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shadowing

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by jcs307, Mar 8, 2007.

  1. jcs307

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    I am currently finishing my MSW program. This year, my internship is in the NICU at a local hospital. Since I know different residents and attendings in the NICU and OB, I was considering asking them if I could shadow. I'm not sure how to go about asking though--do people usually shadow for just a day or for a more extended period of time? Also, I would hope that they would be receptive as I already have access to the hospital and have interacted with them frequently. I guess I'm just nervous about asking...
    Any suggestions?
     
  2. tiredmom

    tiredmom Senior Member
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    I'd say to pull one aside and ask, it shouldn't be a big deal. Good luck and congrats on finishing the MSW!
     
  3. Catalystik

    Catalystik Platinum
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    Our local hospitals don't permit shadowing due to confidentiality rules. You can find out if this will be an issue in your institution by asking first at the Director of Residency Education office (or wherever they refer you). If it is an issue, then ask the attendings you know if you could shadow at their private offices (where they can set their own rules). Length and frequency of shadowing is decided between you and the docs. It's nice you know representatives of two specialties.
     
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  4. docolive

    docolive DOColive
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    Just ask!! They will love you for it. Maybe that is an exaggeration but I have found that physicians are very willing to let you shadow them. In surgery, you just make sure that the patient consented to having his or her body used for teaching purposes.
     
  5. sirmalcs

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    For the most part if you are at the hospital for education or volunteering purposes then you can get around HIPPA. So you may not be able to just walk in one day to shadow, but you could shadow a doc while you were there during the internship or if you volunteered.
     
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  6. pingouin

    pingouin just chillin'
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    I'm a MSW who works part-time at 2 different hospitals. Does your field placement supervisor know about your med school plans? If so, I'd ask him/her for suggestions on which physician to ask. If they've been around a while, they'll know who's "social work friendly". Not to mention, they may know the physicians fairly well, and may be able to help you get in contact.

    I'm assigned to a service at one of my hospitals, so I round with my attending and the rotating resident every day that I'm there (2-3x/week). It's been an amazing learning experience. (Plus, my background is in psych, so I get to lend that perspective to the team, and occasionally teach the residents a thing or two!!)
     
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  7. Tired Pigeon

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    Approach someone you want to shadow with an attitude of being interested in the specifics of what they do. Tell them you're headed for med school and want to explore areas that seem really interesting. If you approach people with politeness and enthusiasm for finding out more about what they do, most people will respond really positively.

    I shadowed a few people before starting med school. Some were just for a day in clinic, which was fine, but one invited me to shadow 'anytime'. After a few more times shadowing, she ended up becoming a mentor and close friend that actually asked to write one of my LORs for my med school application.

    While you're shadowing, try to think of good questions about the cases you see. Many docs (especially the ones willing to have a student shadow them) are natural teachers & really enjoy interacting with students; this type of interaction makes the shadowing experience more enjoyable for both sides.

    Good luck to you in medicine!:luck:
     
  8. OP
    OP
    jcs307

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    Thanks all for the suggestions and advice! I asked one of the neonatalogists today and she said yes. I don't know why I was so nervous about asking! She said I could shadow once or more frequently, whatever I wanted. I think I'm going to do it in late April/May.

    This sounds dumb, but what kinds of things do you do when shadowing? I wonder if she goes to a delivery if I'll be able to go as well. Very exciting. It'll be nice to see things from the other side!:oops:
     
  9. CATallergy

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    when I shadowed (once upon a time), each night I researched everything I could remember from the day in a specialty-specific textbook. within a few days, you are ready to benefit from very educational conversations in-between patients, and the doctor gets the satisfaction of actually getting to teach you something and see you progress. warning: do not be critical or try to be impressive. Be genuine and cool, and the experience can be awesome.
     

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