Pre-Admissions Healthcare Experience

Previous direct patient care is required and is an indication to the admissions committee of an applicant’s awareness of and commitment to a career in healthcare.

A minimum of 1,000 hours of direct, hands on, healthcare experience in the United States or Canada must be completed by all applicants prior to application. Experience can be paid or volunteer, but clinical hours earned toward a degree are not applicable.

Working in a healthcare setting where one’s responsibilities are predominantly administrative, e.g. a unit clerk, patient transport, etc. does not qualify as healthcare experience. Working at a camp whose attendees have a chronic disease also does not qualify unless you are interacting with those attendees in a patient-provider context. In general, for the purposes of fulfilling the healthcare experience requirement, you must meaningfully engage with an individual providing a medical service or expertise to them in their identity as an ACTUAL patient rather than a POTENTIAL one.

Experience Types

Below is a sample of what fulfills the requirements for direct patient care healthcare experience and what type of experience does not. Please note: this list is not comprehensive and does not contain all possible experiences.

Fulfills requirements for direct patient healthcare experience:

  • Athletic Trainer
  • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
  • Chiropractic assistant
  • Community Health Worker
  • Dental assistant
  • Dental hygienist
  • EMT/Paramedics
  • Home Health Aide
  • Licensed medical massage therapist
  • Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
  • Medical Assistant
  • Medical Tech (either technician or technologist, but must have Direct Patient Care Experience)
  • Mental Health aide
  • Mental Health Counselor
  • Military Corpsman/Medic
  • Nurse
  • Nutrition/Dietitian
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Occupational Therapy Aide
  • Patient Care Technician (PCT)
  • Pharmacist
  • Pharmacy Tech
  • Phlebotomist
  • Physical Therapist
  • Physical Therapy Aide
  • Radiology Technician/Diagnostic Imaging
  • Research Assistant (must have direct patient care experience)
  • Scribe with Patient care (please see here for more information)
  • Social Worker

Experience that does not fulfill direct patient healthcare experience - can be included in the application under experience or related/other healthcare experience:

  • “Candy Striper”
  • Unit Clerk
  • Research (with no patient care contact)
  • Shadowing
  • Veterinarian Technician/Assistant


The program values and strongly encourages but does not require PA shadowing experience. Shadowing does not fulfill the direct patient care requirement.