Oct 29, 2010
510
1
New York
Status
Medical Student
I have no connections. My parents are not doctors. They do not have doctor friends. My undergrad university does not have a medical center. There's nothing around me.:eek: I need to find shadowing opportunities for the winter...and I know I need to start now. So any advice or tips or experiences would be greatly GREATLY appreciated!

And yes, I tried the search function.
 
Nov 18, 2009
75
0
Status
Medical Student
I have no connections. My parents are not doctors. They do not have doctor friends. My undergrad university does not have a medical center. There's nothing around me.:eek: I need to find shadowing opportunities for the winter...and I know I need to start now. So any advice or tips or experiences would be greatly GREATLY appreciated!

And yes, I tried the search function.

Easy! Do what I did. Go find the nearest emergency room and tell them you want to help. They say "Huh?! How??" You tell them you will do anything to make their life better. You then spend some time doing some simple stuff while you start to absorb the environment. They realize you aren't a serial killer and eventually begin to trust you as a sincere human being. Then you start to follow people around, but its cool, because they know who you are. Do this for a solid 10-12 months and I guarantee you will know if medicine is "the way, the light, and the truth" for you. You might end up actually doing usefull stuff like cleaning wounds, splinting, taking vitals, and participating in Ddx or things of the like. Just start slow and be confident. These things take time!
 
Jun 25, 2010
316
1
Status
Pre-Medical
threadstarter, are you serious?

where did you volunteer? did you see any doctors? ask one of them
 

orthomyxo

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Aug 18, 2009
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Easy! Do what I did. Go find the nearest emergency room and tell them you want to help. They say "Huh?! How??" You tell them you will do anything to make their life better. You then spend some time doing some simple stuff while you start to absorb the environment. They realize you aren't a serial killer and eventually begin to trust you as a sincere human being. Then you start to follow people around, but its cool, because they know who you are. Do this for a solid 10-12 months and I guarantee you will know if medicine is "the way, the light, and the truth" for you. You might end up actually doing usefull stuff like cleaning wounds, splinting, taking vitals, and participating in Ddx or things of the like. Just start slow and be confident. These things take time!
wat
 

Forthegood

ProcrastinationAficionado
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Sep 6, 2008
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Do this for a solid 10-12 months and I guarantee you will know if medicine is "the way, the light, and the truth" for you.
No. You may decide ER is not the place for you, or maybe it is. But 10 months does not tell you your ass from a hole in the ground. Also, don't base big decisions in life off of such limited experience.

You might end up actually doing usefull stuff like cleaning wounds,
No.

splinting,
No.

taking vitals,
No. At least not ones that get seen by others.

and participating in Ddx
No. NO NO NO

or things of the like.
No, unless you mean making up stretchers or cleaning bedpans. Also, showing family members back to the room... maybe. But probably no.

I would have to admit though, I like your attitude towards the thing. Just walk right into that ER and say "I'm taking over, nurse, get me a coffee."

Why don't you just ask your family doc if you can follow him or a buddy of his? Also, if you are looking blindly for a doc, ask the nurses. They know who will be willing to help.
 
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jrou111

10+ Year Member
Dec 5, 2008
64
0
Birmingham, AL
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Pre-Medical
No.


No.


No.


No. At least not ones that get seen by others.


No. NO NO NO


No, unless you mean making up stretchers or cleaning bedpans. Also, showing family members back to the room... maybe. But probably no.
Highly unlikely in a shadowing environment, but in my volunteering I've gotten to do all kinds of patient care like helping with burn dressing changes, wound vac removal, application of Dakin's, dressing changes on a necrotizing fasciitis patient, among other things. Just last night I got to immobilize a patient's leg while the Ortho doctor drilled a pin into the tibia.

OP, if you start out by volunteering in a hospital, shadowing opportunities will open up if you are even slightly extroverted.
 

orthomyxo

SDN Bronze Donor
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I would have to admit though, I like your attitude towards the thing. Just walk right into that ER and say "I'm taking over, nurse, get me a coffee."
Honestly bro, where the hell do you live? If I walked into my local ER and said that, the nurse would laugh, then tell me to get the **** out before she calls the cops.
 

rafflecopter

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Oct 18, 2008
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Honestly bro, where the hell do you live? If I walked into my local ER and said that, the nurse would laugh, then tell me to get the **** out before she calls the cops.
Pretty sure it was sarcasm.
 

whatbout2morrow

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Nov 14, 2008
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Browse websites of hospitals and clinics nearby and see if any of them have the email addresses of doctors and start e-mailing them. Talk to your doctor, see if he/she is willing, if not, if anyone they know may be willing.
 

xnfs93hy

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Jun 24, 2008
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I just got in touch with some surgeons in the region. Network, broski.
 

cliffhuxtableDO

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use the phone book and call a doc until you get some good responses. worked like a charm for me.
 

