About Cedars Sinai: Cedars-Sinai is known for providing the highest quality patient care. Our dedication to excellence, compassion and innovation is rooted in the Judaic tradition and its devotion to the art and science of healing, which informs every aspect of our four-fold mission:
- Leadership and excellence in delivering quality healthcare services
- Expanding the horizons of medical knowledge through biomedical research
- Educating and training physicians and other healthcare professionals
- Striving to improve the health status of our community
We live this mission every day through the contributions of more than 2,000 physicians in every clinical specialty, 10,000 employees, 2,000 volunteers and 15,000 fundraising support group members. Together we provide world-class medicine to our patients, our community, and patients from across the United States and around the world.
Length of Commitment: 40 hours/ semester
- Close interaction with doctors
- Close interaction with nursing staff
- M-F Business Hours Only
TB Test: Required
The clearance process for Cedars is quite straightforward. You have to submit the required paperwork and attend an orientation session. However, you will need to come in to be show the Ambulatory Care Clinic by Besty before you start volunteering. The clinic is open 8-12 and 1-5 M-F. However, Friday afternoons are on a walk-in basis so you will most likely be doing clerical work if you come then. I volunteer Monday mornings in the GI clinic. The doctors there are not familiar with your role, so you have to introduce yourself each time and explain that you will be shadowing one of the residents. I have learned a lot via shadowing the residents there and seen several unique cases. Despite the stereotype that Cedars is only for those that live in Beverly Hills, the ACC serves a quite diverse population, as other clinics sometimes refer their patients here if they cannot provide the services the patient needs. Nonetheless, you must be very proactive in this setting making sure to introduce yourself every time you interact with a member of the medical staff and ask for clarifications or questions from the resident or attending. Also, do your best to be proactive in helping the doctor out as they will really appreciate not having to do unnecessary tasks such as grabbing charts or fetching a nurse. In addition, some residents are more willing to teach than others. Do not be discouraged if one day you shadow a resident who seems unwilling to explain the case or doesn’t want you there. Make the best of the situation and do not take it personally. Every week you will be shadowing a different resident, so if one week isn’t that great you might get a really engaging resident the next week. Overall, Cedars provides you will a wonderful patient experience and you really get to learn the role of the physician and understand how they come up with assessments and treatment plans.
Second Semester Student
Considering that I was unable to volunteer this semester due to the fact that the clearance process too so long, I cannot speak to some of the dynamics of the Cedar Sinai site. After I registered for the September orientation, they rescheduled me because of some reason they chose to cancel that orientation date, and unfortunately the next available orientation was not until a few weeks after. I hope t be started right off the bat next semester as I spoken with the office regarding my initiation. Furthermore, there clearance process is relatively stringent. With respect to their TB testing procedures, they require a TB test no older than six months whereas other facilities I have encountered typically are willing to accept TB test’s that are 1 or even 2 years old. However, he clearance process is navigable and pretty straightforward. Regardless, the orientation coordinator, Jessica Maceda and the staff there is very nice. During the orientation all the guidelines and expectations are clearly outlined. Also documents are provided during the orientation which facilitate the learning of the guidelines. Some of these guidelines include how to conduct oneself when dealing with patients, wearing a smile on your face, try to help the patient and if you can’t direct the patient to someone that can help them. Also emergency procedures are gone over, such as what to do during a code red, code blue, etc. I believe the most conducive aspect of this site is how welcome the doctors seem to be. They do not walk around with arrogance that some doctors carry who may think they are better than others because they have a medical degree. Things are not like that at Cedar Sinai. They site is very friendly, welcoming, and allows all the volunteers to grow and learn from the experiences.
3rd Semester Student
My experience at Cedars-Sinai’s Ambulatory Care Clinic has been bar none the best and most hands-on clinical volunteer experience I’ve ever had. The primary adult clinic is open on M-F from 8AM-12PM and 1PM-5PM and serves a lower-income population. My typical schedule is shadowing the resident and attending physicians as they see the patients and perform examinations. There is absolutely no clerical work and no “custodial” work, which is a huge plus for me.
More so than any other site I’ve been at, the doctors are extremely open to mentoring me and providing a true learning experience. The important thing is to be open, friendly, and even a bit aggressive because once they know that you’re truly serious, they are more than willing to take you under their wings. On top of that, they offer truly insightful advice on the medical school application process (as many of them serve on the boards of different schools) and always present me with additional opportunities (laboratory research, field work, etc) that Cedars has to offer.
On a typical morning, there are 2-4 residents and 1-2 attending doctors. The patients generally come in with gastrointestinal and pulmonary problems. On a usual day, I shadow the residents as they see the patients. I introduce myself and my role to the patient and then observe. After the initial meeting with the patient, the resident and I go to consult the attending physicians. There, we discuss the patients conditions, medical history, and treatment plans. The attending physicians use the consultation time to teach/ quiz all of us. The most exciting part about this is that I’ve actually been able to use what I’ve been learning in BISC307 (Physio) and see how it applies. Its completely brought the material to life for me.
I also get to see general patient examinations (you’ll get used to plenty of rectal examinations). Its important to really pay attention to those, because the attending doctors I’ve been fortunate enough to shadow have always gone out of their way to explain to me everything about those exams while they’re performing them. On top of that, I have yet to have a patient say they are uncomfortable having students in the room. They too have been extremely accommodating in regards to the learning process.
This experience has given me brand new motivation. I genuinely look forward to getting up at 6:30 every Monday morning and not even the awful 7AM traffic on the I-10 can deter me. If you’re interested in a career in healthcare, looking for a tremendous amount of interaction with patients and want to learn from truly amazing physicians, I wholeheartedly recommend Cedars-Sinai ACC.
4th Semester Student