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Shadowing Multiple Docs?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by JacksonInTheBox, Dec 28, 2008.

  1. JacksonInTheBox

    5+ Year Member

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    I have been shadowing and working with a general surgeon for about 9 months now and I really enjoy working with him but I was wondering if it I should shadow other doctors as well.

    I am just worried because I have been able to get a lot of work done with this surgeon, even get an article published, and he's told me we would be able to do even more in-depth research but this would take up ALOT of time and I don't think I could really do anything else along with my coursework.

    So what would be better? Keep working with the surgeon or try shadowing other doctors in different areas of medicine.
     
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  3. scpod

    Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Surgery is MUCH different than the rest of the world of medicine. It might be good to spend a few days with someone else, just to look at the differences.
     
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  4. Chocolate Bear

    Chocolate Bear Moderizzle Fo'Shizzle!
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    Hey, that sounds like an amazing opportunity! A few thoughts to help with your planning:

    Most students shadow a doc for anywhere from 4-100 hours. Personally, I never did less than 25 hrs, and had one doc I shadowed for a few hundred. Most people spend a shift or two and then split, getting a little taste of each specialty they shadow.

    The fact that he's let you hang around this long and that you've benefitted so much from it is great and very rare! If you have an interest in continuing with this experience, then by all means, do it.

    However, like scpod said, surgery is completely different than most other specialties. It would definitely benefit you to take a couple of shifts here or there and spend them with other specialists, even if you continue the long term surgery experience. You'll get to see other aspects of medicine without jeopardizing this great thing you have going for you.

    :luck: :thumbup:
     
  5. JacksonInTheBox

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    what specialists have you worked with? I also have not shadowed a DO yet. Is that really important? Ive heard the way DOs practice is no different than MDs, but there must be some difference if they specifically want a LOR from a DO.
     
  6. scpod

    Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    In practice there is no difference, except that you will sometimes find an occasional DO who uses OMM in his or her practice. Getting an LOR from a DO is not required at all schools, and it's really just a formality. For those schools who have it as a mandatory requirement, it shows that you took the time and effort required to do it.
     
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  7. Chocolate Bear

    Chocolate Bear Moderizzle Fo'Shizzle!
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    I've seen rheumatologists, internal med, family med, psych, neuro, cardiology, ER, and a few surgical specialties.

    Shadowing a DO is a great idea for a few reasons:

    1. Many schools want a DO letter of rec. Check my signature for more info.

    2. DOs can be different from MDs, they just often are not. If you shadow an OMM (Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine) DO, you'll get the best feel for the biggest difference between the two routes. Most DOs will simply not use OMM in practice, but many keep the techniques handy and use them on friends and family. However, an OMM doc utilizes these techniques and makes a practice out of it. This can be very beneficial for patients as well as very profitable, as demand is often much higher than the current supply, in this area.

    3. You will have to answer the question, "Why Osteopathic Medicine?" in your secondary applications. Even if you shadow 10 DOs and 10 MDs and witness absolutely no difference in practice, you could confidently say that you know what it's like to be a DO and you might have been really encouraged/inspired by one of your DO mentors, which you could say helped motivate you and attracted you to Osteopathic medicine.

    4. Some schools are really proud that they are Osteopathic, separate from Allopathic schools. Thus, they are looking for students who really want to carry on the "DO tradition." Even if, in today's medicine, this is no different from most MD schools, this can be a point of pride that you would benefit by showing your enthusiasm towards, which is much easier to do if you have done your research. Shadow a few DOs and read "The DOs: Osteopathic Medicine in America" by Norman Gevitz. You'll be able to speak confidently about the profession. :thumbup:
     

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