ejay19955

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These days it's pretty much required that you shadow doctors as a pre-med, but is it like that in med school too? That is, do you HAVE to shadow a physician of your specialty of interest to match well? Or should I rather spend time doing research in the field? I am doing the latter at the moment and haven't shadowed anybody yet since I entered medical school. I can probably ask the doctor who I am doing research work for but is there any reason to, especially if you are pretty much set on one field already?
 
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I shadowed for like 1 afternoon MS1 and I'm not putting any shadowing on my application. Research is much more important. Other extracurriculars like volunteering can be good too but shadowing isn't a requirement. Most people I know did it to get exposure to specialties they may have liked
 

QualityProcess

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Dont bother putting shadowing on your application. Any shadowing you have done is completely outweighed by rotating in the field to which youre applying. The only reason i can think of to shadow in med school is to see if you would like pathology, radonc, or a subspecialty... fields that you might not rotate through without using an elective. That was you can at least get a glimpse of the fields without using up an elective.
 
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AnatomyGrey12

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I plan on using shadowing to, hopefully, find a mentor in my specialty of interest. My friend is currently shadowing to get exposure to some of the other fields like people are mentioning above. I have no idea why shadowing would help you match, getting a residency is nothing like getting into med school.
 

eteshoe

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These days it's pretty much required that you shadow doctors as a pre-med, but is it like that in med school too? That is, do you HAVE to shadow a physician of your specialty of interest to match well? Or should I rather spend time doing research in the field? I am doing the latter at the moment and haven't shadowed anybody yet since I entered medical school. I can probably ask the doctor who I am doing research work for but is there any reason to, especially if you are pretty much set on one field already?
As a dual degree student, I'd definitely recommend shadowing a couple different specialties, especially if that will help you in deciding which PhD lab would best compliment your training.
 

Syncrohnize

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These days it's pretty much required that you shadow doctors as a pre-med, but is it like that in med school too? That is, do you HAVE to shadow a physician of your specialty of interest to match well? Or should I rather spend time doing research in the field? I am doing the latter at the moment and haven't shadowed anybody yet since I entered medical school. I can probably ask the doctor who I am doing research work for but is there any reason to, especially if you are pretty much set on one field already?
Yes, it's called 3rd year :p


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ConfusedChemist

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It's not needed for application purposes....but not getting exposure to a specialty makes for a pretty dumb move on the students part. It's for you, not them
 

Syncrohnize

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Not if 3rd year is done correctly.
My humor is hardly ever cynical, but when it is, I always get called out for it :(
In reality, I definitely agree even though I'm struggling with figuring out how to "do 3rd year correctly". I suppose I was just venting.
 

Psai

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If you're shadowing, you are doing it wrong. Or at least your school is.
 

WheezyBaby

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Shadowing is not something to put down on ERAS for residency. Shadowing is for your own benefit. Shadow to get exposure to fields you think you may be interested in as a preclinical student. Shadowing is boring as all hell, but there's utility even as a 3rd year / 4th year / resident; the utility of it just rapidly, rapidly diminishes. It's helpful to see how a given individual goes about taking a history, what they find important, how they go about doing a physical, how they close an encounter, etc. But only for like a half day or a day at the absolute most. If as a clinical student you're still shadowing on day 2 you should be assertive about trying to get to see patients on your own
 
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Your school should have better opportunities than shadowing. Most have early exposure programs that put you in direct touch with departments/physicians and you can attend rounds, take vitals/history, whatever basic skills you can provide from your thus-far training.

Not necessary, but I'm doing it because I have no idea about most specialties. I shadowed for a total of maybe 10 hours in UG
 

Ismet

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My humor is hardly ever cynical, but when it is, I always get called out for it :(
In reality, I definitely agree even though I'm struggling with figuring out how to "do 3rd year correctly". I suppose I was just venting.
If a 3rd year is just shadowing, it's usually less of an issue with the student and more an issue with the institution and the rotation. You should be following a set of patients along with the resident, pre-rounding on them every morning, formulating an assessment and plan to the best of your ability, presenting on rounds, writing a note, following up on tests, etc. 3rd and 4th year is the time to learn how to be an intern. You're not expected to be at the level of an intern, but you have to start walking the walk to know what will be expected. If you're just following the resident around all day and that's all your school is having to do, you're not learning how to do anything yourself. Better to learn by doing than by seeing.

That said, there were still a handful of times in 3rd year that I was more of a shadow, like in clinics and learning the ropes before being able to see patients on your own. I'm on an outpatient rotation now and we usually have the med student shadow us for 1-2 patient visits before the attending has them see a patient on their own and then tell me about it. There's almost always pertinent questions that they forget or don't know to ask, and that is perfectly fine and expected. That's how we all learned. You're not going to get it right all the time and you're not expected to.
 

VisionaryTics

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Agree with what others above have said, "shadowing" is not going on your app, but can be tremendously useful to get exposure to certain fields before M3/M4 (when applications are only a few months away).

My school had a shadowing program for M1s, and I chose ENT not even knowing anything about the field based on the description in the handout lol. I maybe took a Friday every over month to scrub in and see some cases. Piqued my interest enough to get my butt in gear for research and boards, and now I'm a PGY3 ENT resident, probably because of that shadowing program.

Conversely, some people do shadowing as M1s and realize they absolutely hate field X. Which is also useful in its own way. End of M3/M4 is too late to be making career decisions.