TheKingofClay

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Aug 22, 2010
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I've been shadowing a Cardiologist and Family Doctor for awhile now at Stanford and Kaiser, and they asked me if I needed anything else and would be glad to try to help me out.

I was wondering if there anything in the hospital that would be good besides your typical volunteering opportunities (i've done 120 hours in the ER previously). What are some possibilities I can ask them to help me attain? I am just a little stumped on what I can ask these two physicians to help me with? Essentailly, are there any clinical experiences that I will be allowed to perform besides volunteering at the hospital? I know scribe is one, but the position is filled.

Any input is greatly appreciated.
 

NickNaylor

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I would recommend doing as much shadowing in as many departments as possible. Unless you just WANT to work and need the money, I don't see an advantage to being a scribe or any other actual position over shadowing. You might also see if you can get involved in clinical research somehow,
 
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TheKingofClay

TheKingofClay

5+ Year Member
Aug 22, 2010
96
8
thats interesting and good to know. So basically my shadowing experience and the LORs I can get from it is just as good as any other hospital experience i can get?
 

apumic

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I would recommend doing as much shadowing in as many departments as possible. Unless you just WANT to work and need the money, I don't see an advantage to being a scribe or any other actual position over shadowing. You might also see if you can get involved in clinical research somehow,
Cole, I forget... have you worked in a hospital setting?
I sort of feel like you might have but your statement just doesn't fit that from my experience. IMO, an actual job working in the hospital is FAR more valuable than shadowing. Sure, hour for hour, shadowing is probably more valuable initially but beyond maybe 15-30 hrs, shadowing quickly loses value until add'l hrs are probably almost worthless by the time one reaches 60-80 hrs.
OTOH, when actually working on a unit, you see a lot more. Physicians will often be willing to bring you into their world in ways they simply cannot do with an "outsider." Additionally, as you work with nurses, they can help teach you something about pt-provider relationships now as well as dr-nurse relationships. They often can help premeds to see the "other" side, which may influence their careers later on. Finally, working your way from the bottom (i.e., having been a tech prior to going to med school) means you're less likely to end up being the doc that just doesn't "get" what it's like at the bottom. Medicine is really one of the few professions where people don't really start at the bottom (sure...M3 & 4 you're sort of at the bottom but not really, because you're already a "future doctor" instead of "just a tech"). I think working as a tech in some capacity is prior to attending medical school is really quite valuable. And, heck, it pays you (instead of the other way around)!
 
Oct 28, 2009
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Cole, I forget... have you worked in a hospital setting?
I sort of feel like you might have but your statement just doesn't fit that from my experience. IMO, an actual job working in the hospital is FAR more valuable than shadowing. Sure, hour for hour, shadowing is probably more valuable initially but beyond maybe 15-30 hrs, shadowing quickly loses value until add'l hrs are probably almost worthless by the time one reaches 60-80 hrs.
OTOH, when actually working on a unit, you see a lot more. Physicians will often be willing to bring you into their world in ways they simply cannot do with an "outsider." Additionally, as you work with nurses, they can help teach you something about pt-provider relationships now as well as dr-nurse relationships. They often can help premeds to see the "other" side, which may influence their careers later on. Finally, working your way from the bottom (i.e., having been a tech prior to going to med school) means you're less likely to end up being the doc that just doesn't "get" what it's like at the bottom. Medicine is really one of the few professions where people don't really start at the bottom (sure...M3 & 4 you're sort of at the bottom but not really, because you're already a "future doctor" instead of "just a tech"). I think working as a tech in some capacity is prior to attending medical school is really quite valuable. And, heck, it pays you (instead of the other way around)!

Seconded. COMPLETELY.

The four years I've spent as a unit sec/patient care tech have been the most valuable part of my pre-med education. I was a post-bac student with a BA/MA in the liberal arts, so working in a hospital not only added to my clinical experience, but it also allowed me to integrate what I was learning into what was happening with the patients I dealt with on a daily basis. I only had two shadowing experiences outside of work because work IS my experience. When the doctors and nurses found out I was pre-med, they immediately started finding opportunities for me to learn. I've been in the patient's room with doctors who have students shadowing them while doing a procedure. The students get to stand in the corner, and the doctors let me assist them in the procedure. I didn't have to ask for recommendations because they offered them freely. And the absolute best part is the amount of patient care I've been able to do, and what I've learned from the patients about what type of a person they expect their doctor to be.

I would honestly never tell anyone to pick clinical research over actual clinical experience in a hospital or office setting unless you were looking at a PhD/MD program. I think the more time you spend with actual doctors, nurses and patients... the more prepared you will be for medical school and a career as a physician.