MedicalSonata

Friendly Pre-Med, PM me!
10+ Year Member
Nov 9, 2008
113
1
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi,

I shadowed a doctor last week in a hospital...and quite frankly, I felt awkward and out of place. He was really nice, he explained things to me, but it just felt odd jumping up and following him around everywhere. I felt like I was in the way, I dunno. It was just odd.

I only shadowed him for 5 hours, then I went home. Should I ask to come back again or what? I emailed him a thank you note..
 

Zona Pellucida

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Nov 17, 2008
2,446
3
Status
Medical Student
Don't worry!

I shadowed a Dermatologist random days over about a months time and the first day I felt awkward and out of place. He is an awesome guy and explained everything to me, yet the first day I barely understood anything as he used a lot of Dermatology terms I was unfamiliar with. He directed me to this one website where I learned SO many terms and common illnesses. I made myself a little study guide with everything in it including pictures of various skin lesions and from the second time on I knew everything that was going on and it was a much more rewarding experience.

Do some work at home and bring it in with you if you are confused! My doctor liked that I did this and actually took some time to ask me if there was anything in my guide that I did not fully understand and he helped me out even more. It was one of the best experiences ever as the patients were also extremely welcoming and solidified my wishes to eventually work outpatient.
 
About the Ads

rjf

10+ Year Member
Nov 14, 2008
52
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Wait to see if he responds to you and invites you back.

Everything feels awkward when you're new at it. Hopefully you learned a thing or two about what he does though, right?
Any doctor that you shadow will likely NOT be responding to a thank you note by inviting you back. You need to take the initiative and ask to shadow again, and again, and again. That is how you are going to build a relationship with them. After you have developed this relationship is when your shadowing experience will be meaningful and feel not so awkward. Give it time and it will become more familiar and thus more comfortable. Who knows, if you get along well enough you may even get a letter or recommendation.
 

236116

Guest
10+ Year Member
Dec 8, 2008
1,327
3
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
It's always awkward the first time.

Practice makes perfect.

Just do it a couple of times more...you might start to like it!! :D
You have no idea how much not making the obvious comparison is costing me.
 

darkosbunny

10+ Year Member
Dec 26, 2008
93
0
Orlando, FL
Status
Pre-Medical
I think it's supposed to feel awkward the first time. It for sure isn't going to feel natural. You're not a health care professional and being in that environment as a pre-med student for the first time is going to feel a little strange. I guarantee a few more times doing it and it won't be so awkward anymore.
 
Last edited:

MedicalSonata

Friendly Pre-Med, PM me!
10+ Year Member
Nov 9, 2008
113
1
Status
Pre-Medical
You have no idea how much not making the obvious comparison is costing me.
....XD

I did enjoy it...but I think he thought I was uninterested. I WAS interested, but like when he showed me something I'd go "Oh..cool" or something, I think I looked bored. Which I wasn't...except when he did paperwork.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dswiggles

236116

Guest
10+ Year Member
Dec 8, 2008
1,327
3
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
....XD

I did enjoy it...but I think he thought I was uninterested. I WAS interested, but like when he showed me something I'd go "Oh..cool" or something, I think I looked bored. Which I wasn't...except when he did paperwork.
Make sure you tell him you were interested. Add that you didn't want to be to over the top and scare him off from letting you come back... except in professional language.
 

Jolie South

is invoking Domo. . .
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Jun 4, 2007
11,605
780
Deep in the Heart of Texas
Status
Resident [Any Field]
....XD

I did enjoy it...but I think he thought I was uninterested. I WAS interested, but like when he showed me something I'd go "Oh..cool" or something, I think I looked bored. Which I wasn't...except when he did paperwork.
Definitely ask to come back.

maybe, keep a notepad and write down things you have questions about while he's doing paperwork. you could do research on those questions and ask him to clarify things that you didn't understand.

it would show that you were interested.
 
Last edited:

armybound

urologist.
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Jan 1, 2007
4,818
471
Uranus
Status
Attending Physician
Any doctor that you shadow will likely NOT be responding to a thank you note by inviting you back. You need to take the initiative and ask to shadow again, and again, and again. That is how you are going to build a relationship with them. After you have developed this relationship is when your shadowing experience will be meaningful and feel not so awkward. Give it time and it will become more familiar and thus more comfortable. Who knows, if you get along well enough you may even get a letter or recommendation.
why would one assume that a doctor would not respond to an email? does getting an MD somehow elevate you into some new plane of existence? doctors are people too, and this one may actually be a decent human being and be curteous enough to invite his visitor back for more.

if he doesn't, then yes, it should be the pre-med's responsibility to ask.
 

229141

Guest
10+ Year Member
Oct 21, 2008
1,036
3
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi,

I shadowed a doctor last week in a hospital...and quite frankly, I felt awkward and out of place. He was really nice, he explained things to me, but it just felt odd jumping up and following him around everywhere. I felt like I was in the way, I dunno. It was just odd.

I only shadowed him for 5 hours, then I went home. Should I ask to come back again or what? I emailed him a thank you note..

Getting out of your comfort zone and doing things that feel awkward are a big part of this pre-med game. You will get used to it and be fine in my opinion...however at the same if this persists perhaps this doctors specialty is not for you.

