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Hi everyone,
My younger sister is an undergrad in the U.S., premed, and studying abroad at the Univ of Strathclyde in Glasgow next fall. If she were staying in the States that would be prime time to get some clinical exposure in (shadowing, etc) before she applies to med school, but she's nervous and wondering how to go about setting something like that up in Glasgow. I told her that I'm sure (based on no expertise whatsoever) that if she just contacts Glasgow Medical School or a doctor at one of the hospitals there, they would be happy to find a way to let her shadow, just like people do here. (I'm an MS2.)

Am I correct in my thinking? Does anyone have any advice for her?



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usually..in the UK, undergrads or high schoolers who aren't in medicine don't really shadow... but there's no harm in trying. Just tell her to target one doctor in the area she thinks she may like and try it. Not exactly like in the US where it's more oftenly done, but might as well try. The worst they can say is "No..."


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Just thought I'd offer my take on shadowing in the UK since I live in England and have younger friends who have applied to study undergraduate medicine.

Actually, it should be possible for your sister to shadow a doctor in the NHS. When UK students apply to study undergraduate medicine, most medical schools expect them to have shadowed a doctor or done volunteer work in a health care setting. Of course, not all students aged 16-18 are able to find a doctor to shadow so the medical schools try to be sympathetic.

I know some students who have been able to shadow their local GP (general practitioner, similar to a family doctor in the US) although there can be confidentiality issues with this. Medical schools generally don't organise shadowing placement, unless they are coordinating a scheme for disadvantaged youth. The best place to look for a shadowing placement would probably be a hospital, perhaps one affiliated with the Glasgow medical school. If shadowing is not possible, your sister could try volunteering. Most hospitals have staff who coordinate volunteer activities. If a hospital website is hard to find, showing up at the hospital for more information would probably do the trick.

The NHS website for Glasgow and Clyde can be found at http://www.nhsggc.org.uk/ where you can search for GPs, hospitals and the like. Hope this helps!
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