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Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by Maurizio, Dec 7, 2005.
What is the best way to approach a doctor I have never met about shadowing him/her?
Whatever way they communicate. Most of the docs here use email frequently. It's not hard; just be professional and brief in your email. The worst outcome is that you won't get a response.
One good way would be to contact the local medical society. Generally most physician members put their names on a list so that they can be contacted to be shadowed. The medical society does the contacting and matches you up. At least this service is offered by the Community Outreach Division of the Medical Society of the District of Columbia (the DC branch of the AMA). Check with your local medical society and see if you can get hooked up.
I went to the iowa osteopathic website (hoping to go DO) to get e-mail addresses. after that i just chose randomly about e-mailing, probably 10, mostly family practice. only 1 got back to me in about 2 weeks but it happened to be the areas best plastic surgeon. needless to say, i start shadowing after finals, so don't be afraid to e-mail people you think may be a no.
In your email did you give a lot of background or did you just straight out ask if you could shadow?
I used the email method because you can bypass the secretaries thus going strait to the source. As far as information let them know briefly where you stand and start with asking for just a meeting to talk about the profession then ask about shadowing at the meeting. Good Luck
I just stated that I am a student at XX University and I plan to attend medical school. Here, this is what I wrote:
My name is FrkyBgStok and I am currently a student at Awesome University majoring in Biology. I am planning to apply to medical school next year with osteopathic schools being my first choice (DMU in particular). I am very interested in the field of surgery however I am open as I have had little exposure to this field. I was wondering if there was anyway I can shadow you for a couple of days a week over Christmas break to get a real idea of what the medical field is like as I am sure ER, Scrubs, and House are not accurate portrayals. I certainly understand if not and I would appreciate any push you can give me in the correct direction. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.
This is the general idea, the doctor was also a DMU graduate. I changed it a little bit for each doctor but not a whole lot. In my area doctors don't check their e-mails often so the best luck I had was to send it to the practice e-mail nurse who screens it, sees the shadowing opportunity and doesn't know what to say she she forwards it to the doctor.
good advice. i could use it too.
I just contacted the doc, told him/her a little about me and what my goals were. I then told him/her that I would love to shadow them. All of them were great about it and I think a few of them were actually flattered about me asking them. Good luck. Just need to call and find out. The worse thing they could say is no.