justAstudent

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On your medical school application (AMCAS) there is an activity section that allows you to write mini-essays about 15 different activities that you've done since starting college. If you so choose to write about shadowing you will need to provide a name, address, phone number, email address, days you shadowed, and total hours. As far as them calling in to verify your hours and whatnot it probably doesn't happen often. But fabricating anything is a huge risk because if they find out you can be sure they'll toss out your application without any hesitation.
 
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May 10, 2013
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Like mdhopeeful said, it's very doubtful that AMCAS will actually call/email anyone to verify your hours. But you should still do a decent amount of shadowing in a few different specialties to see what it's like. It's helpful to keep the contact info for the physicians you shadow, although if you group all your shadowing into one entry like most people do, you'll only have to provide one person's contact info.
 

Planes2Doc

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On your medical school application (AMCAS) there is an activity section that allows you to write mini-essays about 15 different activities that you've done since starting college. If you so choose to write about shadowing you will need to provide a name, address, phone number, email address, days you shadowed, and total hours. As far as them calling in to verify your hours and whatnot it probably doesn't happen often. But fabricating anything is a huge risk because if they find out you can be sure they'll toss out your application without any hesitation.
It's all based on the honor system. Also if you are caught fabricating things, far worse things will happen than your application being tossed. Always be truthful!
 

Euxox

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Yes, it's mostly on the honor system as others have said, but I don't understand why anyone would lie about shadowing. Considering that forty hours of shadowing is plenty for med school apps, you might as well just go out and do it. You could knock out forty hours in a single week over vacation or in a month if mixed with school/work.

The same goes for fudging shadowing hours. No one will care if you did 60 hours instead of 50. In fact, it wouldn't make a difference if you did 500 hours of shadowing. So fudging numbers on shadowing, in addition to being unethical and possibly disastrous to your application if you are caught, is entirely useless.
 
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BillrothI

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You do not have to provide documentation and I'm sure plenty of people exaggerate their hours. However, be careful. A few years ago, my cousin was applying to med school and didn't realize that shadowing a physician was fairly important. He had done ZERO shadowing and at the last minute just Googled a few local doctors from various specialties. One of them happened to be a colleague of an adcom member. Long story short, he's now in dental school.

Honestly, you can get sufficient shadowing in over the course of a month or two. A few days here and there in a few different specialties and you're golden. Definitely not worth lying about.

-Bill
 
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Planes2Doc

Residency is ruff!
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Jul 23, 2012
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You do not have to provide documentation and I'm sure plenty of people exaggerate their hours. However, be careful. A few years ago, my cousin was applying to med school and didn't realize that shadowing a physician was fairly important. He had done ZERO shadowing and at the last minute just Googled a few local doctors from various specialties. One of them happened to be a colleague of an adcom member. Long story short, he's now in dental school.

Honestly, you can get sufficient shadowing in over the course of a month or two. A few days here and there in a few different specialties and you're golden. Definitely not worth lying about.

-Bill
Ouch! What are the chances? The same thing can happen with volunteering, which I'm sure people can embellish or lie about far more often.
 

wiloghby

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Do medical schools ask for proof that you shadowed a physician?
I don't see why it matters whether they do or don't. Put down what you did, and that's that.

If you are going to fabricate shadowing experiences, you will be busted in your interview -- if not as soon as they read your personal statement about the time that you got so good at shadowing that they let you close up the patient at the end of the last spinal surgery you attended at the urgent care center.
 
Oct 27, 2013
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you can get sufficient shadowing in over the course of a month or two. A few days here and there in a few different specialties and you're golden.
With all the HIPPA requirements these days, it's been really hard to find a doctor who'd let me shadow him/her. In fact, my cousin is now in his fellowship year and would let me shadow him, but his hospital won't allow unless I have several days worth of TB testing done (I'm not close by, so my timing wouldn't work). My school offers a class which includes shadowing experience, but it's so popular, I had trouble getting any hours in. Suggestions?
 

Pacna

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Don't lie about it. Don't even put it on there if it sounds like a lie.
 

BillrothI

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With all the HIPPA requirements these days, it's been really hard to find a doctor who'd let me shadow him/her. In fact, my cousin is now in his fellowship year and would let me shadow him, but his hospital won't allow unless I have several days worth of TB testing done (I'm not close by, so my timing wouldn't work). My school offers a class which includes shadowing experience, but it's so popular, I had trouble getting any hours in. Suggestions?
Are you currently volunteering at a clinic, hospital, or ED? If so, you can ask your volunteer coordinator if they can connect you with an MD or DO to shadow. Alternatively, you might consider asking your family doctor (if you're comfortable with that). Your pre-med adviser might even be able to refer you to somebody. Your cousin should also know a number of docs that might be willing to help you out - maybe some friends from med school or folks he met during his clinical years.

Good luck! Be persistent and you should find someone in no time.

-Bill
 

Pacna

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Jun 2, 2013
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I didn't do any shadowing. Got 9 II so far this cycle.

Shadowing is overrated.
I didn't do any research and got a similar II number.

Perhaps we made up for these deficits with other strengths in our applications. I wouldn't recommend to people that they forget about shadowing, research, or any other common EC.
 
Nov 30, 2012
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I didn't do any research and got a similar II number.

Perhaps we made up for these deficits with other strengths in our applications. I wouldn't recommend to people that they forget about shadowing, research, or any other common EC.
I think shadowing is different. They say to shadow so that you know what the daily life of a doctor is like, what it really entails to be in medicine etc. If you had a bunch of in depth hospital volunteering, scribing or something else like that, you probably have a good idea of what medicine entails.

Med schools don't care that you shadowed, they want to be sure you know enough about real medicine to not drop out of school/quit. Shadowing is a good/easy way to accomplish that, but not the only way.