Medical How much will my absence of shadowing affect my application?

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Jun 11, 2010
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I was wondering if the fact that I haven't been able to shadow will affect my chances of getting into medical school. I have been trying to find a doctor to shadow for about four months and I have either been outright declined or left with no definitive response. For context:

I have about 230 hours as a medical scribe, though I had to leave unexpectedly, and most of the docs where I worked didn't allow shadowing.
I worked as a research assistant for ~ 100 hours in civil engineering
I have been a TA for a couple of math classes that totaled ~ 600 hours
I have worked as an ER volunteer for 100 hours, though, again, after asking docs if I could shadow most cited HIPAA concerns.
GPA: 3.79
MCAT: 520
I am currently doing some gap years to sure up my application by starting nonclinical volunteering, though I currently don't have any, and I will most likely be taking a job offer as a data analyst for a clinical research project.

I am trying to understand how much I would be hurt if I never find a physician to shadow. Thanks for any help you can give!
Scribing IS shadowing!

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So then let's address the issue of your scribing, given your original post and reaction: why didn't you feel that this experience was shadowing a physician? Why did you have to leave "unexpectedly"? Are you highly confident that the doctors you scribed for can provide a solid positive letter of evaluation?

Also what did you do as an ER volunteer?

I had to leave my scribing job because the rent at the area I was staying in rose to a point much higher than a scribe could afford, so I was forced to move back home (a couple of towns over making the commute unreasonable). It was kind of devastating as I thought I was going to get a lot of more experience in medicine, but I just couldn't find a new place to live that was affordable. Either way, I thought that shadowing was different in more of a checking a box kind of way. I thought because my job title was "scribe" as opposed to "shadow" medical schools would treat it differently. As far as recommendations go I doubt I could get one from the doctors I worked with. Most I only saw once (I worked at an ER in a big city), and we were usually so swamped that we hardly interacted outside of purely work-based talk.

As far as ER volunteering my job was mostly helping patients find their way in the ER and restocking. I feel like it is less "clinical" than I wanted it to be, so I tried to supplement it with scribing.

I feel that I have solid letters of recommendation outside of that from various professors and bosses that I have had throughout the years, but should I focus on getting a recommendation from a doctor?

As a side note is there anything I should really focus on during my gap years to make myself more competitive?
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