Morzh

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Use the phone book, internet, whatever to find a long list of offices in your area. That advice has already been given but here is the real gem: don't call/email the doctor - call the clinic manager! Tell them who you are and that you are an undergrad at XYZ and are going to be applying to medical school and are interested in observing a doctor in (insert specialty here). Ask if any of the doctors at that office/clinic have had students shadow in the past or if that could somehow be a possibility. The clinic manager will give you a straight answer, and can then communicate with the doctor and schedule your shadowing to fit when his schedule is convenient. The docs are really busy and some might be a little annoyed if some random pre-med got their personal cell phone number and starts calling them. They'll be much more likely to say yes if their assistant comes says to him "Oh yeah an XYZ student called a little bit ago and was wondering if it would be possible to arrange to shadow you once a week for a few months." Doc says, "Was he a weirdo?" Assistant: "Nah he seemed cool.. really mature and polite.." Doc: "Well why not.. he can come on Mondays Wednesdays or Fridays in the afternoons.. call him back and figure it out please.. just put it on my schedule which days he will be coming." ::Doc walks into office to do paperwork, and forgets about the whole convo within 5 minutes::

I'm just trying to give you a little insight into the inner-workings of a doctor's office..

Worked for me.. I called 3 or 4 different offices and they all said sure. I picked the one I wanted the most (a neurology clinic).
 

BobtheDoc

Just a little pressure...
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Aug 2, 2010
57
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Phoenix, AZ
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Do you live next to a teaching hospital? If so, contact their education office and let them know you are a prospective medical student and are looking for shadowing opportunities.

If you play your cards right, you can shadow specialties you are interested in. Everybody has shadowing experiences. Not everybody has experience following a radiologist, a transplant surgeon, an ER doc, an immunologist, a pathologist doing an autopsy, etc..

Remember, shadowing is important to the application process because it shows admissions you are familiar with the profession of medicine and know what you are getting yourself into. The more complete your shadowing experience, the better prepared you will be during application.
 
OP
monkeyMD
Oct 29, 2010
510
1
New York
Status
Medical Student
Thanks for all the input and tips! Unfortunately, I don't live near a teaching hospital. And by calling the clinic manager, do you mean just the doctor's office? Do I just talk to the person who picks up the phone? It seems like a lot of big hospitals don't allow shadowing, like Kaiser. And my family doc is a part of Kaiser. Sad, I know.
 

familyaerospace

7+ Year Member
Nov 22, 2009
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1,068
In my books, GA
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My parents are not doctors. They do not have doctor friends. I don't even live near my parents and my friends are not doctors.

I found doctors to shadow in many ways.

Here is how I found everyone : http://forums.studentdoctor.net/blog.php?b=4003 although I think I need to update it since I've now shadowed two other doctor types and another will hopefully be coming soon.
 

rosydoll

5+ Year Member
Dec 18, 2009
15
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Well, when I was a nursing major, I just went to my local hospital's contact page on their website, asked if there were nursing shadowing opportunities, and bam, they got back to me saying yes and I got to follow a nurse around :) I imagine the process is the same if you wanna shadow a doctor (gotta try it myself though.) Squeaky wheel gets the grease, right?
 
OP
monkeyMD
Oct 29, 2010
510
1
New York
Status
Medical Student
Thanks everyone for the input. One problem that I am running into right now is some issue with liability....no one wants any student to shadow due to liability to issues.:smuggrin: Anyone else run into this problem?
 
May 1, 2010
487
0
Pittsburgh
Status
Medical Student
Thanks everyone for the input. One problem that I am running into right now is some issue with liability....no one wants any student to shadow due to liability to issues.:smuggrin: Anyone else run into this problem?
I've had to deal with this before too. It made finding opportunities more difficult, but I still found them. The problem was mainly with HIPPA regulations, which each state seems to handle differently. It took a great deal more effort for me to find a doc to shadow during the summer I spent on the east coast.
 

torshi

Squirrel
5+ Year Member
Oct 26, 2010
6,904
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I have no connections. My parents are not doctors. They do not have doctor friends. My undergrad university does not have a medical center. There's nothing around me.:eek: I need to find shadowing opportunities for the winter...and I know I need to start now. So any advice or tips or experiences would be greatly GREATLY appreciated!

And yes, I tried the search function.
Call local clinics, and ask the receptionist and ask if the doctor would allow shadowing.