If you are considering a career in a health profession, you should have experiences that demonstrate what it means to be, for example, a physical therapist or occupational therapist, and that you are truly committed to helping those with medical problems. Many students choose a career in the health professions because these careers are lucrative and offer abundant job opportunities in the future. However, a poor choice can mean that you will be unhappy in your career. Admissions committees are looking for students who demonstrate a sincere interest in, and are an appropriate match for, their chosen career.

What counts as experience? Some programs accept shadowing, while others require hands-on patient contact. For example, shadowing a physician is recommended for medical school, but 1,000 or more hours of direct patient contact is expected of an applicant for a physician assistant program. Once again, look at the program web sites of various schools to find out what the expectations are for clinical experience.