Gaining Prehealth Experience
Health professions schools seek well-rounded applicants with a variety of interests and skill sets. Gaining experience in activities that are relevant to your professional goals can not only help you to develop a stronger application portfolio, but it can help you to determine whether a particular career is the right fit for you. Beyond Barnard’s resources can help you to explore, identify, and analyze your pre-professional experiences as you make decisions about your next steps!
Health professions programs will look for applicants who demonstrate breadth and depth of experience in a variety of domains, like:
- Clinical experience: all applicants to health professions programs should have a solid understanding of the roles and responsibilities of healthcare professionals. Prospective applicants should seek volunteer or work opportunities in clinical settings, such as hospitals, community clinics, or medical offices early in their preparation.
- Research: for prospective applicants to medical school, engaging in research is a common and worthwhile pursuit. Medical schools think of research broadly, and Barnard’s prehealth students regularly pursue opportunities in natural sciences, social sciences, clinical research, and humanities.
- Community service: all health professions programs seek altruistic applicants who are motivated to improve the lives of others. We recommend getting involved with service opportunities that are meaningful for you!
- Leadership: professional programs value leadership experience and potential. Prehealth students are encouraged to take an active role in their work, volunteer, and extracurricular engagements.
As you work to develop your prehealth portfolio, don’t lose sight of the things that are already important to you! Students who have interests outside of health and science are encouraged to continue to pursue activities like performing or visual arts, music, athletics, or others. Whatever your interests, Beyond Barnard is here to help you as you make decisions about your college and professional career. The resources below can help you begin to explore the possibilities.
- Log into Handshake to see job and internship postings, learn about upcoming events, schedule individual advising appointments, and access resources to help you as you search for new opportunities!
- Follow Barnard’s Prehealth Advising Blog for regular updates on on- and off-campus events, jobs, volunteer opportunities, and announcements.
- Check out Columbia University Preprofessional Advising’s opportunities database to look for volunteer positions around NYC and beyond.
- View Barnard’s Summer Prehealth Opportunities Database to find information and links to apply for summer opportunities across the United States.
- Learn more about student organizations at Barnard and Columbia.
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.