Does this count as clinical experience?

I have called medical school admission offices about this question and I get mixed answers as to whether it counts as clinical experience. I worked as a clinical technician/wilderness guide at a young adult rehab center. We didn’t refer to the young adults as patients but instead ‘clients’ (I don’t know if that matters). During the week we were on base where we would run clinical groups with therapists, playing sports, helping them to do chores, cook, and just learn how to live life pretty much as adults. During the weekend we would take our group out backpacking and teach them wilderness survival skills, leave no trace rules, etc. The young adults were male & female dealing with a mixture of drug dependence issues usually coupled with mental health issues. It was a week on week off job where myself and another clinical tech. would be in charge of one group of about 6 males or females running nightly therapy groups, I would administer medications to the clients morning and night, and a mixture of other things. We would transport clients to Dr’s offices if they needed it since we only had therapists on campus and a psychiatrist on call This isn’t really a hospital setting and the clients weren’t sick in the typical sense of being in a patient bed, so I’m just curious if working in this mental health realm counts as working with patients? What defines a patient? Are medical schools looking for in the hospital type clinical experience? If this isn’t clinical experience then what would it count as?

I would think so… It’s solid work experience under a medical umbrella, not everything in patient care is clear cut, but you are clearly taking care of and educating young adults… I think the fact that its “mental health” would be considered clinical… I would definitely use clinical technician to describe position in application rather than wilderness guide, especially if you want it to count toward clinical experience :slight_smile:

best of luck!

While this is valuable experience, medical schools would expect you to have additional experience in a traditional medical setting (hospital, clinic, etc.) So this wouldn’t be your only medically-related experience by the time you apply to medical school. You need to get experience being around medically sick individuals and observing what doctors do. In particular, medical schools want applicants to have hospital-based experience–they need evidence that you’re comfortable in the hospital setting because that’s where the bulk of your medical training will take place.