ravin

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I have gotten permission to shadow two doctors, but I would like to know how long I should ask them to le me shadow them.
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W222

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I would say enough to make the impression that you really didnt do it just to put it on an application. I think alot of people do this to pad their application and dont really put in alot of time. I would say do what you feel your interests drives you to do. I personally shadowed one Doc 2-4 hours a week for 6 months. I also shadowed several other Docs throughout college in Cardiac Cath labs and surgery. These situations were just for my personal interest and I never put them on applications. Just do what you feel like doing, but if you want to make it appear noteworthy then put in extra effort and show interest.
 

ravin

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One of the doctors said that I would only need to do it for a week before that I got a feel for what his work is like...Would it seem like I was just apdding my app if it was only for a week?
 
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hmno82

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I think it depends on two things:

1. How well do you get along with the doc?
2. What area of medicine is it in?

For example, one doc I shadowed was in EM and we got along so well that I did it for 3-4 months at about 1-2 times per week for about 5-7 hours each time. There were always tons of things going on, so when he was busy with paperwork, I would find something else to do (like talk to patients, etc). If you're shadowing a family doc, you may not have as much stuff to see. Start shadowing and get a feel for how long you think it would take you to really understand what's going on. If you really love it, and the doc doesn't mind, keep going!
 

blueberry

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If you haven't even started shadowing yet it's too early to decide how long you will shadow for (if you're asking the total length as opposed to hours/wk)!! I'd say tell the doctors you will be shadowing for 6 months or so, and that you'll continue if your schedule will permit. That way you give yourself (as well as the doctor) some leeway in case you guys aren't a good fit or you want to try something else out. As for the question of how many hrs/wk--I'll reiterate that this highly depends on the specialty and it's something you obviously need to negotiate with the doctor. I personally shadowed one doctor for ~4 months for 3-4 hours per week but I felt I could've done more.
 
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