DestinationMD

2+ Year Member
Jun 29, 2015
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Would it be beneficial to sit in on more than 1 surgery or rack up more direct shadowing hours? Ive already sat in on one entire spinal fusion. I can possibly sit in on a urology procedure, general surgery, open heart etc. I think these are better experiences than just shadowing a doc all day.

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IlDestriero

Ether Man
10+ Year Member
Nov 24, 2007
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The ivory tower.
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People here make it sound like you need to shadow hundreds of hours, every time I see that, I think of all the more useful things that could be done with that time.
I think I showed 3 physicians for about 50 hours total in 3 different fields to get an idea of what medicine was like in different settings (cardiologist, primary care clinic, surgeon). I already had ED experience as a volunteering gig. I did a bunch of 4 hour blocks. That's plenty and much more is of questionable benefit.
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
10+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
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I agree with @IlDestriero although I do think that a couple of full-days with a doc can be helpful to see the range of activities that go on in a day or during different days of the week and to get an idea of the length of the work day and, in the case of surgeons, how early it starts. o_O Surgeons also have pre-op and post-op clinic visits, there is rounding in the hospital on post-op patients, and some surgical subspecialists, such as urologists, see non-surgical patients, too.
 

Neuroplasticity

2+ Year Member
Jul 27, 2015
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I think one of the most beneficial aspects of shadowing is being able to talk face to face to a physician about the profession, their lifestyle, why and how they are where they are, things you can't learn about from google. It is also obviously important to observe what they do all day, but I think there are limited opportunities to do my first point while observing a surgery. So I'd recommend shadowing some if you haven't yet, and see a couple more surgeries if you have the time.
 
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NotASerialKiller

2+ Year Member
Jul 7, 2015
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People here make it sound like you need to shadow hundreds of hours, every time I see that, I think of all the more useful things that could be done with that time.
I think I showed 3 physicians for about 50 hours total in 3 different fields to get an idea of what medicine was like in different settings (cardiologist, primary care clinic, surgeon). I already had ED experience as a volunteering gig. I did a bunch of 4 hour blocks. That's plenty and much more is of questionable benefit.
I agree, but I think more often than not SDN pretty accurately represents the shadowing requirement. You have to do some, but doing tons won't help you. I can't recall too many instances of people writing "u needs teh lots moar shadow!!"

As for the OP's question, as long as it's all marked down as "shadowing" and you have reasonable chunk of it, do whatever you would enjoy more. I shadowed an anaesthesiologist and I loved seeing all the different surgeries
 
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