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Shadowing

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Dr. Retractor, Sep 7, 2014.

  1. Dr. Retractor

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    I have about 50 hours of shadowing with 6 different specialties: a surgical subspecialty, IM, Peds, path, rad onc, and IR. I've gotten pretty good exposure to a lot of facets of medicine and I'm not sure if I would gain that much from shadowing more. However, the number of hours I have is low compared to others who have 80+ hours. I was wondering if having 50 hours of diverse shadowing was enough or if I should look into shadowing more specialties. I have competitive stats and great ECs otherwise.
     
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  3. Sirphillup

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    I would definitely look into shadowing more hours or finding some other type of clinical exposure (scribe, volunteering, etc.). 50 hours with a few specialties is not a long time to get a feel for the daily routine of each specialty, so I would definitely get a little more under my belt if I could.

    If you have other great EC's, you may be able to pass not having much clinical exposure, but this is something that might be asked in an interview, so be ready.
     
  4. Catalystik

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    I think that your physician shadowing exposure is fine with a total of 50 hours of passive observing, which is about the average listed. Hopefully, you also have some active patient experience where you had a chance to interact with sick and injured folks in a helpful way. If acquired through volunteering in a clinical environment, the average is about 150 hours gained over 1.5 years or so.
     
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  5. Dr. Retractor

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    I should have specified, I do have clinical exposure besides shadowing.
     
  6. Dr. Retractor

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    1.5 years before submitting your application? Or 1.5 years including the application year?
     
  7. Catalystik

    Catalystik Platinum
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    Before submitting and listed on the application as completed (there is no reliable way to track what happens after application). Keep in mind that is the average and some get by with a year, or less, especially at schools that consider active and passive clinical experience combined. Medical employment or clinical research with patient exposure are other ways to get active patient experience.
     
  8. NickNaylor

    NickNaylor Thank You for Smoking
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    As long as you're able to discuss your reasons for going into medicine intelligently and you seem to have a grasp on what physicians actually do, no one is going to care about 50 vs. 80 hours of shadowing experience. I've seen applicants at my school (top 10) that have similar amounts of hours. It clearly didn't hamper them.

    I've said this a million times, but ultimately the hours are somewhat irrelevant. If you sound like a fool but list 1000 hours of clinical experience on your app, those hours are going to count for nothing. Conversely, if you "only" have 50-100 hours of clinical experience but your decision to become a physician seems well thought-out and realistic, then no one is going to slight you for your relatively "small" number of hours. What's more important is that you took away something from the time, not that you did the time.
     
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  9. Dr. Retractor

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    Side question: Wouldn't someone of moderate intelligence be able to discuss their decision to go into medicine intelligently based on information they gathered on the internet (not just SDN but other sites like reddit and kevinmd)? Or would an adcom be able to see right through this?
     
  10. So if the ~1.5 years is done before applying and completed, it is treated equally as someone who has 1.5 years but is active?
    I've read here that active clinical volunteering looks better then the 2 years which may have been done freshman+soph year.
    I did not know that they are equivalent to an adcom, so thanks for the info!
     
  11. Catalystik

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    By "completed" I meant hours in which you have already engaged, not including what you plan for the future. I did not intend for the term to imply that you would never again enter the doorway of a medical facility. About 1.5 years completed at the time of application is even better if the activity is continuing into the future, as you have something relevant to mention on Secondaries, in update letters (where allowed), and during interview conversations that supports your ongoing interest. And of course, if you end up reapplying for some reason, you're likely in a stronger position the second time around. A gap of two years with zero clinical engagement (interactive or passive) at the time of submission probably wouldn't reflect well.
     

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