ohmysimsel

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Hi everyone! I've been reading a lot of posts, and many of them always seem to include some reference to shadowing a physician. How important is this experience to medical schools? I've volunteered at hospitals, but have never actually shadowed a physician. Thanks for your imput!
 

talkalot24

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I don't think shadowing in and of itself is that important. I think you just need experiences that prove you know what you're getting yourself into, and that you really are interested in medicine.
 

MilkmanAl

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I had lots of fun shadowing. It helps if you know the doctors, and they're actually willing to have you there. My second time out, I saw a guy code repeatedly and then finally die. That was weird.
 

CoolSpot7Up

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It's one way to get clinical exposure. The clinical exposure is the critical aspect.
Exactly. The important part of shadowing is to see the doctor-patient relationship and understand the daily activities of a physician so you know it's not like what you see on TV.
 

In Vino Veritas

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I had lots of fun shadowing. It helps if you know the doctors, and they're actually willing to have you there.
Seriously. I think a lot of pre-meds forget this because they get so wrapped up in the fact that clinical experience and shadowing is important to AdComs. To me, my clinical experience (in a local free clinic, then in a private practice) was like a reward for all the cramming for orgo I had to do. It was a fresh reminder for why I was doing all the cramming in the first place.
 

Phoenix.

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It's one way to get clinical exposure. The clinical exposure is the critical aspect.
I agree. I never shadowed, and I don't think it made any difference at all. Provided you have good clinical experience and sound like you know what you're getting into, I think you're fine with no shadowing experience if you find it difficult to obtain.
 

135892

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Hi everyone! I've been reading a lot of posts, and many of them always seem to include some reference to shadowing a physician. How important is this experience to medical schools? I've volunteered at hospitals, but have never actually shadowed a physician. Thanks for your imput!
Shadowing itself isn't really that important. But it is a relatively easy thing to arrange and can be pretty interesting at times. If you have some free time (a couple of days for a few hours), and think you may find it interesting, I would say go ahead and do it. Of course if you absolutely can't then that's fine as well
 

135892

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For those of you who have shadowed a physician, how did you go about finding those opportunities?
You can just call or e-mail docs in specialities that interest you, or you can ask any familiy friends that are docs. Personally, I just e-mailed some docs and they usually just asked me to call and set up a time to come in. It really was fairly effortless. Good luck in your pursuits.
 

AKu2984

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I think it's pretty important because it is a good way to get clinical exposure. Personally, I learned a lot from shadowing...and I would highly reccommend it.
 

175961

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It helped me see what a doctor really has to go through each day. I had no idea a doctor saw so many people with pretty much the same symptoms (cough, sinus pain, sore throat) almost everyday during the flu season. I also got see some rather interesting/gross/kinda-make-you-wanna-hurl things every now and then too. So it helped me to know what I was going to get myself into if I became a doctor. So I'd say its important from that aspect.
 

Myuu

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In terms of how important it is to adcoms, some schools are more into it than others... I got asked twice about whether I had any shadowing experience in a single interview day. :(
 

paranoid_eyes

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Seriously. I think a lot of pre-meds forget this because they get so wrapped up in the fact that clinical experience and shadowing is important to AdComs. To me, my clinical experience (in a local free clinic, then in a private practice) was like a reward for all the cramming for orgo I had to do. It was a fresh reminder for why I was doing all the cramming in the first place.
aww how cute :smuggrin:

in all seriousness, i think shadowing is imperative. it is literally the ONLY way you can see and interact with a physician in a close and personal setting, and get the real (as best you can) idea of what being a doctor is about. I think the relationship is really important. Sure you can SEE a doctor in the clinic or ER working but until you know what he/she is really thinking, their feelings about the profession, how the interact with patients etc. you don't really know what you're getting into. Well, at least you got to prove the block-headed adcoms that you know what you're getting into, even though 90% percent of the high gpa/mcat robots they accept have no idea. :thumbdown:thumbdown