Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine | Nutley, NJ | Pre-Clerkship Career Exploration   

Pre-Clerkship Career Exploration (PCE) Program

General Description

The PCE program at the HMSOM is a short-term, optional component of the SOM clinical skills curriculum, structured to allow students additional exposure to clinical medicine. Allowed activities consist of observation of doctor-patient interactions and medical procedures, and are used to inform and support career planning activities.

PCE is considered an advanced level activity in the Career Development pathway. Students should first engage in at least two of the following activities, to ensure they have a comprehensive understanding of the specialty through which to understand and inform their shadowing experience:

  1. Informational Interviews
  2. Undifferentiated Medical Student podcast
  3. AAMC Careers in Medicine website exploration
  4. Specialty Interest Group meetings and activities
  5. Review of materials on national specialty group website

Once these initial explorations have occurred, students may then request to shadow for a few hours to observe a particular procedure or return to shadow the same physician over a brief period of time. Shadowing experiences may turn into mentoring relationships, which are broader and consist of meetings and conversations outside of clinical practice. Please notify your advisor if this becomes desirable so that they can initiate the mentoring procedure. Please note: shadowing does not include any hands-on interaction or activities with patients (beyond a verbal introduction).

When can I start PCE/shadowing?

Shadowing can begin after the following events have occurred:

  1. LCP assignment has occurred/Structural Principles completed.
  2. Completion of initial career exploration activities (as listed above)
  3. Meeting with your advisor to review academic standing, career exploration, and shadowing procedures.
  4. Once you have reviewed with your advisor, please review and follow the specific procedures available in the Advising and Career Development course in Leo.

Please note that inpatient shadowing at hospital locations may have additional requirements such as location-specific IDs, or trainings that need to be completed before shadowing can take place onsite.

Who can I shadow?

You may request to shadow any HMH physicians who teach or facilitate groups in the School of Medicine, and additional physicians on faculty at the SOM may be available. If you don’t have a physician in mind, your advisor can connect you with other HMH physicians on faculty.

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