I am currently 28 years old and am active duty Air Force as an aircraft mechanic. Before I enlisted I did attempt college at a 4 year university and then a community college both of which I was a biology major at and both of which I was academically dismissed from (I have a total of 12 credit hours between these two). After that I decided that maybe premed wasn’t for me and I decided to not go back to the 4 year university (since the dismissal was only for a year and I was then eligible to return) since I was only hurting my grades more and I obviously needed to try something else. I worked in a hospital for a couple years basically doing house keeping with little to no interaction with patients, and then I enlisted. After being in for 8 months I returned from my first deployment confident that I wanted to return to my premed goals. I passed on the chance to participate in a flying crew chief role so that I could start taking classes as a biology major. Unfortunately my work schedule prevented me from taking classes in person, so as an alternative I enrolled in UMUC and am currently pursing an online B.S. in Health Services Management. I knew going in that this meant I would need to take post bacc classes for my science courses but after discussing with a friend who is a OB/GYN, and another friend who is currently a surgical resident I knew that attempting to take science classes online would be useless for medical school applications so I would have to suck it up, and hopefully work as a healthcare administrator while completing a postbacc. I’ve heard the saying “if you’re close enough to smell a patient, it’s clinical experience” so I was under the thinking that I could count working as a healthcare admin as clinical experience, but after bingeing on your podcast I’m thinking I’ve really made a mistake. I’ve also read on some of the student doctor forums that some post baccs require clinical and research experience just to get into them. (Not that I’ve noticed that with the programs I’ve looked at) I only have 15 months left before I separate from the Air Force, and plan on completing my bachelor’s by the end of spring 2019. The opportunity to be a flying crew chief for my last year has come up and while I do really want to take it, I would without hesitation pass if I need to. I can’t fly and get clinical experience at the same time. My work schedule right now are 12 hour shifts (not including getting there “early”, staying late for turnover, and the 45min commute each way) and the days off and on flip each week making getting part time job as a scribe (which I’ve heard you mention a lot is a good way to get clinical experience), or cna (which I would then have to use leave just to take the class and get certified) and get approval from my supervision to get a part time job. So my questions…
- Do I need clinical & research experience to get into a post bacc program?
- Will working as a healthcare administrator count as clinical experience?
- What opportunities do you recommend for clinical experience for someone with a rotating work schedule?
Thank you in advance for any advice you may have. I have always regretted that I didn’t do school “right” the first time, and that I feel so behind in pursuing this goal now, but I know that there is nothing else that will make me feel as fulfilled or enthused to get out of bed in the morning, and no matter the cost I will make it happen this time.