Getting Experience

Clinical exposure – time spent interacting with patients and health professionals – is important to understand the career you are pursuing, and to determine how you will use your unique strengths in this space.

Clinical exposure can be viewed as Professional-Facing Time and Patient-Facing Time.

Shadowing: Following healthcare practitioners during their day. It is highly recommended that all Pre-Health students at UWB seek as much shadowing experience as needed to gain exposure and build your confidence in healthcare settings.Volunteering: in a hospital, clinic, pharmacy, or nursing home. It is highly recommended that all Pre-Health students at UWB complete volunteer activities that develop and deepen your skills and demonstrate your passion for healthcare.
Medical Scribing: work with a doctor or team of doctors to take notes for them.Paid Employment: common jobs include CNA, EMT, Medical Assistant, Phlebotomist, Pharm Tech, PT Aid (Some of these require specific certifications.)
A chart displaying the difference between professional- and patient-facing experiences with examples.

You can find opportunities using the following list of some local hospitals and clinics that have volunteer and shadowing programs. Keep in mind this list is only a starting place. There are many other facilities that will allow students to participate in clinical experience.

Some organizations require up-to-date vaccines, including for COVID-19. Many require background checks before you can begin working with patients. Keep in mind that these basic requirements for working in healthcare are meant to prioritize the health and safety of everyone in the environment.

Apply to be Pharmacy Assistant in Washington state – This is one of the best ways to gain pharmacy experience.

  • INSIGHT Summer Research Program – at Harborview Medical Center
  • Neurological Surgery Summer Student Program – at UW Medicine. Applications for the 2024 program are due January 2, 2024.
  • NIH All of Us Research Scholars Program (RSP) – The eight-month program provides scholars with dedicated mentors, professional development opportunities, hands-on experience conducting health research, and the opportunity to participate in the All of Us Researchers Convention.
  • Project Horseshoe FarmGap Year Community Health Fellowship (one year) for graduates and 1-6 month Community Health Internships for undergraduate students.
    • The program spans from June 2024 to July 2025. The organization provides housing and a monthly educational stipend covering gas, food and leisure activities. Applications for the 2024-25 gap-year Fellowship are due February 18th, 2024 at 11:59pm.
  • SCRI Summer Scholars Program – at Seattle Children’s – Applications for Summer 2024 are open from December 18, 2023 – January 12, 2024.
  • SHPEP (Summer Health Professions Education Program) Review program requirements to check your eligibility. SHPEP is a FREE six-week transformative summer experience for college freshman and sophomore students interested in the health professions. SHPEP scholars have a legacy of success: over 65% of scholars who apply to medical and dental school are accepted. Applications for Summer 2024 are due at 11:59pm EST on February 5.
  • Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) – at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center – Applications for 2024 are due January 5, 2024.

Find volunteering, shadowing and working opportunities in Washington State at the Career & Internship Center website and use Handshake to find current job and internship opportunities.