Any doctor that you shadow will likely NOT be responding to a thank you note by inviting you back. You need to take the initiative and ask to shadow again, and again, and again. That is how you are going to build a relationship with them. After you have developed this relationship is when your shadowing experience will be meaningful and feel not so awkward. Give it time and it will become more familiar and thus more comfortable. Who knows, if you get along well enough you may even get a letter or recommendation.
Yes exactly!

why would one assume that a doctor would not respond to an email?
Personal experience from multiple doctors not responding to emails
 

Superman78

10+ Year Member
Dec 22, 2008
118
1
Status
why would one assume that a doctor would not respond to an email? does getting an MD somehow elevate you into some new plane of existence? doctors are people too, and this one may actually be a decent human being and be curteous enough to invite his visitor back for more.

if he doesn't, then yes, it should be the pre-med's responsibility to ask.
You ask in the thank you note. Slip something in like "I would love to do it again." Most doctors don't want some kid following them around all the time so they're certainly not going to take the initiative and ask you. But if you take the initiative and ask them politely, they'll have a hard time saying no.
 
About the Ads

236116

Guest
10+ Year Member
Dec 8, 2008
1,327
3
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
You guys must know some pretty unfriendly physicians.
ikr?

ignoring the first few who come to mind since i've got them wrapped around my little finger, most of the rest would reply and probably be ok with it.
 

Lukkie

Membership Revoked
Removed
10+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2007
2,760
3
I hate Pre-Meds!!!
Status
Pre-Medical
It's always awkward the first time.

Practice makes perfect.

Just do it a couple of times more...you might start to like it!! :D
i dont know if you were going for the innuendo here, but with your av and all, i cant help but think you are referring to another activity here...
 

229141

Guest
10+ Year Member
Oct 21, 2008
1,036
3
Status
Pre-Medical
You guys must know some pretty unfriendly physicians.
More that they are busy but yes I do not appreciate not getting emails back...but as pre-meds we have to put up with that kind of stuff..all part of the game
 

MedicalSonata

Friendly Pre-Med, PM me!
10+ Year Member
Nov 9, 2008
113
1
Status
Pre-Medical
This guy is actually super nice...one of the most amazing doctor's I've seen. He hugs his patients and stuff, and many patients request him (Emergency Room) when they come in. He seems to generally care, and I really liked him. I actually do like his specialty, EM is what I want to do.
 

Superman78

10+ Year Member
Dec 22, 2008
118
1
Status
Then the awkwardness was your own fault, and he definitely felt it too. Next time have a bunch of questions ready to ask him. It's not a guided tour.
 

ChubbyChaser

Yummmy
10+ Year Member
Apr 14, 2007
13,168
7
Status
Medical Student
i say shadow doctors in different specialities....it gets boring shadowing the same guy over and over.
 

rjf

10+ Year Member
Nov 14, 2008
52
0
Status
Pre-Medical
why would one assume that a doctor would not respond to an email? does getting an MD somehow elevate you into some new plane of existence? doctors are people too, and this one may actually be a decent human being and be curteous enough to invite his visitor back for more.

if he doesn't, then yes, it should be the pre-med's responsibility to ask.
All I was trying to say is do not "expect" the physician to actually ask you to come in again...it just isn't going to happen with your average (in terms of friendliness) doctor. Of course there may be those few doctors out there that actually do this but that is definitely not the norm. In my experience, I have shadowed some very friendly doctors yet I would not expect a single one to actually invite me back.
 

DrSno

Membership Revoked
Removed
10+ Year Member
Jun 27, 2008
832
0
Status
I was shadowing a cardiothoracic surgeon and one of the cardiologists in the operating room was bad mouthing the patient's parents because they couldn't have the surgery on certain days of the week which in their belief system were bad luck (they were from Mongolia).

I asked, "Wait, aren't you a christian?"

She replied, "Yeah, what's your point?"

The surgeon and I had a good laugh. :laugh:
 

236116

Guest
10+ Year Member
Dec 8, 2008
1,327
3
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)

GoBuckeyes913

Intoxicating
10+ Year Member
Jan 23, 2007
369
17
Night’s Watch
Status
Attending Physician
Hi,

I shadowed a doctor last week in a hospital...and quite frankly, I felt awkward and out of place. He was really nice, he explained things to me, but it just felt odd jumping up and following him around everywhere. I felt like I was in the way, I dunno. It was just odd.

I only shadowed him for 5 hours, then I went home. Should I ask to come back again or what? I emailed him a thank you note..
I remember feeling really awkward the first time I shadowed a doc. Don't worry, this feeling will go away during med school. I think it's because as a premed, you really don't know anything about medicine yet (totally not an insult). You want to be involved, but no matter how much they explain to you everything just feels weird. It's normal :)
 

MedicalSonata

Friendly Pre-Med, PM me!
10+ Year Member
Nov 9, 2008
113
1
Status
Pre-Medical
I was shadowing a cardiothoracic surgeon and one of the cardiologists in the operating room was bad mouthing the patient's parents because they couldn't have the surgery on certain days of the week which in their belief system were bad luck (they were from Mongolia).

I asked, "Wait, aren't you a christian?"

She replied, "Yeah, what's your point?"

The surgeon and I had a good laugh. :laugh:

...I don't get it?
 
About the Ads