premedmind

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So I had spent a day with an ER DO....basically followed him around for a couple of hours as he consulted patients. He also briefly explained what being a DO is like, which was cool.

Obviously, I need a letter from him to apply to DO school. Problem is, I only spent one day shadowing him, and because he is so busy, I am now having difficulty getting back in contact with him. I left a message with his secretary for him to call me back, but since yesterday, I have no received no calls.

What do you guys think I should do? Call back on Monday? I don't want him getting annoyed at me or anything, but I would at least like ONE more day shadowing him before I ask for a letter.
 

Semicolon

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So I had spent a day with an ER DO....basically followed him around for a couple of hours as he consulted patients. He also briefly explained what being a DO is like, which was cool.

Obviously, I need a letter from him to apply to DO school. Problem is, I only spent one day shadowing him, and because he is so busy, I am now having difficulty getting back in contact with him. I left a message with his secretary for him to call me back, but since yesterday, I have no received no calls.

What do you guys think I should do? Call back on Monday? I don't want him getting annoyed at me or anything, but I would at least like ONE more day shadowing him before I ask for a letter.
He's probably too busy to get annoyed. If he was fine with you shadowing him that one day, I doubt he'd have a problem with you doing it one more time. You could either call them back after the weekend or go there in person if it's not much trouble.
 

nlax30

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Oct 4, 2006
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I'd suggest definitely try and go shadow him again, and when you go bring a copy of whatever he may need to write you a LOR (your CV, personal statement, any school specific LOR forms, stamped/addressed envelope, etc...).

That way when you're physically there you can ask him if he would be able to write you a LOR and you already have any relevant papers there ready for him.
 
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How much time is typical b/f you would ask for a letter?
One day isn't much, but on the flip side, many docs might rather just give a letter and be done with it themselves.

Is it typical to shadow just a few times....DO really doesn't know you much, and they write you a letter?
 
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premedmind

premedmind

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Well I called AGAIN yesterday and left a message and no response. Should I just drop in? Or find another DO?
 

Druggernaut

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From your post, it sounds like you called his secretary the day before posting, and were concerned about not hearing back from him. It was only one day. There are plenty of emergency medicine jobs out there that have the doctor only working around 40 hours a week, and some of these places are for 12 hour shifts. That's 3-4 shifts a week. He might not have gone in to work since you've called, and being shadowed is probably not important enough to him or the secretary to merit calling him at home about it.

I see that you've posted again, and still haven't heard a reply. I wouldn't "drop in." If you don't get a response, I'd assume he doesn't want to do it again.

Do you have any connections with other doctors? I suspect I'll end up meeting a few times with a DO in order to fulfill my requirement of getting a letter from one, but that's about all I'm planning on it being. I've got an MD's LOR to actually serve as a physician's endorsement of me as a candidate. I don't know how they could honestly do that effectively if you've only shadowed them twice.

I'd look for other DOs to shadow, in case this one or his secretary doesn't contact you, as well as for the added value of seeing something new. Maybe they'll be more enthusiastic about helping you out, and can serve as a better reference as a result.