How can I turn my time as a patient into a learning experience?

Sep 26, 2015
I'm a pre-medical student and I've lived with a chronic disease for about 5 years now. It's only been recently that I realized that I want to go into the medical field. I'm going to have series of surgeries of soon and expect to be in the hospital for a bit. I'd like to use this as a learning experience to help me better understand the profession, but I also want to avoid annoying my doctor. What advice would you offer? Thank you
Jul 23, 2016
Medical Student (Accepted)
If you're looking to learn more about the medical profession, I would recommend shadowing a doctor, rather than annoying your doctor as a patient. Shadowing is a great way to learn about the medical field, and you can put it on your application. (In fact, it's really important to have shadowing experience when applying to medical school.)
Good luck!


the evil queen of numbers
10+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
Academic Administration
You could make a mental note of things that you found thoughtful or helpful that you will try to do when you are a physician. Don't turn it into hero worship (I want to be just like this great doctor!) and don't go in the other direction, noting all of the bad things that doctors did and saying "I'm going to be a good doctor and not do those bad things that people did to me."

You've got a foot in the door with one or more medical practices. You should be able to parlay that into some shadowing opportunities after you recover from your surgeries. From there you may find an opportunity to volunteer at a medically-related not-for-profit (hospital or medical clinic, for example) or be employed in a medical setting.
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