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Shadowing the summer before medical school begins

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ChymeofPassion

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Would it be worth it to shadow physicians in specialties you might be interested in the summer before medical school begins? I definitely want to do something competitive, and with the new P/F step it seems like getting a jump on knowing what I like and don't like to prioritize networking/research would be prudent, especially considering that my school isn't a top 20 (Top 50 USNEWS with lots of residencies at the institution).
 

libertyyne

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Shadow because you are genuinely interested in the specialty. Maybe do some research if you can.
Dont be afraid to shadow multiple specialties. Or change your mind.
 
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pm_me_fortnite_highlights

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Definitely. Go into M1 with an open mind, but I think the earlier you know what you want to do the better, as it can help inform your approach to class and research, etc. I wish I had shadowed more during the summer
 

IMGASMD

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No. Go enjoy your summer. You will have plenty of time and do plenty of “medical stuff” in the next few years.

Congrats and good luck.
 
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Dantrolene FC

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Unless it’s you’re dad who is a surgeon and is hooking you up with some guys from IR and Ortho, I’d say pass on it and enjoy your summer break.

You won’t have nearly as much street cred while shadowing as an MS0 compared the the very little, non-existent, street cred you’ll have as an MS1 with the fresh white coat that still has its creases.

I would also echo what the person said above about having an open mind and exploring early. I thought I wanted to do FM sports med. When we had a FM sports med doctor give is a lecture in first year, I asked the dude if I could shadow him, and I quickly found out it wasn’t for me.

And for the love of god, do not spend your summer pre-studying. Spend time with your family and friends and start searching for a sick apartment. I know you didn’t mention this, but every MS0 needs to read this.
 
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ChymeofPassion

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Definitely. Go into M1 with an open mind, but I think the earlier you know what you want to do the better, as it can help inform your approach to class and research, etc. I wish I had shadowed more during the summer
Yeah definitely going into with an open mind, but I want to have at least some kind of inclination as to what interests me.
 
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ChymeofPassion

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No. Go enjoy your summer. You will have plenty of time and do plenty of “medical stuff” in the next few years.

Congrats and good luck.
No worries, I have plenty of vacation planned once work is over mid-June. This would not be extensive shadowing, just to get a feeling.
 

Shirafune

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No worries, I have plenty of vacation planned once work is over mid-June. This would not be extensive shadowing, just to get a feeling.

If you're going to get bored out of your mind staying at home and don't want to hang out every single day (I get it), then by all means shadow a little bit here and there before starting. If you feel obligated to have some idea of what you're going to be interested in, don't feel like you have to. What you gain from shadowing now is not more helpful than shadowing as a pre-med. You probably don't have enough knowledge to contextualize their work day/specialty.

You don't have to get started with research starting day 1, month 1 or even within the first 6 months of medical school to do something competitive. I think it's best if you settle into your classes first and figure out how to set up a good foundation before diving into research.
 
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BlueRocket

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I'm all for shadowing and staying involved in the world of medicine between UG and med school, especially during a gap year. N=1, but for me personally, I ended up shadowing in a specialty that I hadn't considered before during my gap year. I realized that specialty was what I've been looking for (procedural, innovative, etc.) and have been doing some research which is leading to posters/pubs and has been a productive time (while also making time for relaxing)
 

Pepe18

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ChymeofPassion

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You definitely want to do something competitive.....what does that mean? The competitive specialties are so different from each other. It is good to prep for the most competitive field you are considering in the early years, but give it some time for your interests to develop.

I think shadowing is best when you know a little bit about what's going on. All the nuances between specialties, lifestyle, OR culture, type of patient-physician relationship opportunities, your future priorities, charting, call schedule, and so on doesn't make sense this early in the process (or at least it did not make sense to me). Choosing a specialty is a complex process.

The fields I'm most interested in happen to be the ones that require a competitive residency application; my interest does not stem from just wanting to pursue something competitive, it just so happens that my interests are in those fields.

I was worried about your second bolded section in your post. I was not considering this pre-matriculation shadowing until Step 1 because P/F. I am worried that if I don't start tailoring my application early enough I could be SOL since I do not go to a powerhouse school. Not necessarily saying I need to start on Day 1 or even Semester 1, but I do not think I could afford to wait until I rotate through that speciality to make a decision...
 

Pepe18

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