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.

It is also highly encouraged by professional schools to have passions outside of your health field(s) of interest to be a well-rounded candidate! To connect your interests to your field, think of ways in which you can utilize your specific skills in impacting healthcare or patient care. For example, a student's passion for playing the piano can also impact patient care by analyzing the influence of music on patient care and recovery.

Experience Log

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. 

PAC's General Experience Log Template

PAC's Field Specific Templates

To use the templates, please open then go to File > Make a Copy. This will add a copy of the template into your own Google Drive so you can make edits and fill in information as needed.

Field Template Link
Dentistry AADSAS Achievement / Experience / License Log
Medicine (Allopathic) AMCAS Experience Log
Medicine (Osteopathic) AACOMAS Experience Log
Nursing NursingCAS Achievement / Experience / License Log
Occupational Therapy OTCAS Achievement / Experience / Observation / License Log
Optometry OptomCAS Achievement/Experience Log
Pharmacy PharmCAS Achievement / Experience / License Log
Physical Therapy PTCAS Achievement / Experience / Observation / License Log
Physician Assistant CASPA Achievement / Experience / License Log

Personal Development

It is not enough for admissions committees to see that you have completed experiences. You also need to share with admissions committees what you gave and got out of the experiences.

Gave = What and how did you contribute to the organization and/or the people through the organization? How did you make an impact?

Got = What did you get out of the experience? What skills did you gain or establish? What knowledge did you gain?

Admission committees seek students who demonstrate certain qualities that will make them strong practitioners, such as empathy, compassion, a commitment to public service, high ethical and moral standards, a conscientious work ethic, and maturity. These qualities should be demonstrated through the previous experiences mentioned. If this is not the case, then find other experiences from which you can grow.

A question you should ask yourself as an applicant is why are you doing this? To the admissions committee, they can differentiate the difference between checking it off the list, opposed to doing something because you're passionate about what you do. And if you feel that you would like to transcend your passion, consider the chart above, and work towards becoming a standout applicant!

Credit: Dr. John Barclay & Alana Olswing from INGenius Prep from the Cornell University Webinar

Current Opportunities

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Click here to view more online resources for health professions through NAAHP.