HOSA E-Magazine - page 14

5 Ways to Shadow a Health Professional:
Making Your College Application Shine
By Gap Medics
As an aspiring health professional, you know better than anyone that highly selective college admissions
committees expect you to go above and beyond to stand out. Of course, one of the best ways to achieve visibility
in the ever-increasing applicant pool is by drawing from a wealth of experiences that demonstrate your passion
and unique understanding of your prospective vocation.
That’s why Gap Medics, the world’s leading provider of pre-health shadowing programs abroad, is proud to partner
with HOSA to offer you the opportunity to go behind the scenes of your future career and gain first-hand insight
into global health.
But what exactly
pre-health shadowing?
Pre-health shadowing puts high school and undergraduate students under the mentorship of professionals in
order to observe their day-to-day responsibilities, and to ask questions about the things they see. For instance,
you can shadow a doctor, nurse, or dentist to gain an impressive awareness of your future role within the clinical
environment—and to provide you with the confidence that you have chosen a career that is right for you.
So let’s get to it. Here are five ways that you, as a high school student, can secure some
coveted shadowing experience for your college applications and interviews:
Speak to your healthcare provider
Your doctor, nurse, or dentist knows you personally, and the care you received from
him or her may well have influenced your decision to pursue a health career. Whether
you chat over the phone or at your next appointment, ask if he or she would be willing
to let you shadow for a certain amount of time.
Volunteer at a local practice
Consider volunteering at a local practice or clinic. This will help you get your foot in the
door, allowing you to establish a rapport with the staff. When the time is right, ask one
of the practitioners about shadowing.
Intern abroad
Some companies, like Gap Medics, offer pre-health internships abroad. Make sure
you choose a reputable program that follows industry guidelines for students providing
patient care. Programs should provide comprehensive safety and support services
and focus on observation, not hands-on experience.
Speak to your teacher, guidance counselor, or HOSA advisor
Your school may maintain a list of opportunities for shadowing. After all, the people
responsible for your education have a vested interest in your success.
Cold calls and emails
If all else fails, you can try calling and emailing nearby clinics and practices. Keep your
contact professional and you may have some luck!
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