Does ABA count as clinical experience

Hi guys! I’m a 29 year old non-trad career changer. I currently work in the field of behavior analysis. I work as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in a clinic for children who have autism.

I’ve worked in this field part time for 5 years and full time for three years. I have now become a BCBA which means I’m a supervisor on the clients cases. So I write programs, train employees, oversee implementation of programs, etc. I am trying to determine if this counts as clinical experience. We utilize applied behavior analysis to treat our clients. We bill insurance and are considered medically necessary.

I don’t have other clinical experience at this point (I know I need a variety). But because of this job I have an understanding of dealing with paperwork, insurance, and patients and their families. I’ve also had many personal experiences with MDs, DOs, PAs, and physical therapists.

My 2nd question is this: any suggestions for letters of rec for non-trads? I have some previous professors that I could get letters from but they are not science professors. I can’t get a letter of rec from my supervisor as she hates writing letters of rec so I know it wouldn’t be strong (she would probably download one and just fill in blanks, so it wouldn’t be very personal). I’ve not been able to build relationships with my profs for my prereq courses due to them all being online because of COVID. Thanks!

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I can’t answer your question, but just wanted to say that I’m in a similar position. :slight_smile: I’m a speech language pathologist working with students with complex communication needs. The premed coursework will take a few years to get through, and I’m wondering if staying at my current job is considered “clinical.”

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It’s nice to meet someone in a similar position! Sorry we don’t have the answers for each other though! I saw your question about volunteering too (which is something I’ve been trying to figure out as well). I absolutely understand the difficulty in balancing work/school/volunteering, hopefully someone is able to give you a helpful answer!

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It’s hard to justify adding extra “volunteer” or “clinical” hours to the schedule when we (BCBAs and SLPs) are already highly trained to do something that is clinical, helping in nature, and super important! I’d rather dedicate my time to the thing I know how to do well. I feel like that ultimately will prepare me to be a physician far better than seeking unrelated experiences.

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Behavior Tech borderlines clinical experience, ADCOMs will probably swing both ways for that. One ADCOM may say it is, another may say it isn’t. It’s up to the ADCOM on this one.

BCBA is not clinical experience. You aren’t directly working with patients. Along with that, you call them clients yourself, not patients. It is more directly related with psychology/education than clinical. It will however, count as leadership experience because you are leading a team and overseeing a program.

Q2: Take a random upperdivision science course and ask that professor for a LOR.

SLP is clinical experience if you are working in a clinical setting.

**These are my opinions based on my research. I am not an ADCOM.