Clinical Shadowing

Biola has a unique clinical shadowing program that allows students to spend time in a local clinic or hospital.  Each student is paired with a respected health provider in the local community based on the student's interests and long-term career goals.  During weekly "shadowing" sessions, students (individually) follow around their clinical mentor as he or she sees patients, performs procedures, and carries out treatment.  Clinical mentors in Biola's program include physicians (both primary care doctors and surgeons), physician assistants, physical therapists, dentists, optometrists, pharmacists, chiropractors, veterinarians, etc (opportunities are available in most health fields).

Biola's clinical shadowing program grants upper division elective credit to every pre-med and pre-health student taking part.  Biola juniors and seniors drive out to their assigned clinical facility once a week, or every other week, and interact one-on-one with their clinical mentor.  In addition to observing all facets of patient care and the typical workday of those in the profession, students also get valuable opportunities to ask questions and dialogue with their clinical mentor.

The benefits of Biola's clinical shadowing program extend beyond just exposure to the practice of healthcare.  The clinical observation experiences provide an opportunity for each student to assess and evaluate whether or not the field they've chosen is really a "good fit" for a future career.  Students are allowed to take part in the shadowing program during different semesters, spending time with different clinicians and in different clinical environments if desired.  Direct exposure to the medical field is usually the best way to make decisions about future career paths.

Finally, post-graduate applications for the various health professional schools have a couple important requirements for each applicant.  First, they want to see a certain number of hours of clinical exposure experience from every applicant (varies per school and type of program).  The graduate schools want to make sure that every potential incoming student understands the field they're going into and what it's "really all about".  Second, health professional schools like to see letters of recommendation from clinicians that have directly interacted with the applicant in a clinical setting. Participation in Biola's unique clinical shadowing program is an excellent way for pre-med and pre-health students to gain a competitive advantage in both of these aspects of the professional school application.

Biola's distinctive clinical shadowing program is one of the reasons for the success of Biola's pre-med and pre-health majors!