Experience and Opportunities
It is in your best interest to gain experience in your desired health profession. By being involved extracurricular opportunities, you learn whether your desired health profession is the best fit for you. Please note that some professional schools require a large amount of certain extracurricular activities such as shadowing or hands-on, patient contact experience.
The primary purpose of an experience log is to help you complete your application to professional school. It is a record of useful information pertaining to your experience(s) that are often required by your health profession’s application service (e.g. AMCAS for medicine, PharmCAS for pharmacy, etc.). An experience log should at the very least contain your experiences’ start and end date, total and weekly number of hours, the organizations’ location and contact information, and a description of your experience. You may choose to make a personalized experience log or use our sample by clicking here.
Join on-campus clubs and organizations to learn more about your health profession, to get involved in the community, and to network with peers with similar interests. You may choose to gain leadership experience by becoming an officer for the club or organization. For more on-campus clubs and organizations, visit UH Mānoa’s list of Registered Independent Organizations (RIOs).
Clubs and Organizations
Name and Website Social Media
Hawaiʻi Pre-Health Career Corps (PHCC) firstname.lastname@example.org N/A
Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) email@example.com
Medical Student Mentorship Program (MSMP) firstname.lastname@example.org
Partners in Health Engage (PIH) email@example.com
Pre-Dental Association (PDA) firstname.lastname@example.org Pre-Medical Association (PMA) email@example.com
Pre-Pharmacy Association (PPA) firstname.lastname@example.org
Pre-Veterinary Club (PVC) email@example.com Volunteers for Intercultural and Definitive Adventures (VIDA) firstname.lastname@example.org
Major Related Clubs:
Name and Website Social Media
Bachelor of Social Work Organization (BSWO) email@example.com Chemistry Club firstname.lastname@example.org
Food Science & Human Nutrition (FSHN) Council email@example.com
Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Science Club firstname.lastname@example.org
Public Health Hui Ola Pono email@example.com
Student Nurses Association firstname.lastname@example.org
Name and Website Social Media
Golden Key International Honour Society email@example.com
Honors Student Organization (HSO) firstname.lastname@example.org
Mortar Board: Hui Poʻokela Chapter email@example.com
Phi Alpha Honor Society (Nu Sigma Chapter) firstname.lastname@example.org
Psi Chi International Honor Society email@example.com
Join on-campus clubs and organizations to learn more about your health profession, to get involved in the community, and to network with peers with similar interests. You may choose to gain leadership experience by becoming an officer for the club or organization.
For more on-campus clubs and organizations, visit UH Mānoa’s list of Registered Independent Organizations (RIOs).
Volunteers serve others for the benefit of private organizations (as opposed to community service, which benefits the community at large). Private organizations may include hospitals, clinics, and clubs and organizations. Health professional schools look for volunteer experience and take different types of volunteering into consideration.
Clinical Experience (Oʻahu):
|Organization||Phone Number||Email Address||Minimum Commitment|
|Adventist Health Castle||(808) firstname.lastname@example.org||Year: 4 hours/week for 6 months
|Hawaiʻi Pacific Health|
(Kapiolani, Pali Momi, Straub, Wilcox)
|email@example.com||4 hours/week for 6 months|
|Hawaiʻi State Hospital||(808) 236-8292||Douglas Pyle at firstname.lastname@example.org||6 months|
|Hospice Hawaiʻi||(808) email@example.com||N/A|
|Kaiser Permanente||(808) firstname.lastname@example.org||Year: 4 hours/week,
total 80 hours.
