Quantcast

First time shadowing questions

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

FutureDoctorX-men

Full Member
Joined
May 16, 2016
Messages
55
Reaction score
10

Members don't see this ad.
Hi everyone,

I'm sorry if I'm posting again but I just received a super duper exciting news!!:happy:
After a year of searching and getting rejected, I finally found a physician whom I can shadow and I will be shadowing him this weekend. :soexcited:
He practices Emergency medicine and works in the ER.
Now my question is, what are some of the things that I should expect from this experience? This is my very first time shadowing and I really want to set a good first impression on him since Emergency medicine is a very intriguing field to me and it sparks my curiosity.

So here's my game plan so far:
  • Get there early with my srubs on
  • Bring a pen and a small pocket-size notebook
  • Follow him around and ask him some questions if, and only if, its the right time and its not too busy.
  • Send a thank you email at the end of the shadowing experience (I will be shadowing for two days straight so I plan on just sending him my thank you email after the Sunday shift).
I still feel like I'm missing somethings and I really don't know what kind of questions I should ask him...:thinking:
Can someone with prior experience and knowledge, please give me some of your wisdom (or a possible link to any article that I can read up on).

Thank you all in advance and Have a nice day!!
 

Doctor Strange

Sorcerer Supreme
Lifetime Donor
7+ Year Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
6,846
Reaction score
3,043
Please don't carry around a notebook... You'll look like a tool. Also, unless explicitly told to do so, do not show up in scrubs. Show up in business casual.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

Ayahuasca

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2016
Messages
125
Reaction score
175
Agree with the business casual, unless he told you to come in scrubs then wear them.
When I shadowed, I never actually carried a notebook with me, but I did take notes after of the highlights and what I thought was interesting. It's nice to read later and is a nice review of the shadowing experience.
Have fun, enjoy yourself. My time shadowing in the ER was a lot of fun and a lot of patients don't mind having you there observing.
 

aaronrodgers

Quarterback, Super Bowl MVP, Future Hall of Famer
5+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2017
Messages
719
Reaction score
1,457
I carried a notebook around on multiple occasions and it did not feel weird. The doctor will also be holding pen and paper as he meets patients. The case workers and medical students who were following the attending also had notebooks or paper to write on so you fit in. It also gives your hand something to do instead of putting it in your pockets.

Practically speaking, you can write down questions that come up that the doctor is too busy for you to interrupt at the moment. It's only a notebook, not like you are walking in with a stethoscope around your neck!
 
D

deleted781806

As above, do not wear scrubs unless you were specifically told to do so, wear business casual instead. Also I second the notion of not bringing a notebook and choosing to reflect after the experience instead. If you feel a need to bring a notebook, just jot notes before/after patients but not when you are in the patient's room as this can be taken the wrong way very easily and lead to discomfort for the patient. You will also become quickly tired of carrying that notebook around with you, and find that having two hands free will be *much* more useful when shadowing. Other than that, I think you have a good plan going forward!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

FutureDoctorX-men

Full Member
Joined
May 16, 2016
Messages
55
Reaction score
10
Agree with the business casual, unless he told you to come in scrubs then wear them.
When I shadowed, I never actually carried a notebook with me, but I did take notes after of the highlights and what I thought was interesting. It's nice to read later and is a nice review of the shadowing experience.
Have fun, enjoy yourself. My time shadowing in the ER was a lot of fun and a lot of patients don't mind having you there observing.
Thank you for the suggestion!
Also, I did asked the doctor about the dress code and he told me that I could wear either business casual or scrubs. It's just it might get messy sometimes according to him.

And thank you for the well-wishes! I will certainly write a little reflection about my experience after my shadowing.
I just have one more question to ask if you don't mind, how many hours should I shadow him? He works from 12pm-12am so 12hour shift and I'm not sure how long I should shadow him... I was thinking of maybe 8hours? Does that sound reasonable considering that its on a weekend?
 

FutureDoctorX-men

Full Member
Joined
May 16, 2016
Messages
55
Reaction score
10
I carried a notebook around on multiple occasions and it did not feel weird. The doctor will also be holding pen and paper as he meets patients. The case workers and medical students who were following the attending also had notebooks or paper to write on so you fit in. It also gives your hand something to do instead of putting it in your pockets.

