Whether you’re studying to be a certified pharmacy technician, medical assistant or any other medical profession, there’s no reason that your education has to be limited to the classroom. In fact, there’s a great deal you can do over your weekends to gain valuable experience and knowledge.
Regardless if you’ve only got a couple free days each month or don’t usually do much over the weekends, consider undertaking one of these projects:
Set up a shadow
Setting up a shadowing program at a local clinic, hospital or pharmacy that applies to your course of study can be an extremely valuable experience. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, this affords you a glimpse into what the day-to-day aspects of the job are like, which is an important to understand before entering the career.1 It also has the benefit of requiring a much smaller time commitment than a formal internship, making it perfect for one or two weekends a month.
If you’re convinced that you’re willing to dedicate most or all of your weekend days for several months to gaining experience, than an internship may be right for you. Many students pursue these over the summers, but the weekends can work if your find a cooperating practice or clinic to host you. College Board recommends having a clear understanding of your goals for the internship before applying.2 Being aware of what you need out of the experience will aid you greatly in your search.
Start a blog
Starting a blog or website dedicated to your studies can be an incredibly valuable way to further immerse yourself in the medical world. Spending only a couple hours each weekend updating and maintaining this site can prove incredibly worthwhile, as you will have a tangible demonstration of your commitment to medical study. Not only will you be able to use this as a demonstration of your passion during your eventual job search, but you will also be creating a resource for other individuals studying medicine.
Consider drawing attention to your website by posting it as part of your signature on other online medical forums. Over time, you will create an interesting conversation regarding your studies.
1) Association of American Medical Colleges, ‘How Do I…Shadow a Doctor?,’ 2014, https://www.aamc.org/students/aspiring/experience/280582/shadow-doctor.html
2) Big Future by The College Board, ‘How to Find an Internship You’ll Value and Why it’s Worth the Effort,’ 2015, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/get-started/outside-the-classroom/how-to-find-an-internship-youll-value