Summer: 4 hours/shift, 2 shifts/week.
|Kuakini Medical Center||(808) email@example.com||3-4 hours/week for 3 months|
|Lunalilo Home||(808) firstname.lastname@example.org||N/A|
|Pearl City Nursing Home||(808) 687-3280|
|Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific||(808) 566-3741||Melissa Mullen||Volunteer: 60 hours
Observing/Shadowing: 20 hours
|Shriners Hospital for Children||(808) email@example.com||2 hours/week for 5 months|
|Wahiawa General Hospital||(808) 621-4243||David Toyama||5 hours/week for 4 months|
Non-Clinical Experience (Oʻahu):
For more non-clinical volunteering opportunities, please refer to UH Mānoa’s Civic and Community Engagement page.
|Organization||Phone Number||Email Address||Minimum Commitment|
|Honolulu Museum of Art||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Honolulu Zoo||N/A||N/A||1 shift/week for 6 months|
|Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaiʻi||(808) 945-7633 (ext. 25)||firstname.lastname@example.org||3 hours/week for 1 year|
Community service is unpaid, voluntary work for the benefit of the community (as opposed to volunteering, which benefits private organizations). Health professional schools seek applications who demonstrate a commitment to community service. The following are examples of government and non-profit organizations that offer opportunities to serve the community.
For more community service opportunities, please refer to UH Mānoa’s Civic and Community Engagement page.
|Organization||Phone Number||Email Address|
|Aloha Medical Mission||(808) email@example.com|
|Aloha United Way||N/A||N/A|
|American Red Cross||(808) firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Blood Bank of Hawaiʻi||(808) email@example.com|
|Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)||(808) 723-8960||Jeff Spencer at firstname.lastname@example.org
|Easterseals Hawaiʻi||(808) email@example.com|
|Hawaiʻi Homeless Healthcare Hui (Min. 1 semester commitment. Students can complete the volunteer form.)||N/A||N/A|
|Hawaiʻi Homeless Outreach and Medical Education (HOME) Project||N/A||Jill Omori, MD at firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Hawaiʻi Medical Reserve Corps||(808) email@example.com|
|The Hawaiʻi Nature Center||(808) 955-0100 (ext. 118)||Pauline Kawamata at firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Hoʻoulu ʻĀina||(808) email@example.com|
|The Institute for Human Services||(808) firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Ka Papa Loʻi O Kānewai||(808) email@example.com|
|Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation||N/Afirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Lanakila Pacific||(808) email@example.com|
|Papahana Kuaola||(808) firstname.lastname@example.org|
To study abroad or study away is to take courses at a university elsewhere in the United States or in a different country. Students may choose to take courses that are related to their major, academic field, or health profession. By doing so, students are also exposed to different cultural settings and develop cultural competency. Cultural competence, or the ability to serve the social, linguistic, and cultural needs of a community, is becoming an increasingly important quality of a well-rounded health professional.
National Student Exchange (NSE) allows UH Mānoa students to study at another American university for a fall semester or a full academic year while paying UH Mānoa tuition.
MIX Semester Opportunities:
|Deakin University||Melbourne, Australia|
|Monash University||Melbourne, Australia|
|University of Technology Sydney||Sydney, Australia|
|University of the South Pacific||Suva, Fiji|
|Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)||Hong Kong, China|
|Inha University||Incheon, South Korea|
|Ewha Womans University||Seoul, South Korea|
|Korea University||Seoul, South Korea|
|Seoul National University||Seoul, South Korea|
|Yonsei University||Seoul, South Korea|
|Leiden University||Leiden, Netherlands|
|University of Auckland||Auckland, New Zealand|
|University of Otago||Dunedin, New Zealand|
|University of Waikato||Hamilton, New Zealand|
|Victoria University of Wellington||Wellington, New Zealand|
|University of Bergen||Bergen, Norway|
|University of the Philippines, Diliman||Manila, Philippines|
|National University of Singapore||Singapore, Singapore|
|Lund University||Lund, Sweden|
|National Taiwan University||Taipei, Taiwan|
MIX Summer Opportunities:
|UEA International Summer School||Norwich, England|
|CUHK Summer Undergraduate Research Program||Hong Kong, China|
Study Abroad Semester Opportunities:
|DIS Study Abroad in Scandinavia||Stockholm, Sweden|
|DSI Study Abroad in Scandinavia||Copenhagen, Denmark|
|Flinders University of South Australia||Adelaide, Australia|
|Lorenzo de’ Medici Rome||Rome, Italy|
|University of Roehampton||London, England|
Study Abroad Summer Opportunities:
|DIS Study Abroad in Scandinavia||Copenhagen, Denmark|
|University College Dublin||Dublin, Ireland|
|Université Catholique de Lille||Lille, France|
Entrance Exam Preparation
Most health professional schools require applicants to take an entrance exam. The entrance exam depends on the field of health (e.g. MCAT for medicine, PCAT for pharmacy, DAT for dentistry). Entrance exam scores are used by schools in their admission process. A study period of 6 to 12 months is highly recommended. Refer to our entrance exam preparation webpage for more information.
