Clinical Hours: My Tips And Experience

Hello everyone and Ramadan Mubarak to all my Muslims reading! This Ramadan is way different than last year’s because I can actually go the mosque and see old friends/family. I hope you are all finding the needed spiritual benefit in this month, inshallah!

Ramadan and medical school together is a very interesting combination which is why I am so tired all the time. However, I thought I should come on here and talk about my experience of getting clinical hours. One of the main components in a medical school application and being in the pre-medicine field is getting shadowing and patient care experience. The reason why it is important is so that medical schools (and you) understand what you are getting yourself into and if this career field is truly something you can envision. Personally, what made me stand out from a lot of my pre-med peers was that I was a phlebotomist for four years during undergrad and I shadowed three different physicians. I always tried to share how I got these experiences but I thought I should write it in a blog so if you were interested you could as well.


1.Search through the web

This is self-explanatory but look up different positions at certain hospitals and locations. There are many healthcare jobs that one can apply to such as a patient care assistant, technical lab assistant, pharmacy technician, patient transporter, patient greet, scribe etc. Make sure see the requirements of the position and email employers to get more information. This also applies for shadowing; look online for certain physicians at different hospitals and see if you email/call to shadow.

If these opportunities do not show up, there are many places that are looking for volunteers. This can be a great way to put your foot in the door and give you the head-start in patient related care that will be helpful to your future career.

2. Networking and Connections

I tried the first rule a lot of times but honestly, it did not work for me. I included because it may work for you but for me, I had to connect with people. To get my phlebotomy job, I had to email a woman who presented at my high school about her career and see if there were any openings for someone who freshly graduated. For my first shadowing experience, I saw a Muslim resident in the prayer room at OSU, got her contact information, and asked her to hook me up with a shadowing opportunity. Because people from underserved communities like myself are not handed opportunities like others who are pre-med, we have to ask and force our way through to get experiences, which is unfortunate.

When I was scrolling through Reddit, someone talked about making a LinkedIn account, adding some nurses and physicians as their connections, and Dm’ing them for shadowing experiences. LinkedIn is a great way to get these opportunities so I highly recommend doing that to get some clinical hours.

3. Use your current experience to gain new experiences

This sounds weird but if you are currently doing something, try to get something else out of it. For example, I was doing research with a physician (check out My Tips to Getting Research Blog if interested) and I asked to shadow him. Two birds, one stone. When I was working as a phlebotomist, I would scan the hallways and look for friendly-looking physicians and ask to shadow them. One day, by the grace of God, I managed to see a hijabi-wearing physician and finally found the courage to ask her for shadowing.

Therefore, if you are a volunteer or if you just to happen to visit the hospital or primary care facility and have the chance to talk with a physician, muster up the courage and ask for any shadowing opportunities. The least they can say is no and maybe refer you to someone that can be of assistance. Most of the time, physicians are understanding of how difficult it is to get these opportunities, so they can be of great help.

4. Fulfill any requirements

If you are working in any healthcare related field, make sure to take any necessary classes or courses before starting. For example, I had to take 6 week phlebotomy course after I graduated high school in order to become a certified phlebotomist. It was brutal and it costs $700 (which is still a LOT of money to me), but I knew that a future in healthcare was something I was passionate about. When I told some of my friends about it, they looked at me in disbelief because they did not think it was worth it. However if they could go back now and see the benefit and opportunities that my job has given me, they might have given it a second glance. Therefore, if you have the chance to get a job and have some requirements and training to complete, make sure to do them!

The same applies for shadowing. Make sure to get your immunizations in check, fill out any forms and complete any necessary items before beginning. These can be a bit annoying but it is worth it in the end!

5. Do not give up searching and asking

If none of these above tactics work, please do not give up and keep trying. It took me awhile before I was a fully trained phlebotomist and shadow a physician which was making me discouraged. But if I had given up early on, I probably would not be where I am today. As I stated earlier, clinical experience definitely makes you stand out and could even help cover a less than stellar part of your application, so keep searching, asking and connecting until you receive one!

My experience

Shadowing: My experience with shadowing was honestly not too bad. I got to shadow a neurologist, a family medicine hospitalist, and a cardiologist. I was initially so nervous to start, but over time, I was just observing the life of a physician. I knew that I preferred to be in the hospital as opposed to a practice because there is many more unexpected situations that happen in the hospital. The hospitalist (the hijabi physician πŸ˜€ ) was the coolest with me and I truly learned so much from her. I got to understand how medical knowledge applies to patient care and how to maintain humanistic values. Overall, I enjoyed my shadowing experience and I recommend it to anyone who is pre-med.

Phleobotomy: My experience as a phlebotomist was not as much cupcakes and roses like my shadowing experience. As I mentioned earlier, I had to pay $700 to become certified and train for an additional three months in order to be on my own. Some days were completely rough because some of the patients I saw a) did not like blood draws, b) had hard-to-get veins, or c) did not like me. In fact, one of the patients told me to go back to my country, which made me cry for an hour. Some of my co-workers did not like me as well because I had the least experience out of most of them and I was a slow blood drawer. The shifts were also terrible, and the one that most fit my schedule was from 4-8 am. Some days, I did not want to be at work at all. However, it got BETTER :). I started to become quicker with blood draws, ignored the patients and co-workers who made me feel some type of way, starting making extra cash during the holidays and making life-long friends in the lab. I even got to have some favorite patients and they would remember me when I would come by to get their lab draws. I was also able to get a shadowing experience and a letter of recommendation from it so that was a huge plus. Overall, I am content (not thrilled) with my phlebotomy experience and it has definitely prepared for a career in healthcare and beyond.

Those are my tips and experiences! Let me know if you have any question and if you are interested in getting the same healthcare experiences I have gotten, I can share some contacts. Good luck future physicians! πŸ™‚

One thought on “Clinical Hours: My Tips And Experience

Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

Muti'ah Badruddeen

Exploring Muslim Narratives Through Fiction

Nashiha | Pervin

The spiritual hub for matters of life, love, and faith.

Woven Tales

Introvert. Blogger. Cinephile.


Relationship & Mental Health Coaching for Muslim Women

A. Adejare-Smith, MD

Resident Physician & Blogger


aspire to inspire. med student. RN to MD. runner. plant strong.

Verse By Verse Qur'an Study Circle

Come Let's Study the Quran - We are following the Tafseer of Ibn Kathir


A Lifestyle & Medicine Blog

Oumou's Personal Posts

Inspirational Posts, Thoughts, and Advice. Follow my journey!

Discover WordPress

A daily selection of the best content published on WordPress, collected for you by humans who love to read.

The Atavist Magazine

Inspirational Posts, Thoughts, and Advice. Follow my journey! News

The latest news on and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: