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shadowing as a premed student

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by lmthoms1, May 14, 2001.

  1. lmthoms1

    lmthoms1 Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    I was looking for suggestions on contacting physicians that will allow premeds to shadow them. Although I know this varies from states to state I have received no luck in locating a physician that will allow me to shadow them. I've tried the hospitals but usually the volunteer coordinator tells me it goes against the privacy of the patient and that I'm not likely(being a premed and all) to be granted that duty. Has this changed because I always thought shadowing doesn't have to always involve me sitting on a patients consultation. I've contacted doctor's office personally before and always leave message on what my intentions are but never receive a cll bck. Does anyone know what step I should take now?
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  3. Col_4:14

    Col_4:14 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Keep trying! Some physicians are funny about shadowing... it cramps their style :D
    and there are others that are happy to oblige. I shadowed a thoracic surgeon who taught and expected me to present patients to him on the 1st day.
    Consider looking into any type of pre-med clubs at your school. They sometimes offer this service. Or try your family physician. If this still fails, open the phone book, swallow some pride, and start dialing away. Better yet, if you have medical "areas" of town, you might want to go office to office and present yourself. This will probably serve you better in that it allows the physician to see that you are not some sort of maniac. Unless you are one of course . . . HMmmmm

    By the way, I found the surgeon through my dad, after he had a quad bypass.
  4. Rawhide

    Rawhide Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 8, 2001
    I have been shadowing my family physician for 2 years now. The funny thing is that I hadn't seen him since middle school and I went to talk to him during Christmas vacation 2 years ago. Since then, I have been fortunate to experience "hands on" medicine which I believe will greatly help me for medical school.
  5. Mikado

    Mikado Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 2, 2001
    What I do is just walk into their office at the hospital and ask them. I've observed tons of surgical procedures this way.
  6. fishtolive

    fishtolive Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    It often helps to know someone or at least network as much as possible. By this time last summer (as a rising junior) I was helping close patients and cutting stitches during hysterectomies, myomectomies, etc. like mad. Just be persistent, they like that and will start treating you like a med student (though, this is a BAD thing, believe me, lol).
  7. dorysara

    dorysara Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 28, 2001
    Philadelphia, PA
    One of the doctors I shadowed I met through the pre-health advisor at my undergrad, the other was the colleague of a friend of my family. I found it was useful to state when leaving the message that "So and So" (a person they knew) suggested I call.
  8. lmthoms1

    lmthoms1 Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    RIght now I'm interested in anesthesia and OB/GYN..but of course that might change by the time I hit residency
  9. hermanshermits

    hermanshermits Member 7+ Year Member

    May 1, 2001
    As a pre-med I never shadowed physicians because of liability issues and one doc told me this: "I want you to know anatomy and physiology and to be in a clinical phase of a curriculum before observing me."
  10. I'm only in high school but I have already shadowed three physicians. One of them I arranged through a family friend and the other two I arranged by e-mailing them. If I were you I would try and get ahold of the e-mail addresses of some local physicians and e-mail them asking if you can shadow them. This has worked for me.
    Good luck :)
  11. EUROdocMOM

    EUROdocMOM Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    May 23, 2001
    Kansas City
    I shoddow a DO and a female MD who is also German-I live in Germany. I love the different perspectives and seeing the day to day of the career I am trying so hard to pursue. KEEP TRYING!
    I went in cold to our local Army medical clinic, where I offered to volunteer. I help the nurses and other medical staff once or twice a week, and have gotten to know the docs while helping. EVERY medical clinic appreciates a willing volunteer! This is a great way to see the interworkings of a medical facility as well. Try it! Some of the docs are not willing to participate , but the ones who are open to it are great!
  12. twister

    twister Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 21, 2001
    I'm not sure, but perhaps physicians at university/teaching hospitals - where they already are used to med students and residents - may be more open to non-med students.

    Then again, the examining room may be crowded with the med students aready!
  13. KG

    KG Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 28, 2000
    Syracuse, NY USA
    I'm shadowing a family friend, but to follow him into the operating room I have to get clearance (fill out a health form, proof of immunization, etc.) from the hospital's volunteer office.
  14. riotgurl

    riotgurl Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    May 30, 2001
    I shadowed this doctor in the er about a month ago for the first time. It was, to put it bluntly, a very interesting experience. The first patient she went to that I saw was this elderly woman who was constipated. I'm not even in college yet, so i don't know the medical terminology, but basically she stuck her hand up there :) I was definitely grossed out. The night consisted of elderly people with diabetes and drunks. There weren't any major traumas, but it was a great experience. She's going to let me come again. I also have this shadowing appointment with a pathologist, if he ever calls me back.
  15. Atlas

    Atlas Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 27, 2001
    Columbus, OH
    Hi there. I'm currently shadowing an Ophthalmologist and he's awesome. I was a little unsure about how to approach him, because I was intimidated at first. I know him from ballroom dancing class. I met a couple docs there, actually. A great place to look for docs is at social events where they're out of their "normal" habitats. I've found that if you get to know them on a personal level first, they'll be more willing to help you out as opposed to a stranger off the street! One more thing...check into shadowing physicians that you normally wouldn't think would allow you to be around. Surgeons, for example, LOVE to show off their trade and more importantly their surgical "skillz". I was denied only once by a doc that didn't know me, so that gave me the "moxy" needed to ask the doc I know from dance class. But, because I've become "tight" with him first on neutral ground, he welcomes me with open arms anytime I feel like showing up! It works like a friendship. Try it! Good luck!

  16. Meli

    Meli Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 18, 2001
    St. Paul, MN USA
    At first I wasn't sure where to look either. I decided to write a letter to my orthopedic surgeon even though his practice is 75 miles away and I had not seen him in 7 years. He wrote back and gave me contact names in my area. I tried the first person on the list and Bingo, a setup! This may just be my opinion, but I wanted to approach the docs in a professional manner. Unless you know someone fairly well, I would not recommend a phone call or an e-mail. Too casual. These days a letter can set you apart and show that you are serious about your intentions. Just my $.02..

    Good Luck!! Meli :) :D

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