Does an application have any chance with no shadowing?

Mar 24, 2020
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Because of COVID, I have not been able to get any shadowing. Luckily, my hospital still has a volunteer program so I have been able to get clinical volunteering hours. It is the only clinical experience I have, about 215 hours of patient escort. However, I do not interact with physicians. Besides virtual shadowing, which I have 50 hours of and may not count, does an application have any chance without real-life shadowing? I hope to get some in May or June if it’s allowed, and if I do get some, it will be on my application listed at the last possible moment since I plan to submit June 1st. Thank you.
 
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EdgeTrimmer

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Because of COVID, I have not been able to get any shadowing. Luckily, my hospital still has a volunteer program so I have been able to get clinical volunteering hours. It is the only clinical experience I have, about 215 hours of patient escort. However, I do not interact with physicians. Besides virtual shadowing, which I have 50 hours of and may not count, does an application have any chance without real-life shadowing? I hope to get some in May or June if it’s allowed, and if I do get some, it will be on my application listed at the last possible moment since I plan to submit June 1st. Thank you.
Why do you think virtual shadowing vote count? Didn’t you interact with physicians?
 
Mar 24, 2020
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Why do you think virtual shadowing vote count? Didn’t you interact with physicians?
The virtual shadowing programs I am in are like giant webinars with a thousand plus pre-med students, and so, I did not interact with any physicians directly though I did listen to them.
 
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candbgirl

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The virtual shadowing programs I am in are like giant webinars with a thousand plus pre-med students, and so, I did not interact with any physicians directly though I did listen to them.
Is that how all virtual shadowing is? Seems more like a class. If I were you, I’d find a doc and get some in person hours. Doesn’t have to be in a hospital, in fact it might be better to do some office based. It’s very different. Things are starting to open up a little so start trying again.
 
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brockhamptonfanacct

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Have you gotten vaccinated through your clinical volunteering? Some of the doctors I shadowed previously are open to allowing vaccinated premeds back in for shadowing.
 
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Goro

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Because of COVID, I have not been able to get any shadowing. Luckily, my hospital still has a volunteer program so I have been able to get clinical volunteering hours. It is the only clinical experience I have, about 215 hours of patient escort. However, I do not interact with physicians. Besides virtual shadowing, which I have 50 hours of and may not count, does an application have any chance without real-life shadowing? I hope to get some in May or June if it’s allowed, and if I do get some, it will be on my application listed at the last possible moment since I plan to submit June 1st. Thank you.

You do need to show schools that you understand what a doctor's day is like.

Here's a harsh truth: your safety, as well as that of your family and society, is more important than your med school plans.

In the mean time, you can work on your nonclinical volunteering. Venues include scribing, food banks, COVID screening or contact tracing, Meals on Wheels, election poll working (normally done by seniors) and whatever your local houses of worship can suggest.
 
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Moko

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Shadowing is mostly for your benefit, not ours. The point of shadowing is for you to see what a typical day is like for a physician: both the good and hopefully the bad. Are you okay with spending at least the next 8 years of your life pursuing a demanding career that consists mostly of bread-and-butter medicine, and a mind-numbing amount of documentation and bureaucracy? These non-clinical tasks can take up more than half of your time. Can you understand why there is such a high rate of burnout among physicians, and are you okay with living in those exact circumstances yourself? It's one thing to read about it, and another to actually experience it.

It's not uncommon for students to develop 'buyer's remorse' during medical school and residency when they can no longer justify spending all the effort, money, and time to pursue a taxing job that has lost its glamor. Some of these people did not adequately research this career, while others were not fully honest with themselves prior to matriculation. The lucky ones can afford to leave. Those without means and/or talent are stuck finishing their training as they otherwise have no way to service their debt. I am happy for those who found alternatives to medicine, but I do wish that they had found it prior to matriculation so their spot could have gone to someone else.

When I interview applicants, I assess how they know that medicine is the right career for them. How do you intend to address this convincingly without having seen what a physician's day is like? How do you know that you will not regret this decision 5-10 years down the road? Students do get in without shadowing, but these people typically have significant clinical exposure such as nursing or scribing. The real question isn't whether you can get in without shadowing, but rather, should you get in without it? Shadowing might just save you from making a $240,000 mistake. Just my thoughts and best of luck.
 
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I got accepted without any shadowing, I supplemented with years of shadowing in 2 EDs, 1 ENT office, and I talked about them in my AMCAS application to show how I learned about the full workday of a physician like shadowing would.
 

mikesheree

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Shadowing is mostly for your benefit, not ours. The point of shadowing is for you to see what a typical day is like for a physician: both the good and hopefully the bad. Are you okay with spending at least the next 8 years of your life pursuing a demanding career that consists mostly of bread-and-butter medicine, and a mind-numbing amount of documentation and bureaucracy? These non-clinical tasks can take up more than half of your time. Can you understand why there is such a high rate of burnout among physicians, and are you okay with living in those exact circumstances yourself? It's one thing to read about it, and another to actually experience it.

It's not uncommon for students to develop 'buyer's remorse' during medical school and residency when they can no longer justify spending all the effort, money, and time to pursue a taxing job that has lost its glamor. Some of these people did not adequately research this career, while others were not fully honest with themselves prior to matriculation. The lucky ones can afford to leave. Those without means and/or talent are stuck finishing their training as they otherwise have no way to service their debt. I am happy for those who found alternatives to medicine, but I do wish that they had found it prior to matriculation so their spot could have gone to someone else.

When I interview applicants, I assess how they know that medicine is the right career for them. How do you intend to address this convincingly without having seen what a physician's day is like? How do you know that you will not regret this decision 5-10 years down the road? Students do get in without shadowing, but these people typically have significant clinical exposure such as nursing or scribing. The real question isn't whether you can get in without shadowing, but rather, should you get in without it? Shadowing might just save you from making a $240,000 mistake. Just my thoughts and best of luck.

Very, very well said from a retired 1977 med school grad!
That post should be a “sticky” right at the top.
 
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