Gaining Experience

It is essential to acquire health-related experience before you apply to any graduate school in the health professions. This enables you to clarify and confirm your career choice, as well as to show the graduate schools that you are committed to the profession. Be sure to keep an accurate record of what you have done!

There are many ways you can obtain health professions experience:

  • Shadow a physician or other health care professional. This can be done at home during vacations or in the Gettysburg area during the school year.
  • Experience an externship. These are typically one week experiences hosted by Gettysburg College alumni. The Center for Career Engagement coordinates many externships with a variety of health care professionals.
  • Enroll in an internship. An internship is similar to an externship, just longer. It is possible to do an internship locally or at home. Drop by the Center for Career Engagement to see what is available.
  • Volunteer your time. Many social agencies (nursing homes, hospices) need help. You can be of service and learn about your capacity for caring for people at the same time. Stop by the Center for Public Service to see what they have to offer.
  • Get a part-time job at a hospital. You may have to start as a volunteer, but this can lead to other opportunities. Students work as phlebotomists, emergency room technicians, and operating room assistants.
  • Become an EMT. This is a way to obtain valuable hands-on experience with patients.