Schemp

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I am finishing my second year at CC before transferring to a university, so I don't currently have access to a pre-med advisor, which sucks. I am planning to go into primary care, so it seems like shadowing would actually be more valuable to me than general volunteering at a hospital. I'd also like to start volunteering at a free clinic or something this summer, but we'll put that aside for now. How do I actually contact a doctor about this? Do average clinic/private practice docs just let people who ask them shadow them for a while? I'm really lost on how the whole system works cause it does seem like a bit of a burden to the doctor. Can anyone help?
 

Cegar

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Make phonecalls and send emails. There's no good way to do this.

It's kind of a painful process if you're shy about asking busy people to take time out of their day for you.
 

HumidBeing

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A good place to start the search is through your family physician. Explain your interest and ask him/her about the possibility of shadowing there, or if it is uncomfortable for them to allow one of their own patients to shadow, if they can put you in contact with someone else.

If you have an family friends who are doctors, that's also an avenue.

Other than that, cold calling and emails have been effective for some.
 
OP
Schemp

Schemp

drawing infinity
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Mar 27, 2008
422
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Seattle
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Pre-Medical
A good place to start the search is through your family physician. Explain your interest and ask him/her about the possibility of shadowing there, or if it is uncomfortable for them to allow one of their own patients to shadow, if they can put you in contact with someone else.

If you have an family friends who are doctors, that's also an avenue.

Other than that, cold calling and emails have been effective for some.
Yeah, unfortunately I don't have insurance, nor know any doctors through friends or family. Looks like it's cold calling for me!

And I'm sorry about posting a common thread. I did look at the shadowing threads that were suggested when I made the thread, but none were on the MD board. I assume it works essentially the same for everyone, but I wanted to be sure! Thanks for the advice.
 

135892

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Just email a bunch of docs in specialities you are interested in. Hopefully at least one allows you to come in and then just take it from there. Asking family friends that are doctors is another way to go about it. Good luck
 
Dec 12, 2014
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I live in DC, where there are lots of buildings with medical offices. What has worked for me is going to medical offices and introducing myself as a premed student who is interested in shadowing doctors. In most cases, I give the staff my business card and say that I will follow up in two weeks if I don't hear from them. I've found in person contact works best as there's no excuse for the doctors or staff to delete or misplace emails, phone messages, or letters. I even keep a log of the different practices with the dates and times of my visits, so if I do follow up, I can say that I went to X practice/doctor on this day or time. Sure, I've encountered staff who act as "gatekeepers" to doctors and say I can't shadow. For the most part, I've been pleasantly surprised with how nice and accommodating many receptionists and office managers have been to my request. On Wednesday, I'm shadowing a cardiologist with whom I made contact with simply by walking in and telling the receptionist I wanted to shadow a doctor. Hopefully I have more success in the future!
 

Glandzburg

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Oct 3, 2014
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EDIT: I just saw the date of OP's post. Holy necrobump, @FutureMD129 .

Hopefully he/she has found a doctor to shadow by now...