One of the more critical experiences for premed students is exposure to patients in a clinical setting. This type of experience will allow you to ensure that you enjoy working with patients and that you are well suited for a career in medicine. The medical schools expect that you will have spent time working with patients, either as a volunteer or in a paid position. While there is no set number of hours for this experience, a common guideline is to attempt to gain 500 hours before you apply. Again, this is just a suggestion and by no means a required amount. Instead of focusing on the number of hours, you should instead focus on the type of experience and the benefits for both you and the patients you serve. One of the more difficult aspects of clinical experience as an undergraduate student is that in most cases you are not yet trained to do clinical work. Often, this means that you are restricted in what you can do in a health care setting. However, there are a variety of options for meaningful clinical experiences as an undergraduate. Many of the various types of clinical experience are described below, and you should read over them to see which one is a good fit for you and your schedule.