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long term vs. short term shadowing

W

WWU_Viking

    is shadowing an MD or DO long term-i mean like say 2-4 hrs every week or every other week worth it? I was thinking about doing this for maybe a year or so. Of course whatever doc that lets me shadow I will just comply with what they offer (to the best I can).
     

    usa_tigress

    Junior Member
    10+ Year Member
    Jul 8, 2006
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    1. Pre-Medical
      Shadowing anyone and anytime is great. I shadowed a general surgeon this summer and although i only went a few times because of my schedule, i learned a lot. I scrubbed in, learned how to wash my hands correctly and other little things that you would only pick up from the situation and not a textbook. The surgeon also quizzed me and explained what he was doing and it helps you realize if it is something you like and can handle.
      Best of luck.
       
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      notdeadyet

      Still in California
      15+ Year Member
      Jul 23, 2004
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      1. Attending Physician
        WWU_Viking said:
        is shadowing an MD or DO long term-i mean like say 2-4 hrs every week or every other week worth it? I was thinking about doing this for maybe a year or so. Of course whatever doc that lets me shadow I will just comply with what they offer (to the best I can).
        This is just my opinion and I'm sure folks will disagree, but if you have a lot of time to kill, I'd recommend mixing up shadowing with hands on clinical volunteer work.

        Shadowing a doctor is great, but the main thing you learn is what a doctor does. Med schools like it because it shows that you'll have a good idea of what your chosen career path is really like.

        But good clinical volunteering is hands on. You have duties to perform that you are responsible for and many times you're working closely with patients. Also importantly, you're contributing to the process rather than mostly observing it.

        Don't get me wrong, shadowing is great, but rather than 200 hours of shadowing, I'd lean much more towards 50 hours shadowing and 150 hours volunteering. Just my $0.02.
         
        W

        WWU_Viking

          notdeadyet said:
          This is just my opinion and I'm sure folks will disagree, but if you have a lot of time to kill, I'd recommend mixing up shadowing with hands on clinical volunteer work.

          Shadowing a doctor is great, but the main thing you learn is what a doctor does. Med schools like it because it shows that you'll have a good idea of what your chosen career path is really like.

          But good clinical volunteering is hands on. You have duties to perform that you are responsible for and many times you're working closely with patients. Also importantly, you're contributing to the process rather than mostly observing it.

          Don't get me wrong, shadowing is great, but rather than 200 hours of shadowing, I'd lean much more towards 50 hours shadowing and 150 hours volunteering. Just my $0.02.

          Yes. I have 3 undergrad years left and am going to apply the end of my last year (I'm going to work during the year long gap, do an SMP if I need to). I'm going to volunteer in an "adult day care center" 3-4 hrs/ week (or almost every week). I was hoping to be able to shadow weekly or bi-weekly so I can also concentrate on academics and possibily and 8hr/week campus job.

          I agree, I think I should do more than just shadowing.
           

          notdeadyet

          Still in California
          15+ Year Member
          Jul 23, 2004
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          1. Attending Physician
            You're way ahead of the program, bud. Good thinking. I think about half the people who apply to medical school have this flurry of volunteer activity in their junior and senior year. Nicely done.
             
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