Pre-med student seeking scribe position or patient care position

Hi Parents,

My daughter is a freshman at UCSD this year and she is working on making plans for a summer job or volunteer position.  Although she is very early in the overall process, after undergrad she would like to attend medical school.  With that in mind, next summer (2021) she is hoping to come home to the Bay Area and work as a scribe at a hospital or other medical practice. Neither my husband nor I have any connection to medicine, so we don't have any advice to give her regarding how to find such a position. We would greatly appreciate any information or advice from parents or recent or current medical students regarding how to obtain a scribe position or other position that would provide patient care experience.

Thanks in advance for any info you can provide.

P.S.  Based on information I've previously obtained from BPN, I am encouraging our daughter to keep her options open in case she decides to reorient her career choice.

Parent Replies

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Some hospitals have student volunteer/training opportunities, inlcuding Highland Hospital

I would recommend she at a minimum get a BLS CPR card but ideally possibly train to become an EMT. And then volunteer with her university's or your county's Medical Reserve Corps, or an organization like Rock Medicine. Especially as an EMT she will really get to work with patients which will make it easier later as she is already used to talking to patients.

The best thing your daughter could do to increase her chances of admission to medical school is to get involved in research.  She could contact researchers at the medical school, or in any field of biology or chemistry, and offer her services.  If they don't feel she's ready yet, as a freshman, she should ask how to best prepare to join their research group. The goal is to get her name on publications.  These can help her chances of being admitted to medical school.

Both me and my husband are MDs and he is on faculty at several medical schools.  In response to the poster who suggested that she get involved in research, yes that can help with some medical schools, particularly those focused on academic research.  There are other schools that focus on primary care and humanistic medicine.  She might get involved in a social service program, such as homeless outreach.  It really depends on what sort of person she is and which way she'd like to go.  She can become an EMT, but there are a lot of candidates who will have a similar credential.  The more leadership she shows, whether that's developing some kind of program or getting her name on a publication, the more impressive she will be as a candidate.