Student working in a lab

Increase your knowledge of the medical or dental profession and determine if this is the career path for you through experiential learning and self-reflection.

From part-time work or volunteering to shadowing a provider or participating in undergraduate research, there's no shortage of ways to participate in meaningful experiential learning during your time at UVM.

Engage in Self-Reflection

Reflecting on your development of core competencies and engaging with different facets of the profession through experiential learning will help you prepare for a career in medicine or dentistry. Consistently reflecting on your skills, interests, personal attributes, and hands-on experiences will be of great value as you begin the process of applying to programs.

Reflecting on your Core Competencies

Health Professions Interest Group

Join a network of peers, student clubs, alums, faculty, staff, and employers by connecting with the Health Professions Interest Group. You will receive a monthly newsletter with upcoming events, helpful resources, and job, internship & volunteer opportunities. To join, log in to Handshake, click on your photo in the top right corner, and select "Career Interests." Complete the form and be sure to select the Health Professions Interest Group.

Learn more about the Interest Group

Pre-Medical / Pre-Health Enhancement Program (PEP)

The Pre-medical / Pre-health Enhancement Program (PEP) is a 2 ½ year mentoring and shadowing program co-sponsored by the Larner College of Medicine Office of Primary Care and the UVM Honors College. Sophomores are eligible to apply, and applications are due in early fall. Read more, find the application, and direction inquires to UVM’s Office of Fellowships, Opportunities & Undergraduate Research (FOUR).

Join a Club

UVM has hundreds of student clubs and organizations focused on a range of different interest areas. This includes organizations focused on different health disciplines, as well as community service, culture, hobbies, and more. Getting involved in any student organization is a great way to meet new people, gain different kinds of experiences, and learn more about yourself and your interests - while health-specific clubs can connect you with opportunities that expand your awareness of health-related issues and connect you with other community members who share your passion.

Check out UVM's list of clubs


Gain hands-on experience in the field and grow your career competencies by volunteering with a range of different organizations. Making a sustained commitment to a cause or organization is a great way to give back to the community, expand your knowledge of diverse issues, and develop your skills. Consider volunteering in health-specific organizations or with any group that addresses issues that you are passionate about.

Opportunities & Resources

Shadow a Provider

Reach out to practitioners in your community to ask if they offer opportunities to observe or shadow them for a period of time. You will get to see what a day in the life is really like for providers in different environments, from hospitals to rehabilitation or hospice facilities. Consult the Career Center's guide to job shadowing and guide to networking for suggestions on how to find and reach out to professionals working in the field.

Opportunities & Resources

You can search networking platforms for UVM alumns by profession. Consider reaching out and introducing yourself via the messaging tools within each platform.

You might also be able to find and contact providers in your area. Introduce yourself and inquire about any shadowing opportunities they might be able to offer during winter or summer break. Some specialties have national databases to help you connect with professionals:


Part-Time & Seasonal Employment

Spending your summer or part of each week during the school year working in a job that has direct clinical exposure is another great way to build your skills and experience in the field. Consider working as an EMT, a personal care attendant, a licensed/certified nursing assistant, a medical scribe, and more. Some positions may require training or certification.

Opportunities & Resources


While traditional internships are harder to find in healthcare, you might consider applying to opportunities in healthcare-adjacent industries, like the hard sciences or social services.


Undergraduate Research

Participating in scientific research is another way to gain important insight into your health career of interest. Basic science, translational and clinical research provide the foundation upon which knowledge expands and informs our current evidence-based practice of medicine, physical therapy, optometry, public health and all healthcare fields. Developing an understanding of the scientific process, experiencing the complexities of designing and successfully executing the research process, while enhancing your critical thinking skills will add to your career preparation.

Opportunities & Resources