Aug 2, 2016
3
1
Status
Pre-Medical
Hello!
I am a current high school student and was really interested in shadowing a surgeon. Particularly a neurosurgeon. Currently, I have shadowed an Internal Medicine doctor and a Cardiologist. Would a neurosurgeon (assuming they aren't busy) allow me to shadow them for even a day if I am still in high school? If so, do you have any advice? Any personal experience stories? How was your experience? How should I prepare?
Thank you so much for your help!:)
 
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Feb 23, 2014
2
2
Durham, NC
www.ziptee.org
Status
Pre-Medical
Great job shadowing so early! I spent yesterday observing in a brain tumor research center, including watching two surgeries. I approached the OR manager/research coordinator, who I've volunteered with before, so I did not spend the full day with the surgeon (missing the clinical aspect of his work). However, I also got to meet and interact with basic science researchers, nurses, and surgical techs, so it was a nice, diverse experience.

For the OR, I didn't "scrub in," as I wasn't handling anything sterile. I wore a cap, gown, and mask (required for anyone entering the OR, including a few vendors who were observing a trial of their company's new surgical tool). I stayed several feet behind the surgeon and his residents for both cases, making sure to move out of the way for nurses and any others--my motto was "stay out of the way and don't contaminate anything" throughout the day. As I came with the OR manager's permission, rather than the surgeon's, I didn't interact with him much (as it was a teaching hospital with residents, I could listen to his conversations with them). If you come after contacting a surgeon directly, it might be more conducive to discussion, though I would still wait to see if they were interested in speaking during the case. You'll probably have a chance to debrief before/after cases.
 
OP
StudentDoctorDan
Aug 2, 2016
3
1
Status
Pre-Medical
Great job shadowing so early! I spent yesterday observing in a brain tumor research center, including watching two surgeries. I approached the OR manager/research coordinator, who I've volunteered with before, so I did not spend the full day with the surgeon (missing the clinical aspect of his work). However, I also got to meet and interact with basic science researchers, nurses, and surgical techs, so it was a nice, diverse experience.

For the OR, I didn't "scrub in," as I wasn't handling anything sterile. I wore a cap, gown, and mask (required for anyone entering the OR, including a few vendors who were observing a trial of their company's new surgical tool). I stayed several feet behind the surgeon and his residents for both cases, making sure to move out of the way for nurses and any others--my motto was "stay out of the way and don't contaminate anything" throughout the day. As I came with the OR manager's permission, rather than the surgeon's, I didn't interact with him much (as it was a teaching hospital with residents, I could listen to his conversations with them). If you come after contacting a surgeon directly, it might be more conducive to discussion, though I would still wait to see if they were interested in speaking during the case. You'll probably have a chance to debrief before/after cases.

Thank you for replying! Were you still in highschool when you shadowed a surgeon?
 
Jul 4, 2017
11
1
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Hello!
I am a current high school student and was really interested in shadowing a surgeon. Particularly a neurosurgeon. Currently, I have shadowed an Internal Medicine doctor and a Cardiologist. Would a neurosurgeon (assuming they aren't busy) allow me to shadow them for even a day if I am still in high school? If so, do you have any advice? Any personal experience stories? How was your experience? How should I prepare?
Thank you so much for your help!:)
Hi, I just wanted to say this post would be absolutely golden advice for me and many other high schoolers if it were revived, it seems sort of dead at the moment.

I am looking into shadowing doctors, especially neurosurgeons and cardiologists, two fields I am very interested in. I just wanted to ask how you got in contact with them, and tips you had for shadowing, especially in high school.

Thanks!

Sent from my XT1575 using Tapatalk
 

mmmcdowe

Duke of minimal vowels
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Sep 13, 2008
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Agreed, I think you'll find that high school and pre-meds probably have better advice on the how to and what to do of shadowing than us. I will leave a permanent link but I have moved the thread to hSDN for further commentary.
 

sonofva

10+ Year Member
Aug 31, 2009
1,066
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Attending Physician
Hello!
I am a current high school student and was really interested in shadowing a surgeon. Particularly a neurosurgeon. Currently, I have shadowed an Internal Medicine doctor and a Cardiologist. Would a neurosurgeon (assuming they aren't busy) allow me to shadow them for even a day if I am still in high school? If so, do you have any advice? Any personal experience stories? How was your experience? How should I prepare?
Thank you so much for your help!:)
Neurosurgeons are always busy lol. My 2c is that shadowing general or ortho would be more enjoyable. Many neurosurg procedures are done through a small hole. While gs does do laparoscopic procedures, more chance to see something open, same with ortho.