Nov 6, 2013
4
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I'm setting out on a pre-med course and I was wondering how many hours shadowing a physician should a competitive applicant have?
 

TheWeeIceMan

And like that... *poof*... he's gone.
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 8, 2009
3,500
2,372
50 or more. Multiple specialties, ideally one being in primary care.

Edit: For the record I had less and did fine.
 
Last edited:
Mar 26, 2013
501
498
Status
Medical Student
Enough where you can talk about how you have observed a physician's lifestyle and decided you would like to make that your career choice. There is no magic number, 50 hours is a solid number but you could certainly get away with less, and you certainly DON'T need the hundreds of hours that many people report having on these forums.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SN12357
Aug 24, 2013
153
118
221B Baker Street
Status
Medical Student
Yeah between all the physicians I shadowed it is over 200 hours. But they are right, that is overkill. I did it just because I enjoyed it. Learn about multiple specialties, just so you know what the difference between doctors is so you can have good conversations with admissions people.
 

Elewynne

7+ Year Member
Oct 30, 2011
266
101
Exploring
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I had under 50 and did just fine this cycle (so far 8 interviews, 3 acceptances).
 
Last edited:

pyrrion89

PGY-1, MD
May 29, 2013
928
674
Status
Medical Student
I had just under 50...
 
Apr 23, 2013
1,697
743
Status
Medical Student
Enough where you can talk about how you have observed a physician's lifestyle and decided you would like to make that your career choice. There is no magic number, 50 hours is a solid number but you could certainly get away with less, and you certainly DON'T need the hundreds of hours that many people report having on these forums.
This is very true.

I had 20ish.

In general I think that the importance of shadowing is overstated on these forums. I had what turned out to be an entirely unmerited freakout over not having enough shadowing or clinical exposure and my cycle has been going absolutely wonderfully. Freakout was for nothing.
 

Omppu27

El Tiburon
7+ Year Member
Aug 12, 2011
2,114
660
Pawnee, Indiana
Status
Medical Student
I had under 50 and did just fine this cycle (so far 8 interviews, 3 acceptances). That being said, one of my interviewers did give me a very hard time about "only" having 40ish, and only having a LOR from one of the three physicians I shadowed. He said I'd need to get another 40 (all documented by letters) to be able to get an acceptance. Result: waitlisted. FWIW.
Lol are you serious? I'm very surprised to hear this....
 
Mar 26, 2013
501
498
Status
Medical Student
Sadly it's a true story. Sucks because it was my favorite school (on paper) of the ones I had gotten interview invites into, and has a reputation for being really friendly, low key interviews. I just got a bad draw that day, I guess.

Positive side is that even if I don't get in off the waitlist I have an acceptance at another school I ended up liking just as much after visiting there.
That is absolutely ridiculous. He gave you a hard time because you only had one LOR from a physician you shadowed? LOR from physicians you've spent a few hours shadowing are probably the most useless LORs. I had one and was worried that I shouldn't have even included it because its not like the doctor really knew anything about me. I can see it now, "cs24 is really good at standing quietly in the corner while I talk to patients and review charts. He also didn't even pass out during the colonoscopies he observed. When I talked to him he didn't come off as a complete dick. You should definitely admit him."
 
  • Like
Reactions: Elewynne

The_Bird

SDN Bronze Donor
Bronze Donor
7+ Year Member
Jun 26, 2011
7,753
9,289
Status
Medical Student
Definitely work with a primary care specialty and a few others. Generally the non PC specialties can be whatever you might be interested in. Your goal is to be able to understand what a doctor does on a day by day basis, boring stuff included. If you haven't had any experience in a hospital, try finding a doc who will let you shadow them in that venue. Like others have said ≤ 50 hours is adequate. Just try to make it diverse.