Below is one award opportunity that helps fund entrance exam preparation:
ASUH Graduate Test Prep Award
Description: This scholarship provides full-time, classified, undergraduate students of Junior standing or higher (60+ credits) with financial assistance for graduate test preparation costs, including the costs of test preparation books, classes, and/or registration fees. It is available every Fall and Spring semester.
Amount: Depending on your application, you may be awarded up to $750.
Please click here for more information on the ASUH Graduate Test Prep Award.
An internship or fellowships is a position within an organization (e.g. hospital, research center, or company) to gain work experience. They may be paid or unpaid, may have different time commitments (e.g. summer or year-long), and may also have different settings (e.g. research vs. clinical). Students seeking to gain work experience should read program descriptions carefully.
Professional development programs differ in that students gain experience related to their desired health profession rather than direct work experience (e.g. shadowing, patient care, simulations, and workshops).
Internships and Fellowships:
Professional Development Programs:
|Professional Development Programs||Health Profession||Location|
|Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Summer Programs||Allopathic Medicine|
|Broadreach College||Allopathic Medicine|
|Columbia University Summer Programs||Allopathic Medicine|
|COPE Health Scholars||Allopathic Medicine|
|Gap Medics - Shadowing Internships Abroad||Allopathic Medicine|
|Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP)||N/A||National|
|Teach For America||N/A||National|
|UC Berkeley School of Optometry Opto-Camp||Optometry||National|
|University of Colorado Wilderness & Emergency Medicine Course||Allopathic Medicine|
|University of Illinois at Chicago Summer Pharmacy Institute||Pharmacy||National|
|University of Vermont COM Summer Medical School Prep Program||Allopathic Medicine|
Current Job Openings:
Manakai o Malama – Hiring for a Patient Liaison
Manakai o Malama is an integrative health care practice bringing together the best of modern medicine and traditional healing arts. You will get practical clinical experience working alongside Hawaii’s premier integrative medical professionals. Our patient liaisons help support our providers through scheduling, pre and post-visit planning, special projects, patient telephone outreach, medical assistant support and customer service. We work with you to provide shadowing opportunities with all of our providers including medical, rehabilitative, and psychology providers. Gain valuable familiarity with the EPIC EMR system, medical terminology, pharmaceuticals, and clinic systems.
Contact: Hilary at email@example.com with your resume and availability.
Position: Patient Liaison Hours range from 16-32 hrs/week, contract work; $12/hour + professional shadowing opportunities
Location: 932 Ward Ave #600, Honolulu, HI 96814
Date posted: November 7th 2018
Some programs such as Physician Assistants (PA), Physical Therapists (PT), or Occupational Therapists (OT) require hands-on direct patient contact experience for entrance into their program. This type of experience can come from being a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA), Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), or Medical Assistant. CNA, EMT, and Medical Assistant positions require training. The links on the following table lead to the site of training available in Hawaii.
|Hands-On Experience Training Sites|
|KCC Medical Assisting Program|
|Other Nursing Programs|
Obtaining experience as a CNA, EMT, Medical Assistant, Scribe, or any position in the healthcare team could lead to being exposed to the professions you may want to pursue in the future. Obtaining experience in non-healthcare related jobs can lead to providing proof of professionalism, build character, and obtain other skills that may be relevant for your future careers.
|On-Going Job Opportunities|
|Clinical Labs of Hawaii|
The Student Employment and Cooperative Education (SECE) webpage is a page for UH system students to find on-campus jobs and other related opportunities. The Mānoa Career Center (MCC) has a lot of great resources such as career counseling, mock interviews, and workshops.
|Other Job Resources|
Certain health professional schools are beginning to look for candidates with research experience. Students who are interested in applying to a research-oriented program (e.g. MD-PhD) must pursue long-term and meaningful research experiences.
