Frequently Asked Questions

Getting Involved

Q: How can I get involved with the Academic Associates Program?

A: To get involved, you must fill out the application at the beginning of each semester and be selected for the program. You must then attend the Academic Associates orientation at the hospital to which you have been assigned. Orientation sessions are held at the beginning of the fall, spring and summer semesters.

Q: I am an international student, can I still apply?

A: Unfortunately we are not able to accommodate international students in our program.

Q: If I am in medical school, can I still participate?

A: Our program is specifically designed for pre-medical students looking to gain experience in the Emergency Department. As such we do not accept current medical students, or post-graduates, into the program.

Q: I have a busy schedule. I am only available on nights and weekends. Can I still participate?

A: There are shifts available every day of the week from morning until midnight. We are generally able to work with our volunteers to accommodate their busy schedules, though we grant priority in scheduling to returners to the program.

Q: Can I participate if I can only do one shift per week?

A: We feel you will not be able to fully benefit from the program with only one shift per week. Therefore we only schedule people who can do two shifts.

Q: Can I get involved during the summer? Can I get involved during the school year?

A: The program runs year round with new sessions beginning in the fall, spring, and summer. The schedule changes every semester to accommodate the changes in our volunteers’ schedules.


Q: What is the attendance policy? Can I take time off for a vacation?

A: We expect full attendance or significant efforts at coverage for all shifts to which you are scheduled. Yes, but you must inform your partner and the Chiefs in advance. The shifts you miss will count at absences. We recognize national holidays, but if you are planning to take an extended vacation during the term, we encourage you to wait until a subsequent semester to apply.

Q: If I miss a shift due to illness does it count as an absence?

A: Yes, any missed shift without coverage counts as an absence.

Q: If I miss a shift due to religious holiday does it count as an absence?

A: Yes, any missed shift without coverage counts as an absence. You will have the opportunity to e-mail the group to find coverage upon acceptance.

Q: Can I take time off to study for the MCAT?

A: The time you take off will count as a series of absences, like a vacation. If you feel that you will need to take a few weeks off before the MCAT we recommend that you wait until the following semester to get involved with the program.

The Job

Q: What is the difference between the Academic Associates Program and the Pre-Med Program at St. Luke’s?

A: The Academic Associates Program aims to give students experience in clinical research in an Emergency Department setting. Volunteers have the opportunity to enroll patients in research projects, shadow doctors, and observe trauma and resuscitation cases. The Pre-Med Program at St. Luke’s assigns volunteers to any department of the hospital where they observe physicians and assist the nursing staff.

Q: What is the difference between the Academic Associates program between St. Luke’s and Roosevelt Hospital?

A: St. Luke’s Hospital is located on 113th and Amsterdam Avenue. Roosevelt Hospital is located at 59th Street between 9th and 10th Avenues. You will be doing exactly the same thing at both hospitals. In fact you will see the same doctors at both locations.

Q: How much time will I have to shadow a doctor during my shift?

A: We schedule our Academic Associates for a few one-on-one shadowing shifts with residents per term. During the regular shifts, we encourage you to frequent the trauma room and take advantage of the ER environment.

Q: Can I do schoolwork during my shift?

No. We expect associates to be either actively enrolling patients or taking advantage of the ER environment and doctors on shift.

Q: Will I get to spend a lot of time interacting with patients?

A: A significant portion of each shift will require that you interact with the patients you are enrolling in studies.

Q: Can I eat during my shift?

A: We encourage you to eat before arriving to your shift. However if you must, please use the staff lounge. You can drink out of a spill proof container at the AA station.


Q: Can I be on the same shift as my friend?

A: Yes, but both of you must put the same preferences on the Scheduling Request Form write a note on the form indicating that you would like a shift together. This does not guarantee that we will be able to give you the same shift.

Q: Can I change my shift?

A: Yes. You can only change your shift once during the semester. We are generally at a full program, so please only indicate shifts during which you will be available on the shift preference form. If accepted and you find you need to change your shift, you can find another AA and swap. To make the swap valid you must e-mail the Chiefs informing us that you would like to swap.

Q: Can I do more than two shifts per week?

A: Yes. If you would like to do more than two shifts simply indicate that on the Scheduling Request Form by writing a note. You can decide to do more than two shifts in the middle of the program. In that case, you should review WhentoWork.com to see what shifts are open. Remember that if you make a commitment of more than two shifts you are required to attend those shifts throughout the semester or summer.

Q: Can I have two consecutive shifts?

A: Yes, just make a note on the Scheduling Request Form when you fill it out. You will be given a twenty-minute break in between shifts.

Q: Can I do one shift at Roosevelt and one shift at St. Luke’s?

A: Yes, just make a note on the Scheduling Request Form when you fill it out.


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