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How do you get started shadowing Dr's

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by lilmacstew, Aug 17, 2002.

  1. lilmacstew

    lilmacstew Member 7+ Year Member

    Aug 17, 2002
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    I was just curious as to know if anyone out there knows how to get started shadowing Dr's and if it looks good when you are applying to medical schools, and what other kinds of EC's you can participate in, that are relevant, and that look good on an application.
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  3. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27 10+ Year Member

    I'm not sure shadowing a doc really counts as an EC, but it is a very good idea and can always help during an interview.

    I shadowed two docs. One I got hooked up with my calling my private HS's alumni office and asking - turns out the head of the alumni association's brother is a doc. The other doc I shadowed spoke to a pre-med symposium my college put on. I met him, talked about his field (colorectal surgery) since my research involved intestinal stuff. Then the next week I called him, re-introduced myself, and asked him if I could shadow him during January (when my college doesn't have classes). It sounds hard to do, but after you've done it you see how really easy it is.

    I think the more difficult question is WHO to shadow - what kind of doc (male, female, old, young, etc), specialty, type of practice, location, etc etc.
  4. Sweet Tea

    Sweet Tea Girl Next Door Physician 10+ Year Member

    I asked my doctor if I he knew anyone who would let me shadow, and he offered to have me shadow him 1 day a week for 5 months. It was a great experience!! Just find a doc and ask... I've found that they're usually happy to encourage someone who's motivated. :) GOOD LUCK!! :D
  5. peabody

    peabody Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 3, 2002
    A subspecialist I saw a few times in high school knew I was interested in medicine and invited me to shadow him a few times. The situation worked out really well, and ultimately I ended up shadowing him pretty much full time every summer during high school and after freshman year in college. He had medical students and residents working with him so it was pretty easy to blend in. It was a great experience!! A few other doctors I know have offered a day or two of shadowing once they knew of my interest - sometimes thats all it takes, good luck!
  6. Hallm_7

    Hallm_7 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 17, 2002
    I think you'll find that most doctors are more than willing to have you follow them. And in the vast majority of cases the doctors actually enjoy a student following them around. I've had some doctors while we were in surgery that would point out every anatomical structure they came across, and they told what all the nerves, arteries, veins, and muscles were responsible for. One doctor I followed even quizzed me on the anatomy while he was doing a laporascopic case (you can see everything well). While we would do rounds they let me look at the lab work and told me what everything meant.

    Doctors have received such awesome guidance through the years most of them want to be able to teach some of what they have learned. This is great for us because there is no better way to learn what is going on than to see a patient and have a doctor explain everything about them. It usually helps to have some type of connection to the doctor, but isn't at all necessary. I'm sure you know a doctor who is a friend of a friend or your mom's third cousin, or something. But even if you didn't I think many doctors would love to have you come and watch them. Good luck with everything.
  7. none

    none 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 27, 2001
    Working in an ER in a VA Hospital is great experience! Unfortunately, you seem to be out in the middle of nowhere. The closest VA I can find to you is in Alexandria....
  8. warrecg

    warrecg Junior Member

    Aug 12, 2002
    hey lil-
    i'm actually from natch, and i know how small it is!! i assume you live in ft polk and commute?? if you are going to NSU maybe you could find a doc in town to shadow after class. i know several of the docs, and i plan to shadow one, maybe two, while i'm home next summer. pm me if you want...
  9. altaskier

    altaskier Altaholics Anonymous 92' 7+ Year Member

    Nov 12, 2001
    You can just simply let a doctor know that you are thinking of applying to medical school and that you would like to shadow him and get a better perspective on the life of a physician. Doctors are usually really open to it.

    Good Luck
  10. chopsuey

    chopsuey miss independent 7+ Year Member

    Jun 13, 2002
    good question.... ;)
    my school had a program with alums where they have students shadow them for a week or two during all of the school breaks. i've shadowed quite a few docs that way. i don't know if your school has that program, but even if it doesn't, there si probably a list of alums somewere..check in the career development office (that's where ours is)...look for docs in any area you want (i used to visit my brother in boston and feel productive by shadowing or something for the week while i was there) and send a nice note or phone call saying that how you found their names, etc. it's nice to see how people from you college have done out in the real world and how they got there!

    BACMEDIC 7+ Year Member

    Aug 6, 2002
    This is a great topic, and I would like to ask what is expected of you when you shadow a doc? Are you suppose to ask questions, keep silent and tag along? What up with the whole process.

  12. genieinabottle

    genieinabottle Crazy 'bout the Boards 10+ Year Member

    Feb 10, 2000
    Washington, DC
    What I did was open up the yelllow pages, or did an online search of an OB-GYN in my area. I just called him up and asked! And he was totally willing.. I also shadowed a pediatrician in the area that I found the same way. It was kinda random but they were both wonderful experiences. With the Ob-GYN I got to see all sorts of procedures. I got to see several surgeries as well. I really wasn't allowed to do anything but I did help a few times with paps and doing a pregnancy test. At the pediatrician's office I would be able to listen to lungs, look at stuff, the little things, but it was good for me. I would ask questions after she saw the patient and just hang out and talk about medicine. Both were really key experiences for me in undergrad. I guess you get out of it what you put in. I went every week to both.

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