Is shadowing necessary if tons of ED scribing plus a summer as a med asst in primary care?

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Feb 12, 2022
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T5 school applying as a junior, >3.95 GPA, 517 MCAT, national level intensive achievement in a non-medical EC. Lots of hours scribing in busy inner city ED over past year, plus a summer of med assisting in a busy suburban peds office. Will no shadowing be a problem? Could probably get in a few days of shadowing in the next couple of weeks through connections, but have already seen a lot of what various specialists do when they are called in for ED consults. Is it absolutely necessary? Honestly, would prefer to use the time prepping application.

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If you can you should. I sort of had a similar dilemma and a MS on ADCOM told me that they want to see shadowing on an application so they know the application has seen the field from a physician lens, and not through the lens of a medical student or whatever else. But my stats and ECs aren't as comprehensive as yours, so I'm sure you'll be good either way.
What I suggest to my students is that the purpose of shadowing is to ensure that a prospective doctor has seen what a typical day is like in the life a physician- ideally several different physicians- including both the time they spend with patients and how much of their time they spend not with patients.

You may have been exposed to this in your scribing and MA work, but often those positions show you a small segment of what a physician does.
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I like to see shadowing for long (>6 hour) stretches at a time, particularly outside of EM, and outside of direct patient engagement. How much time away from patients is spent in documentation, advocacy for insurance coverage, Continuing Medical Education, education of trainees (in settings where that is part of the job).

Also, I think it is good to see what it is like for an individual who works in more than one setting such as office, OR, procedure room, rehab/nursing home, etc.