Sep 21, 2023

What's the Meaning of Hands-On Experience?


Your journey toward becoming a doctor starts in the classroom. You first learn from textbooks and professors. But what happens when it comes time to apply the knowledge you've acquired to real-world cases? That's where hands-on experience comes in. But what does hands-on experience mean, exactly?

What Does it Mean to Gain Hands-On Experience as an IMG?

Reading and studying are one thing. Doing is another. Hands-on experience is vital if you want to be able to submit a competitive residency application. And that's what clinical clerkships are for.

During your clinical clerkship in the US, you're going to acquire significant, relevant, hands-on experience in an actual medical environment. You're learn direct patient care duties and go through one-on-one patient interactions. This might include taking their history and helping conduct exams.

Hands-on experience is so important because hospitals and clinics want to know that you've spent time putting everything you've learned into practice. This is the time when you get to sit behind the steering wheel, take the car for a drive, and demonstrate that you have what it takes to move to the next step in your career.

How Can You Get Hands-On Experience Before Residency?

That's where CHHA can help. Our clinical rotation program is a standardized clinical clerkship for international medical graduates. We work directly with medical schools to bring you an in-depth clinical experience, whether you're pursuing primary care or a specialty.

IMG sitting at computer wearing scrubs

This period in your education and career is so important because it shows whether or not you can accurately apply the best practices you've learned in a US medical environment. You're going to truly see what it's like to work in a high-pressure, fast-paced environment, in various patient care settings.

Not only is this a time when your skills and knowledge will be assessed, but you'll gain valuable insight into what it really means to be a doctor. Your preceptor will gauge your clinical ability and cultural competence, and they'll work with you to adjust your responsibilities and tasks accordingly. With their help, you're going to secure all of the very vital experience that you need to become a successful doctor.

Importantly, note that a clerkship and internship are not the same thing. An internship is actually your first year of residency. This is a requirement in order to get a license to practice medicine. Some residents opt to continue their internship for a few more years. So, your clerkship happens as the last step in medical school. Your internship happens after you graduate from medical school.

So, What's Next?

If you're interested in exploring a clinical clerkship through CHHA more, the next step is to apply. You'll be asked to provide certain personal information, medical school information, and specific forms and documents. Applying brings you one step closer to gaining the clinical experience you need to match into residency.

Under our guidance, you can acquire the expertise, skills, and competency you need to become a thriving resident. Apply today!

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