Dec 30, 2009
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I was hoping to get your opinions on shadowing physicians. If and when I do apply for med school, I'm looking at doing a internal medicine residence with either going into a career as a internist or possibly specializing in endocrinology, infectious disease, or allergy/immunology. That being the case I have two questions.

1) What 2 or 3 different kinds of doctors should I shadow if my intention is to do IM?

2) I have several personal physicians. Do you think it is a good idea to shadow with my own personal physicians who have known and seen me as a patient for many many years or shadow with a doctor who does not know me at all??

I look forward to your opinions!
 

Procyon

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Nov 22, 2009
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It probably doesn't matter what kinds of physicians you shadow; shadowing a particular kind of physician now won't hurt or help your career aspirations for a particular specialty. Definitely try to get in touch with doctors who know you, because they're more likely to say yes. I've heard it's wise to shadow a primary care doc, but other than that, just shadow a doc in whatever interests you personally. Good luck. :)
 

ITtoMD

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Mar 10, 2008
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Yeah, pick someone you think would be interesting, and that is willing to let you. Getting with the right one can teach you a TON. If you have a good relationship with some of your personal docs then I don't see why not.

But I would certainly shadow now. I know some who did and realized "wow, this isn't for me." Me personally, as a nontrad, I had given up a successful career already, and shadowing reaffirmed I was doing the right thing.

Best of luck to you. Whatever you do, med schools like to see a pattern over time, it's better to do 20 hours over 10 weeks than 20 hours over 2 weeks, I mean. Same (more so) with volunteering. Get a lil in here and there over time, shows a commitment.
 

Insulinshock

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I've volunteered in a hospital for a year, and I also have extensive shadowing experience. I'm for shadowing all the way.

Shadowing lets you see what the physician does literally on a minute-to-minute basis. You also get to see a lot more procedures. With that, I've shadowed a FP, pediatrician, EM physician, surgeon, cardiologist, PA, and an endocrinologist. I'd say the best specialties to shadow would be EM, FP, and surgeon. You learn the most and really get a hands on feel for medicine.

I would definitely shadow your personal physicians. They all know you and will be more likely to share information with you, and it won't be as awkward. :thumbup: