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Shadowing in private practice - is it possible?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Allopathic [ MD ]' started by xnfs93hy, 05.14.14.

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  1. xnfs93hy

    xnfs93hy 7+ Year Member

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    I'm in the process of trying to get some physician shadowing experience. I tried to shadow a private practice psychiatrist I know very well, and he cited privacy concerns and said no. I recently tried again. I tried to shadow a private practice dermatologist and he, too, cited privacy concerns and said no. Is this something I will continue to encounter, if I try to shadow in private practice? How am I supposed to get experience, if docs keep telling me "no?"
     
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  3. Ismet

    Ismet PGY-fun SDN Administrator 5+ Year Member

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    Just keep trying. I shadowed a private practice psychiatrist, a family physician, and a pediatrician. Be prepared to hear a lot of "no" before you find a "yes."

    If you have gone through HIPAA training for a volunteer position or something, mentioning that might be beneficial. If you have not gone through HIPAA training, consider doing it.
     
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  4. xnfs93hy

    xnfs93hy 7+ Year Member

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    I'll try that. Thanks. What do I do for physicians with whom I have no personal relationship? Do I call up their office and ask?
     
  5. Ismet

    Ismet PGY-fun SDN Administrator 5+ Year Member

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    That would probably be your best bet, although I don't have personal experience doing that. All my shadowing was through the hospital I volunteered at and a few through personal connections. I believe people usually just cold call or email. Worst they can say is no.
     
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  6. mvenus929

    mvenus929 10+ Year Member

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    I did quite a bit of cold calling in college to set up a list of providers willing to allow students to shadow. We made it clear that we had them fill out HIPAA forms and stressed the importance of confidentiality, but some providers still were not comfortable. It is easier to do in an academic setting, because it's more accepted to have students in the room, but it's still possible to do in private practice.
     
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  7. Calumniam

    Calumniam

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    I have a few shadowing opportunities lined up (with one already complete) with a pretty high success rate. Instead of e-mailing or calling I printed off a letter on nice paper essentially saying what you'd say in any default shadowing e-mail. Then I stuck it in an envelope, stamped it and mailed it. My logic was that phone calls and e-mails are often screened, if not completely handled, by staff. A letter is something that the doctor is much more apt to view himself while in private. Not to mention your phone calls and e-mails may come during times when s/he is quite busy and doesn't want to deal with anything else at the time.

    It just shows more effort, care, and consideration was put into it on your part. No one wants to feel used, especially when they derive no benefit from you being around. I haven't received a negative reaction from anyone and those of whom I've heard back seemed to appreciate the bit of added effort.
     
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  8. drtanman

    drtanman 2+ Year Member

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    Your best bet is to contact a free clinic in your geographic area. They are less likely to have concerns about shadowing. Many doctors volunteer at free clinics monthly and some retired doctors volunteer weekly. Free clinics are under different laws, for example, "Good Samaritan Law". They like student volunteers.
     
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  9. xnfs93hy

    xnfs93hy 7+ Year Member

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    How do you shadow in an academic setting?
     
  10. xnfs93hy

    xnfs93hy 7+ Year Member

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    This is a good idea. I'll try this.
     
  11. mvenus929

    mvenus929 10+ Year Member

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    Contacting the physicians. I've seen plenty of undergrads shadowing in our ED, and we had one shadow our surgery attending when I was on surgery. If there are specific policies at the hospital, they should be able to let you know (sometimes shadowers have to go through volunteer training to be in the hospital).
     
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  12. FindMeOnTheLinks

    FindMeOnTheLinks 2+ Year Member

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    I shadowed in a dermatology private practice. I just stopped by and dropped off my CV with cover letter and the physician emailed me a couple days later saying he would love to have me. I think if you demonstrate how much you want to shadow by going to the actual location and asking them in person, you might find someone willing to let you shadow.
     
  13. ciestar

    ciestar 2+ Year Member

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    I actually looked at doctors at local medical schools and contacted them. Got about 20 hours out if it.
     
  14. gonnif

    gonnif Only 1425 Days Until Next Presidential Election Lifetime Donor 7+ Year Member

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    You can also try local county medical societies.
     
  15. pDeluxe

    pDeluxe 2+ Year Member

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    My shadowing experience began with me attending a lecture given at my school by a community physician. Just approached him afterwards and asked if I could shadow, he said yes. So, just be on the look out for such types of events, either at your school or perhaps at a local hospital.
     
  16. familyaerospace

    familyaerospace 5+ Year Member

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    See the link in my signature. Also I have shadowed private practice. The plastic surgeon, neurologist, obgyn, pediatrician and I think the nephrologist I shadowed were all private practice.
     

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