Research Programs (In-State):
Research Programs (Out-of-State):
University of Hawaii at Manoa Funding Opportunities:
|Organization Name||Education Level|
|Associated Students of the University of Hawaii at Manoa||Undergraduate|
|Graduate Student Organization||Graduate|
|Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program||Undergraduate|
Many health professional fields want to know if you understand the field that you are interested in and that type of knowledge can come from shadowing a professional in the field. For example, the 2015 data analysis of matriculating medical school students show that 94% have shadowed a physician or other healthcare professional. Shadowing opportunities can also be found in community service, internships, and volunteer opportunities. Students should double check in those areas when looking for shadowing opportunities.
For pre-health shadowing opportunities, click here.
Think about what kind of professional you want to shadow and why you want to shadow them. Some possible outcomes of a shadowing experience include gaining clinical experience or getting a different perspective on your professional field of interest.
The following are considerations for those who are interested in shadowing a health professional. Be prepared for professionals to not allow you to shadow them. Some may not allow shadowing or others may believe there is too much legal risk. Keep trying!
The following are some considerations when asking a professional if you can shadow them:
- Be sure to:
- Research the professional before shadowing and ask about location, parking, or any other logistics you would need to know before going to shadow the professional.
- Who to:
- Try asking your family practitioner first.
- Checking the phonebook or yellow pages may be a good place to start finding professionals.
- Googling/Searching online hospital directories is also a good place to start finding professionals.
- How to:
- Have a high degree of professionalism when asking
- Giving an updated resume or curriculum vitae (CV) to the professional is suggested when requesting to shadow a health professional.
- Call or visit the professional. Sometimes emails may get lost or marked as spam.
- State your career goals and why you would like to shadow them.
During the Shadowing Experience:
While you are shadowing a health care professional, here are some considerations:
- Arrive 15 minutes early.
- Have a high degree of professionalism in appearance, hygiene, clothing, and communication.
- Some places may instruct you on what to wear, for example, if you need to wear scrubs.
- Business attire is appropriate in most medical office settings.
- Asking what the dress code beforehand may be helpful as well.
- Keep a notepad or composition book.
- Take notes during the shadowing experience.
- Be sure to document the day, number of hours, facility, and any other important information so you can reflect on it later when applying for professional school.
- Be ready to ask questions.
- Think of some questions you would like to ask the health professional and try not to ask question you can simply find online.
- Suggested Questions:
- “What is your day to day routine like?”
- “Why did you decide to pursue this field?”
- Patient privacy is really important and may even be a reason you won’t be able to shadow some professionals.
- Be sure to respect patient’s privacy.
- Possibly educate yourself beforehand on privacy laws and HIPAA (Health Information Portability and Accountability Act).
Some considerations for after you shadowed a health care professional:
- Be sure to write a “thank you” note.
- If you have a good relationship with a professional you shadowed, possibly asking them for a letter of recommendation (LOR) is good for some professional schools require or recommend a LOR from a professional in that field.
Resources for Shadowing:
|Gap Medics||Contact||Check Website|
|Hawaii Pacific Health||Human Resources Office |
|Proof of double negative TB results.
Send in immunization records.
|Hawaii Pre-Health Career Corps||Alex Campos||1-Day shadowing for Corps members, up to 3 times/year. Must attend 1-on-1 HIPAA training.|
|Mark Kuioka, DDS, Honolulu, Hawaii||Mark Kuioka, firstname.lastname@example.org||No requirements, shadowing times available 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays|
|Sagawa Dental, Hilo, Hawaiʻi||Dr. Kiana Shiroma, email@example.com, 808-956-8646||Every other month on a Wednesday for 1/2 a day|