Dec 1, 2010
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Pre-Medical
My university's pre-med advisor can only speak in one-word grunts and head nods, so I would appreciate some other opinions on shadowing as it applies to my own case.

I am a volunteer Firefighter/EMT and work as an ER Tech at a busy hospital with a Level 1 trauma center. I also volunteer as a medical interpreter.

Given this background, I feel that shadowing a doctor would be redundant, since being a medical interpreter is just like shadowing (except it's actually doing something for the physician) and I am around them constantly in the ER.

I would greatly appreciate some advice on this. I would rather not be a burden on a busy doctor, but I am not against arranging some shadowing time if absolutely necessary.

I plan on pursuing a career in emergency medicine, if that changes anything.

Thanks
 

ReptarBar

10+ Year Member
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Jul 15, 2008
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i would get some shadowing experience from non-EM docs. it would balance out your experiences, and it will look like you have seen more sides to medicine. just because it doesn't relate to EM is irrelevent...you don't pick your specialty in college, and you should not apply with the mentality that you want to do only one specialty (also don't let them know this...).
 

Ursa

woof
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Oct 19, 2010
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while the hospital's ED may give you a lot of exposure to Emergency Medicine, they want to see a variety of shadowing. Would you actually consider what you do in the ED as shadowing? I work in a family medicine clinic and I know what you mean by seeing and interacting with dr.'s on a daily basis, but saying hello in the hallway or chitchatting in the office is alot different from true shadowing. Shadow a dr in family medicine, internal medicine, peds, and some surgery if you want. That should be sufficient considering your exposure to em. medicine.

Just do it for the application process if nothing else, but I would advise you to not be so close minded before you even get into medical school. You go car shopping before you buy, right? So make sure you experience the different varieties of medicine before you decide anything.

EDIT: and as for being a burden on a dr...almost every doctor shadowed another doctor at one point or another when they were younger and aspiring to go to medical school. Most doctors are open to let you tag along, and those that aren't might not even be worth shadowing.
 

Catalystik

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Acting as a medical interpreter for a physician certainly covers shadowing as well. Even if you have interpreted for a variety of specialists in the ER, I suggest you formally shadow, at a minimum, an office-based primary care doc and someone caring for inpatients, like a hospitalist or intensivist, laborist or neonatologist, and/or maybe a surgeon, in order to get a broader experience. A day's worth for each of 2 more physicians should be enough if you don't have more time to put into it.
 
OP
tommy pickles
Dec 1, 2010
25
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Status
Pre-Medical
Thanks for all the great advice, shadowing in other specialties makes sense. I know a general surgeon and a few general practitioners that can help me out.

I am not closed-minded, I am simply interested in emergency medicine given my background in fire and rescue. I never said it is the only specialty that interests me.

Thanks again