How to meet with professionals

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Nov 24, 2019
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I've recently reached out to a few physicians that work in various medical fields that I may be interested in learning more about. Because of the pandemic, some of them have asked to talk with me via phone calls and some of them have agreed to meet over coffee in a few weeks. I'm a sophomore in college, and quite new to this whole thing of meeting professionals, so I'm not entirely sure of what the best methods are for talking and connecting, and hopefully even obtaining a shadowing or research opportunity. I currently attend a top school and am grateful that they connect us to alumni, but they haven't taught us much on how to go about it after reaching out to them. I think it is an important skill to be able to converse with authority figures/professionals, so how do you guys do it? Any tips and advice about conversation topics, questions to ask, etc. would be appreciated!


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Jul 23, 2018
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1) Write short emails, clearly defining the purpose of the email. Make sure put that in the subject line as well. Always address as Dr.
2) Clearly state the purpose of the meeting, and how much time do you need.
For example: "My name is.... I am a current student in..., interested in pursuing medicine. I understand that you are very busy, but i was wondering if you could possibly find 5-10 minutes in the next few months to talk on the phone about your field of medicine. " Something like that.
3) As far as what to talk about, make a list (the following are suggestions):
-Why did you choose this field? What are some other choices that you considered and why did you end up rejecting them?
- What does a typical workweek look like?
- In what types of settings would i be able to work if i pursued your specialty, and how would that influence my life/work balance?
- if you were interviewing a doctor for a resident position, or someone who just finished residency, what are some additional skills or certifications would you be looking for?
- what is the job market for your specialty?
- What are some personality traits that you think are essential for your specialty?
- What do you think is the biggest misconception about your specialty?
- is there something i havent asked you yet that you think i should know before considering this specialty?
- What types of shadowing/clinical rotations should I schedule to get the most realistic view on what would it be like to work in your specialty? [let me explain: for example, if i want to be a pathologist, i might schedule several different shadowing opportunities. However, there are a lot of different subspecialties in pathology, and i might get a wrong impression of the whole profession if i just base in on heme/onc pathology shadowing, for example. So, pathologist, when i asked that question, advised me on what subspecialties to shadow to get the better picture of the pathologist job in general].

these are just a few that came to mind. From that you can just let conversation flow.
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