Practically speaking, you can write down questions that come up that the doctor is too busy for you to interrupt at the moment. It's only a notebook, not like you are walking in with a stethoscope around your neck!
See, that was my though process right there! Plus, if I do decide on wearing a scrub, I could just slide the notebook in the pockets.
I just have one more question to ask if you don't mind, how many hours should I shadow him? He works from 12pm-12am so 12hour shift and I'm not sure how long I should shadow him... I was thinking of maybe 8hours? Does that sound reasonable considering that its on a weekend?
Thank you for responding back! :)
 

FutureDoctorX-men

Full Member
Joined
May 16, 2016
Messages
55
Reaction score
10
As above, do not wear scrubs unless you were specifically told to do so, wear business casual instead. Also I second the notion of not bringing a notebook and choosing to reflect after the experience instead. If you feel a need to bring a notebook, just jot notes before/after patients but not when you are in the patient's room as this can be taken the wrong way very easily and lead to discomfort for the patient. You will also become quickly tired of carrying that notebook around with you, and find that having two hands free will be *much* more useful when shadowing. Other than that, I think you have a good plan going forward!
Thank you for replying! I certainly do agree with taking notes only before and after seeing patients as opposed to during patient contact.
But anyways, the doctor that I will be shadowing told me that I can wear either scrubs or business casual and that it really doesn't matter, but it might get a little messy... plus i did plan on putting the notebook in the pocket of the scrubs anyways. :)
I just have one more question to ask if you don't mind, how many hours should I shadow him? He works from 12pm-12am so 12hour shift and I'm not sure how long I should shadow him... I was thinking of maybe 8hours? Does that sound reasonable considering that its on a weekend?
 

FutureDoctorX-men

Full Member
Joined
May 16, 2016
Messages
55
Reaction score
10
@FutureDoctorX-men Shadow him from when he walks into the door to when he walks out. You are shadowing. Not 9-5'ing.
See, I would honestly love to do that but I have other responsibilities such as taking care of my little sibling after I shadow so it's unrealistic for me to shadow him for 12 hours straight... Plus, homework and assignments and final exam week for me...
 

Sardinia

Full Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2017
Messages
122
Reaction score
132
See, I would honestly love to do that but I have other responsibilities such as taking care of my little sibling after I shadow so it's unrealistic for me to shadow him for 12 hours straight... Plus, homework and assignments and final exam week for me...
I'm sorry. I didn't realize you would have other responsibilities outside of being a shadow.
 

FutureDoctorX-men

Full Member
Joined
May 16, 2016
Messages
55
Reaction score
10
I'm sorry. I didn't realize you would have other responsibilities outside of being a shadow.
That's okay @Sardinia! I know that you meant well and yeah... If I can have a little more time then I really would have loved to do a 12hour shift but it's okay!
It's not a sprint, it's a marathon. Plus, I'll just make up with the quality as opposed to the quantity.
Have a good day! :)
 

LibBum

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2016
Messages
136
Reaction score
139
Your plan is fine. I have worked in the ED for years and would not recommend the business casual route. Be useful while shadowing - open doors, close curtains, lower the volume on TVs as you walk into the room. It demonstrates initiative.

Enjoy the chaos.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Doctor Strange

Sorcerer Supreme
Lifetime Donor
7+ Year Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
6,846
Reaction score
3,043
I appreciate the feedback...?
But in all seriousness, I'll take that as a warning so I'm not even going to be upset! Lol
You're there to learn what being a doctor is like, not to learn any actual medicine. What notes would you even take? What use would that do? It's much better to have your hands free at all times in case the physician needs you to grab something or help out.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

FutureDoctorX-men

Full Member
Joined
May 16, 2016
Messages
55
Reaction score
10
Be useful while shadowing - open doors, close curtains, lower the volume on TVs as you walk into the room. It demonstrates initiative.

Enjoy the chaos.
Ohh!! :eek: Now that's a pretty awesome advice and idea! Thank you, I've never thought about doing any of that!
And yeah, Chaos... We will meet again!:whoa:
 

FutureDoctorX-men

Full Member
Joined
May 16, 2016
Messages
55
Reaction score
10
You're there to learn what being a doctor is like, not to learn any actual medicine. What notes would you even take? What use would that do? It's much better to have your hands free at all times in case the physician needs you to grab something or help out.
Ahh, I see your point now!:nod:
But here's the thing, I actually planned on using my little notebook to jot down some medical terminologies before shadowing so that I won't get completely loss with any terminologies that I may not be familiar with. I understand that I can just review it before hand but...Think of it as my little "cheat-sheet"
In addition, I also plan on writing down some questions that I may have so that I don't forget about it. My memory is not the best but it's improving!
That way, I can be a little bit more organize in the situation. Every little step help I guess! :joyful:
 

Doctor Strange

Sorcerer Supreme
Lifetime Donor
7+ Year Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
6,846
Reaction score
3,043
Ahh, I see your point now!:nod:
But here's the thing, I actually planned on using my little notebook to jot down some medical terminologies before shadowing so that I won't get completely loss with any terminologies that I may not be familiar with. I understand that I can just review it before hand but...Think of it as my little "cheat-sheet"
In addition, I also plan on writing down some questions that I may have so that I don't forget about it. My memory is not the best but it's improving!
That way, I can be a little bit more organize in the situation. Every little step help I guess! :joyful:
You're going to be lost regardless of what you do... You're a college student...

Whatever. You do you, bub.
 
Top