to allow you to look at several expert statements and track to what extent your current extracurriculars follow best practices. We believe this exercise to be very useful regardless of whether you end up considering Atlantis.

9.8

/10

Go Overseas

143 Reviews

9.7

/10

Go Abroad

185 Reviews

Greek ruins on a sunny day.

An Effective Investment

  • Alumni are in 40 of the top 50 medical schools, and also in DO/PA & more
  • 93% of Atlantis alumni progress on the AAMC competencies on which medical schools assess applicants
  • 1/10 of U.S. pre-health advisors has been to our programs
Cover of the Medical School Admissions Guide.

Two Atlantis alumni admitted to the Harvard Medical School MD and Stanford School of Medicine MD programs wrote our widely read medical school admissions guidebook — download yours.