F

FinPreMed2020

Hi!
I've been wondering how people find the doctors to shadow. If you've shadowed a doctor before or know someone else's story, please share it here! How did you find the doctor and made the agreement of shadowing?
If you shadowed a doctor who is a family friend etc no need to reply! I need information on how to find doctors (including surgeons) to shadow without prior acquaintance.

Thanks for replying!!
 

ciestar

All grown up! MS4!
5+ Year Member
Sep 18, 2013
6,168
6,830
Status
Medical Student
Found hospitals with associated medical schools (easy to do in Philly) and basically looked around for emails asking to shadow and called offices seeing if they offered such a thing.

I also used iLEARN from the AOA to find a DO to shadow.
 

DBC03

2+ Year Member
Dec 28, 2016
2,432
2,975
Florida
www.thegracefuldwelling.com
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
I emailed people through my undergraduate alumni network - I emailed every doctor within one hour of where I lived. I also asked my doctors and had my friends ask their doctors. I tried every possible connection - it will take a lot of emailing!
 
About the Ads

DrHart

5+ Year Member
Jan 2, 2013
1,064
1,448
Chicago
Status
Pre-Medical
I think it was LizzyM who said you already know at least two physicians to shadow - your pediatrician and your mom's ob/gyn. Outside of that, calling and emailing would get you somewhere. It could be at a local clinic or in a hospital. Look up places online, go to the staff directory, find a doctor in the field you'd like to see more of. They usually have a phone or email there.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ortnakas

Cornfed101

SDN Bronze Donor
Bronze Donor
2+ Year Member
Aug 10, 2017
1,671
3,166
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
The easiest place to start is with connections. I'm sure you either have been to a doctor or know someone who works with doctors. I would try that first!
 
Aug 16, 2017
45
27
Status
Pre-Medical
My shadowing experience came from a couple places. First and probably foremost, as I think someone alluded to, is talk to your PCP. If nothing else, they likely know of physicians within their hospital network who are open to accepting students for observation. I also was able to do some some shadowing with physicians who were associated with my school its athletic teams. Professors were able to contact them and help set it up, and that was really helpful. Otherwise, cast a wide net, talk to friends, classmates, etc. You may be surprised at how many connections you already have.
 

Terry Toma

2+ Year Member
Aug 26, 2015
351
1,009
Status
Medical Student
I just cold called/emailed the a bunch of practices and hospital departments. I probably made ~10 attempted contacts before I got in touch with an office manager who hooked me up with a physician. Lots of dead ends and unreturned calls, but if you just keep dialing, you'll find someone who will help you out. It takes maybe 3 minutes to look up a number, dial it, and leave a voicemail, so no big deal if you get blown off most of the time.

In my experience, physicians practicing in more rural areas were more receptive. I think doctors in town probably get tons of students trying to shadow (especially given that I live in a college town). Once I expended my search to smaller communities 30+ minutes outside of my town, I had better success.
 
Sep 9, 2017
25
28
yeehaw
Status
Pre-Medical
My local hospital has a program in place since I'm close to a nursing school- I just asked where I would get to shadow doctors instead of nurses and I now rotate through a few departments.
 

Turkishking

2+ Year Member
Jul 15, 2015
2,446
1,193
Status
Pre-Medical
Start with your family doctor maybe? It isn't that difficult.

This isn't rocket science
 
OP
F

FinPreMed2020

Thanks for replies!
I've spent most of this day trying to find doctors' emails but it seems that I just have to start calling literally every single doctor's office... Keep your thumbs up for me!
I moved to US last year so I don't have even that little connection to a PCP because I don't have one. Makes things a bit more complicated but that just gives extra energy to try harder!
 
  • Like
Reactions: DBC03
Apr 28, 2017
3
2
Status
Pre-Medical
I have been wondering how to jumpstart my shadowing experience too, and I found this thread really helpful! Thanks everyone!
 

fourandtwo

7+ Year Member
Jan 31, 2012
720
733
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
I got to shadow a surgeon through a connection (although, it's pretty hard to shadow a surgeon without training because of hospital regulations) and I got to shadow a bunch of specialties through just calling and leaving a polite voicemail. If you could squeeze in 1-2 sentences in your voicemail as to why you'd like to shadow them in particular, that would be helpful.

From my experience, doctors or hospitals affiliated with medical schools are very open to such requests, as they are used to having students rotate in their clinic/practice.
 

SnowyMoon

2+ Year Member
Apr 26, 2015
40
20
Status
Pre-Medical
DEFINITELY get a PCP that is receptive to assisting the up-and-coming physician community. My PCP is awesome and encouraging, and he reached out for me and set me up with a DO Neurosurgeon to shadow. He (the PCP) also takes OMS3 students for a med school relatively close to his practice. See if a DO school near you (if there is one) has a site that is a private practice, they may be more receptive to shadowing pre-med students. Just remember, however: n=1 and YMMV.
 

premeddestiny

lol
2+ Year Member
Sep 2, 2017
121
98
pacific coast
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
For me:

The first shadowing opportunity with a neurologist I got by directly emailing them and asking.
The second opportunity with a urologist will occur because I reached out to my volunteer coordinator at the same hospital as the urologist.
 

Coltuna

2+ Year Member
Nov 2, 2015
1,539
1,128
Status
Medical Student
If you live in a rural area, contact the physician recruiters at area hospitals. They're ecstatic to set up shadowing opportunities for potential future physicians.
 
About the Ads