Sep 1, 2020
125
65
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
I will be applying this upcoming cycle and was curious how important it is for me to get shadowing with a primary care physician?

I have around 80 hours of shadowing split equally between a GI and a Neurosurgeon. In addition to that, I have around 1300 hours in the ICU as a tech.

I have been looking for opportunities to shadow an internist (my goal is to be a GI, but I am aware a lot of internal medicine residents don't reach sub-specialty level and so I thought it would be a good idea to see what internal medicine is like) but haven't had much luck. Just curious how much this would impact me during my application cycle?
 

Moko

Staff member
Volunteer Staff
5+ Year Member
Sep 7, 2015
1,916
7,893
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
I will be applying this upcoming cycle and was curious how important it is for me to get shadowing with a primary care physician?

I have around 80 hours of shadowing split equally between a GI and a Neurosurgeon. In addition to that, I have around 1300 hours in the ICU as a tech.

I have been looking for opportunities to shadow an internist (my goal is to be a GI, but I am aware a lot of internal medicine residents don't reach sub-specialty level and so I thought it would be a good idea to see what internal medicine is like) but haven't had much luck. Just curious how much this would impact me during my application cycle?
You should be fine with your current experiences. Hopefully some of this shadowing time was office-based where you actually saw the doctor-patient relationship instead of just the patients' poops and brains.

During medical school, it would be wise to shadow broadly, not just in internal medicine, but also other specialties as well. You never know what may pique your interest. Just my thoughts.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

mmchick

2+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2017
442
1,006
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
I will be applying this upcoming cycle and was curious how important it is for me to get shadowing with a primary care physician?

I have around 80 hours of shadowing split equally between a GI and a Neurosurgeon. In addition to that, I have around 1300 hours in the ICU as a tech.

I have been looking for opportunities to shadow an internist (my goal is to be a GI, but I am aware a lot of internal medicine residents don't reach sub-specialty level and so I thought it would be a good idea to see what internal medicine is like) but haven't had much luck. Just curious how much this would impact me during my application cycle?

You have a ton of clinical experience, I think you're more than poised to speak about "why medicine" - that is the purpose of shadowing/clinical experience after all. Primary care is a plus, but I don't think super important - unless you're applying to schools that are primary care heavy or whose missions are to produce PCPs. You can look up schools like these and either avoid them or add them to your "back-up/wouldn't hurt" if you can afford that.

My clinical experience was EMT-heavy and niche specialties only and I did just fine.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users
About the Ads
Sep 1, 2020
125
65
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
You should be fine with your current experiences. Hopefully some of this shadowing time was office-based where you actually saw the doctor-patient relationship instead of just the patients' poops and brains.

During medical school, it would be wise to shadow broadly, not just in internal medicine, but also other specialties as well. You never know what may pique your interest. Just my thoughts.
Yup, I was able to see office-based work. I actually enjoyed it on some occasions more-so than the actual procedures. Thanks!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Sep 1, 2020
125
65
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
You have a ton of clinical experience, I think you're more than poised to speak about "why medicine" - that is the purpose of shadowing/clinical experience after all. Primary care is a plus, but I don't think super important - unless you're applying to schools that are primary care heavy or whose missions are to produce PCPs. You can look up schools like these and either avoid them or add them to your "back-up/wouldn't hurt" if you can afford that.

My clinical experience was EMT-heavy and niche specialties only and I did just fine.
Good to know. Thank you!
 

YCAGA

2+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2017
862
1,471
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Before COVID, I would say there is no excuse not to have 10-20 hours of primary care shadowing. Not sure how adcoms are viewing stuff like that in this new world. I was a premed and got into medical school before COVID was a thing.

Maybe an adcom can advise on how their school is treating a lack of XYZ experience category, especially shadowing, due to Covid.

@Goro @LizzyM
 

Goro

SDN Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Jun 11, 2010
65,312
100,505
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status (Visible)
  1. Non-Student
I will be applying this upcoming cycle and was curious how important it is for me to get shadowing with a primary care physician?

I have around 80 hours of shadowing split equally between a GI and a Neurosurgeon. In addition to that, I have around 1300 hours in the ICU as a tech.

I have been looking for opportunities to shadow an internist (my goal is to be a GI, but I am aware a lot of internal medicine residents don't reach sub-specialty level and so I thought it would be a good idea to see what internal medicine is like) but haven't had much luck. Just curious how much this would impact me during my application cycle?
You'll be fine. In the age of covid, you can be cut some Slack. Shadowing a primary care physician is always good but haven't see it be lethal, at least in our own admissions committee.

The only caveat for someone who Shadows doctors in the Uber Specialties is to not come across as having a "uber Specialties or bust" attitude.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 5 users

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
34,618
14,468
The Other Side of the Portal
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
Maybe an adcom can advise on how their school is treating a lack of XYZ experience category, especially shadowing, due to Covid.
My school has worded their application screening checklist so that a lack of shadowing is not a hindrance to the applicant, so long as other clinical experience is strong.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 4 users

YCAGA

2+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2017
862
1,471
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
You'll be fine. In the age of covid, you can be cut some Slack. Shadowing a primary care physician is always good but haven't see it be lethal, at least in our own admissions committee.

The only caveat for someone who Shadows doctors in the Uber Specialties is to not come across as having a "uber Specialties or bust" attitude.

My school has worded their application screening checklist so that a lack of shadowing is not a hindrance to the applicant, so long as other clinical experience is strong.
Good stuff. Thanks!

And to clarify, I meant there is no excuse to not shadow primary care before COVID, not because it is necessarily lethal to have no PC shadowing, but because it is so easy to check that box with 10-20 hours of work. Then you can 100% avoid a possibly damaging line of questioning. So PC shadowing is the ultimate low cost insurance in my opinion.

On a semi-related note, I also think it is good to have shadowed some non-competitive specialities, “average” specialities, and maybe a few competitive specialities. Then during your interview say you are interested in everything, unless your chosen speciality is rural family medicine :D Like Goro said, the main thing is to make sure you aren’t coming across as GI/nrsg or bust.

Statistically, half of medical students are below average, so it’s a disservice to everyone involved to go into medical school if you would be life-ruining unhappy in FM, IM, peds, or neuro. Not saying that is how OP is, just some general advice to anyone reading this thread.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
15+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
25,109
42,067
Status (Visible)
  1. Academic Administration
Most of the time patients spend in the presence of physicians is in ambulatory care settings so the reciprocal is true... on average, in at the population level, most physician time is spent in ambulatory settings, too. So, having some exposure to ambulatory care, and, in particular, to primary care, is a good thing as it is likely that you'll end up practicing in such a setting at least some of the time, unless you go into something entirely inpatient-based such as neonatology.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
About the Ads

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.