OlderStudent

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I have been looking to shadow a physician and I have been running into some difficulty. Any suggestions on how to find a physician that would allow me to shadow them? What about watching certain procedures?
 

tncekm

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Its hard, many of them don't wanna give you the time of day.

My only success was through connections. Anytime I prepared a nice letter and dropped it off all dressed up, I just got a big fat "nothing". No return calls, nothing.

Just try to find someone who knows someone. That's your best bet, honestly.
 

maestro1625

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my best advice is to reincarnate yourself into someone who happens to be a doctor's kid... that helped me out a lot.

though if that doesnt work, if your school has a pre-med office of any kind, call them to see if they have some good alumni connections... my school had a few that were more than willing.
 
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bwonger06

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I am also having a hard time. I just ask family friends and connections, and have found a lot of doctors willing to let me shadow them. The problem is since most of them work in hospitals (more specifically the OR and ICU) the doctors all required me to clear it with the hospitals, which is the hardest part because most hospitals only allow medical students to shadow.

The easiest place to shadow at are at private offices, thus ask your pcp. It might be boring but its a start. (im avoiding the private office shadowing because i feel it is way too boring)
 

inside_edition

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I am also having a hard time. I just ask family friends and connections, and have found a lot of doctors willing to let me shadow them. The problem is since most of them work in hospitals (more specifically the OR and ICU) the doctors all required me to clear it with the hospitals, which is the hardest part because most hospitals only allow medical students to shadow.

The easiest place to shadow at are at private offices, thus ask your pcp. It might be boring but its a start. (im avoiding the private office shadowing because i feel it is way too boring)

not all of us are insured.:smuggrin:
 

bwonger06

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not all of us are insured.:smuggrin:

well they could just say im a volunteer if i am shadowing, and i would thus, to my knowledge, be protected under the good samaritan act.

i really hope the hospitals do approve me because if they dont, i have nothing to do for my month off from school
 

inside_edition

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well they could just say im a volunteer if i am shadowing, and i would thus, to my knowledge, be protected under the good samaritan act.

i really hope the hospitals do approve me because if they dont, i have nothing to do for my month off from school

by not all of us are insured, i meant that not all of us have pcp's. beyond my early child hood i haven't really ever been to a doctor. i remember my parents telling me "don't get hurt because you don't have health insurance" when i was playing outside when i was younger.
 

xucardsfan08

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Your best bet is through family/friends.
My shadowing experience was visiting my aunt in Seattle (she is an interventional radiologist at a hospital) during spring break. I went to work with her and watched various procedures. She also let her friend (urologist) know I was there and he suggested I watch a prostatectomy using the Da Vinci Robotic Surgery. That was amazing as both surgeons (one using the machine and the other on the patient) were talking to me the entire time telling my what they were doing, why, etc.

Without connections, it is pretty hard. I tried calling doctors back home to no avail.
 

kypdurron5

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I wrote to several practices but had virtually no luck. At best I would get a response saying "maybe in the future, but not right now." I'm waiting on a response from one school...if it's an acceptance then I won't feel too much pressure to get the "shadow" notch on my belt. If I'm rejected I'll start cold-calling surgeon's offices. I think surgery is a little better than a PCP practice because a) there's more "doctoring stuff" to see and b) it's easier to schedule in your day (for those of us who are rather busy...). If you shadow a PCP you'll have to volunteer on some kind of schedule for some duration of time. At least with surgery you can maximize your time a little better. Also, if you can find a practice that has their own operating facilities, it will be easier than a surgeon who uses a hospital. Even so, my local hospital just requires a form which I have on hand to provide any doctor with; it requires the doctor's approval, the patent's approval, and the department head nurse's approval. If the doctor is willing to let you shadow, they should be willing to ask the patient. After that you just have to convince a nurse to let you observe (and with the approval of the other two, this shouldn't be a problem).

The downside to this is that a lot of schools would prefer PCP shadowing because you get more of the doctor-patient experience. Still, take what you can get! I've never asked my PCP because I think it would just be awkward, but if I'm not accepted this year I'm willing to pull out all the stops.
 

Mariko

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if you are already part of a hospital's volunteer program, it may be easier to approach a physician there. Since you probably already have a badge, health clearance etc, they may be more receptive.... particularly if it's a teaching hospital.
 

hp540

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As it is almost with anything, it's about connections - so start passing out the word to family and friends. That's what I did.
 

bwonger06

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if you are already part of a hospital's volunteer program, it may be easier to approach a physician there. Since you probably already have a badge, health clearance etc, they may be more receptive.... particularly if it's a teaching hospital.

the thing is most doctors hate when you put them on the spot by going up to them and asking them if you could shadow them.

writing a letter might be a lot better, but then the doctor wont know who is writing, even if you state that you are a volunteer at the same hospital.

i might try and call the hospital volunteer department, or the student learning department (or equivalent) and ask if there are any kind of shadow programs offered for pre-med students.
 
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