Back to Blog
An Atlantis student shadowing in the hospital (Athens, Greece).

Applying to Med/PA School

Clinical Experience: The 5 Best Websites to Help you Get Started: One Pre-Med’s View

Anne Marie profile

About Anne Marie

Anne Marie Conrad is a 2021 graduate of Purdue University’s College of Liberal Arts with degrees in Global Studies and Spanish along with a certificate in Medical Humanities. She has explored her passion for global healthcare by doing undergraduate research on best practices for provision of healthcare across language and cultural barriers. Anne Marie was an Atlantis Fellow to Valladolid, Spain during the Summer of 2019.

When it comes to important aspects of a medical school application, healthcare exposure is right up there with strong academics (read: GPA and MCAT scores) and AAMC competencies. Students seek this exposure in a variety of ways. I, personally, have been able to get clinical experiences as a medical service trip volunteer, a participant in the Atlantis 360 shadowing program, and as a volunteer at a hospital. Finding opportunities for clinical experience as an undergrad can be one of the most daunting parts of the pre-med journey, but leads to some of the most valuable experiences. I’ve gathered here some of the Internet’s most comprehensive resources to get you started:

  1. This article on the AAMC’s website highlights why clinical experience is important and what different options are for pre-med students. Shadowing physicians is included as a great way to gain healthcare exposure. This article also presents hospice volunteering; working as a CNA, EMT, or hospital scribe; and serving as a chronically ill individual’s caretaker.
  2. If you’re looking for a list of examples of clinical experiences, this article is for you. Not only does it give you tons of examples of clinical experiences you can seek as a pre-med, it also outlines what you should get out of these experiences. As an added bonus to readers, this article also includes similar information about research opportunities. 
  3. This article on Inspira Advantage is probably the longest read, but it is full of information. It’s structured in several parts including: Why do you need clinical experience for medical school?; What is considered clinical experience for medical school?; Types of clinical experience; How to choose your clinical experience for medical school; How to find clinical experiences; and How many hours of clinical experience are required for medical school? If any of these questions are floating around in your mind, I’d recommend starting here. This article also includes a couple of helpful infographics, which I love. 
  4. This article by the Princeton Review is a quick read and goes beyond clinical experience. It does detail specific methods of gaining clinical experience, but goes beyond that to demonstrate how to use this clinical experience well in a medical school application. This article is especially helpful in guiding students in how to use the experiences they’ve had as pre-meds to craft a great medical school application. 
  5. Our final article from Admissions Helpers repeats much of the general information we’ve seen in the others but also offers some unique insights. This article suggests some dos and don’ts in the “Important Points” section that, while I can completely understand why they make sense, I don’t think I would have thought of on my own. They also emphasize international clinical experience as something medical school admissions committees see favorably. Something the article notes about international clinical experience is finding legitimate and well-established organizations with whom to travel abroad. I have had two international clinical experiences, and both organizations I’ve participated in, Timmy Global Health and Atlantis, were very organized and official.  

After learning about what these websites have to say regarding clinical experience, I think a wise next step for pre-med students is to look at individual medical schools and find out what their specific clinical experience requirements are. By using the MSAR resource by AAMC, pre-med students are able to see what percentage of the particular medical schools’ matriculating classes had clinical experience upon applying and whether that experience was paid or volunteer work. This is helpful to gauge how important a variety of clinical experiences are to a specific medical school. You may also be able to find out what kind of clinical experience certain medical schools value the most. You have no doubt heard that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to applying for medical school. There’s not exactly a magic number of clinical hours or a particular method of gaining clinical hours that will be your ticket into medical school. Remember one of the most important parts of doing these clinical hours is being able to articulate what you learned through those experiences and how they encouraged you to seek a career in the medical field.


Cover of the Medical School Admissions Guide.

Two Atlantis alumni admitted to Top 5 MD programs wrote our widely read medical school admissions guidebook guidebook — download yours.

Our Alumni Enter Great Medical Schools

John Daines headshot.

John Daines

  • Atlantis '17
  • Brigham Young University '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
Snow Nwankwo headshot.

Snow Nwankwo

  • Atlantis '19
  • Catholic U. of America '21
  • Georgetown U. MD '26
Tiffany Hu headshot.

Tiffany Hu

  • Atlantis '16
  • U. of Maryland '17
  • U. of Michigan MD '22
Lauren Cox headshot.

Lauren Cox

  • Atlantis '18
  • Louisiana Tech '20
  • U. of Arkansas MD '24
Kayla Riegler headshot.

Kayla Riegler

  • Atlantis '18
  • U. of Kentucky '20
  • U. of Kentucky MD '24

About Atlantis

Atlantis is the leader in pre-health shadowing and clinical experience, offering short-term programs (1-10 weeks) over academic breaks for U.S. pre-health undergraduates. Medical schools want 3 things: (1)healthcare exposure, (2)GPA/MCAT, and (3)certain competencies. Atlantis gives you a great version of (1), frees you to focus on (2), and cultivates/shows (3) to medical school admissions committees.

A student smiling and learning how to kayak.

Watch Video: The Atlantis Shadowing Experience and How it Helps In Your Med/PA Admissions Future

MessengerWhatsAppCopy Link
Cover of the Medical School Admissions Guide.
Two Atlantis alumni admitted to Top 5 MD programs wrote our widely read medical school admissions guidebook — download yours.