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Generally how long should you shadow a doc for?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by ejay286, May 7, 2008.

  1. ejay286

    ejay286 Member
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    I'm pretty sure this is usually arbitrary but how much shadowing did everyone do? Like hours days etc...
     
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  3. Bcblazer

    Bcblazer waiting patiently...
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    Over a period of about a year and a half, I shadowed 15 docs for a total of about 150 hours. How long you shadow them really depends on the doctor. At some offices/hospitals I could tell I was more in the way than anything, and the docs didn't care to tell me much about what they were doing. With these types, I only spent 3 or 4 hours. At other places, the docs were awesome, and they were happy to have me. They explained everything to me. There were a couple like this that I spent 25 hours with. Most of the others fell in between the two.
     
  4. ejay286

    ejay286 Member
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    Yeah I'll be shadowing a GI soon and I really don't know how long it should be for, I was under the impression that most premed just shadow one doctor over a longer period of time, or do most do like you did and shadow lots of doctors for a few hours each?
     
  5. Legato

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    Woah...150 seems like a bit much. Wait for more responses before you make a decision.
     
  6. Bcblazer

    Bcblazer waiting patiently...
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    Yeah, 150 hours is a good deal. I certainly don't think that much is necessary in order to be sure that you want to be a doctor, but I had a great time doing it. Also, my major required me to get 40 hours of clinical experience for four semesters, so I just used those hours for shadowing.
     
  7. sasuke

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    I'd say you should shadow any particular doc for as long as it takes for you to get a good sense of what he does (type of patients he sees, more procedure oriented or brain-work, how much crap he has to deal with - insurance/billing/office overhead/ etc.) That's going to differ among different docs.

    Most importantly, if you get a chance, shadow doctors from different specialties - this will help you get a better idea of what kind of career/lifestyle fits you. For example, surgeons have really long (and early!) days but they don't deal with as much crap as say internal medicine docs or general or family medicine docs.
     
  8. alan06

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    I would say as long as you can. Personally, I think shadowing is the most valuable experience a pre-med can have. At one of my interview, the interviewer specifically asked if I had shadowed someone before I applied to med school. Shadowing is so much more fun than volunteering in a hospital because you get to chat with docs and patients more. :)
     
  9. Ella Shepherd

    Ella Shepherd Screen. Stage. Studio.
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    I'm observing doctors right now at a hospital. Last week I was at the department of Orthopedics. Starting today, I'll be observing doctors from the dept. of Surgery. I'll spend one week in this department, too. For the 3rd week, I'll be at ob-gyn. 4th at internal medicine (4 days). 5th at surgery again but in a different hospital, and 6th at pediatrics (4 days) back in the first hospital.

    I'm at the hospital by 7:30 or 8 in the morning and stay till the afternoon. Sometimes till 12:00, sometimes till 1, 2 or 3. So that's basically 5 to 7 hours everday for a week in each department. (Although sometimes I don't observe during the weekend.) :)

    I hope this gives you an idea.
     

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