Volunteer/Health Care Career Exploration Opportunities

Life Beyond the Courses

Making sure you have developed an informed understanding of the health profession you seek to enter is an important aspect of the career exploration process.  Ideally, your understanding is based on extensive and meaningful clinical experience in a health care setting such as shadowing medical professionals, volunteering with patients, or employment in a healthcare field. In addition to confirming your interest in the field, health professions schools are interested in students who have demonstrated compassion and empathy through volunteer activities.  Cooperation, organization, self-discipline, tolerance, increased empathy and confidence are just a few of the areas where students will benefit from volunteering. Most health programs will value a long period of involvement with depth over a breadth of experiences.

"Shadowing" is the term used to describe the formal observation of a health care professional at work.  The opportunity to see exactly what it's like to be a physician, dentist, or other health care professional is an important step in determining whether a health care career is right for you. Students are encouraged to reach out to individuals they may already know, such as their own health care providers, who often appreciate the opportunity to teach and reflect. Area hospitals and clinics, such as those listed below, also offer shadowing and internships experiences to students.

Children's Minnesota offers several job shadowing opportunities for individuals interested in exploring health care fields.

Children's Dental Services is a non-profit organization providing comprehensive oral health care and education across Minnesota.  Internships offer opportunities for students to shadow dentists, create and present oral health outreach in classrooms and community locations, provide administrative support to Public Health Assistants to become familiar with the general operations of a non-profit clinic.

For additional employment and internship opportunities, visit the Career Development Job Listings and the Biology department's internship listing.

Health Care Changemakers is a program that allows students to receive Biology elective credit for working or volunteering in a health care setting (local or global) that contributes to the Common Good.

To learn more, go to  https://www.stthomas.edu/changemaking/getinvolved/courses/healthcarechangemakers/

Yes! Join St. Thomas Connect to gain exclusive access to alumni who are ready and eager to help you with career questions and job development. You have the option to make a one-time connection or to invest in a longer-term mentorship with one of hundreds of St. Thomas alumni who have indicated that they are eager to support Tommie students. From these connections, discover pathways for internships and research collaborations, networking and employment opportunities, advice and guidance about careers and industries, and help with internship, job and graduate-school applications. 

Within St. Thomas Connect, UST pre-health students can join "Pre-Health Connections", an online gathering place to network with alumni who are employed in the health professions to mingle, share resources and ask questions on a discussion board. This is a great platform for students to identify a possible alum to serve as a mentor.