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Trying to shadow a D.O. - so frustrating!

Reinhard

Power User
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Jun 15, 2004
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DC
    I've been trying to find a D.O. who is willing to be shadowed but to no avail. I contacted my state association (Maryland) and received a list of D.O.'s "who take students". Even though it was updated in May 2006, the list has so many inaccuracies that it's virtually useless. Several of the doctors retired or moved out of state (within last two months?). Some others apparently had their emergency numbers listed (under "work phone") and weren't too pleased to hear from someone looking to shadow. Yet some others only took medical students and no pre-doctoral students. So I gave up.

    Then I went to the AOA website and tried to contact D.O.s listed there, but that didn't work either. Often I was told to leave a voicemail for the receptionist (I did, but I don't know if that's going anywhere). Or I was flat-out told by the receptionist that her doctor doesn't do shadowing. At no time I was told I could shadow the doctor.

    Any suggestions? This is getting really frustrating. I really want to shadow a D.O. and learn more about osteopathic medicine before I apply.
     

    rub1003

    Junior Member
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    Jul 3, 2006
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    1. Pre-Medical
      I'm from Maryland too and I did find it a little difficult to find someone to shadow. But you have to be persistant. If they don't call you back by a day, call them back again until you get to talk to the doctor or until the receptionist tells the doctor and you have a definite answer. Voicemails can get ignored, so can letters. Though phone calls seems a bit "unofficial" its the best way to actually talk to doctors and tell them your situation. Where in Maryland do you live because I know a D.O. that will definitely take a shadow, and she's GREAT!

      Reinhard said:
      I've been trying to find a D.O. who is willing to be shadowed but to no avail. I contacted my state association (Maryland) and received a list of D.O.'s "who take students". Even though it was updated in May 2006, the list has so many inaccuracies that it's virtually useless. Several of the doctors retired or moved out of state (within last two months?). Some others apparently had their emergency numbers listed (under "work phone") and weren't too pleased to hear from someone looking to shadow. Yet some others only took medical students and no pre-doctoral students. So I gave up.

      Then I went to the AOA website and tried to contact D.O.s listed there, but that didn't work either. Often I was told to leave a voicemail for the receptionist (I did, but I don't know if that's going anywhere). Or I was flat-out told by the receptionist that her doctor doesn't do shadowing. At no time I was told I could shadow the doctor.

      Any suggestions? This is getting really frustrating. I really want to shadow a D.O. and learn more about osteopathic medicine before I apply.
       

      MJB

      Senior Member
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      Apr 12, 2005
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      1. Attending Physician
        I live in the state where Osteopathic Med was founded, and I had a hell of a time...keep it up, and network, network, network...that's how I finally got one to shadow...
         
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        NewNick

        COMP 2010
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        Oct 12, 2005
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        1. Medical Student
          If you can find a primary care doc such as family, internal med, pediatric, etc., try those people first. Come and talk to them at their clinic if they don't or forget to call you back.
           

          Dr Zoidberg

          New Member
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          Apr 22, 2006
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            Try to contact an D.O. school. More likely than not, they could give you the contact information of a local D.O. willing to take students. The added benifit is that they'd probably be affiliated with the school and it'd look even better on your application.
            I know my school has programs for those interested in becoming a D.O. at the high school and college level. Even attending an open house at the school could help get your foot in the door.
            My advice, watch the school's website. They may hold an events throughout the year that you could attend and meet administrators and D.Os (even students at your nearest school could be of help).
             

            Crookshanks

            Juju
            10+ Year Member
            Jun 18, 2006
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            Florida
            1. Pre-Medical
              Hi, I just want to share my experience, I think it might help someone out there.

              I'm bilingual, so I volunteered at a local free clinic as an interpreter (between patient and doctor). It so happens the doctor I get to work with is a D.O.

              So, IF you're bilingual, and IF there's a local free clinic, and IF they need interpreters, and IF they have D.O.'s volunteering, then maybe you can take advantage of that opportunity. It's not officially "shadowing", but you're actually working side by side with the doctor and you'll feel involved in the patients care, instead of just watching. PLUS it's volunteer work. And it's truely rewarding...it's FREE healthcare for people who NEED it.

              Hope this helps SOMEONE. It's a unique opportunity, but it's wonderful.

              Best of luck!
               

              breakitdown753

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              Jun 24, 2006
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              Texas
              1. Pre-Medical
                Reinhard said:
                I've been trying to find a D.O. who is willing to be shadowed but to no avail. I contacted my state association (Maryland) and received a list of D.O.'s "who take students". Even though it was updated in May 2006, the list has so many inaccuracies that it's virtually useless. Several of the doctors retired or moved out of state (within last two months?). Some others apparently had their emergency numbers listed (under "work phone") and weren't too pleased to hear from someone looking to shadow. Yet some others only took medical students and no pre-doctoral students. So I gave up.

                Then I went to the AOA website and tried to contact D.O.s listed there, but that didn't work either. Often I was told to leave a voicemail for the receptionist (I did, but I don't know if that's going anywhere). Or I was flat-out told by the receptionist that her doctor doesn't do shadowing. At no time I was told I could shadow the doctor.

                Any suggestions? This is getting really frustrating. I really want to shadow a D.O. and learn more about osteopathic medicine before I apply.


                Aww I feel sorry for you because I know exactly how FRUSTRATING it is trying to find a D.O. to shadow. But what you have experienced is not solely characteristic of D.O.'s but in all doctors in general. What you will find is that doctors are busy and most don't want somebody following them around all day, let alone for an extended period of time. Trying to find a D.O. makes it only harder because there are so few of them. Here is my advice to you since I've found 3 D.O.'s to shadow. Finding a D.O. is a numbers game, you will get rejected a lot and that's just the way it is, but don't give up, call all the D.O.'s in your area tell them your university affilitation, year, and that you are interested in osteopatic medicine. If you call 10 you will surely find 1 that will let you shadow. You must have a couple of hospitals in your area. Look up the hospital's website and go to the physician directory. Look under family practice, or internal medicine since this is where you will find most of your D.O.'s. Also remember to leave a message, because doctors will rarely come to the phone even if they are standing right there. Hope this advice helps you find some doctors to shadow. Good luck :thumbup:
                 

                scpod

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                Oct 13, 2005
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                1. Attending Physician
                  Reinhard said:
                  I've been trying to find a D.O. who is willing to be shadowed but to no avail.

                  You don't really have to shadow a DO. All you have to do is get a DO recommendation letter (and it's possible to get by without that at some schools). You can easily gain medical experience elsewhere, like volunteering in the hospital, and just meet with a DO on a few occasions and let him/her get to know you. Perhaps you can meet with them over lunch once or twice. In a lot of cases, that's all it takes to get the coveted DO letter. Most of them are really busy, but if you want to be a DO, then you just have to find a way to work yourself into their schedule. Let them know how bad you want it and they might just sit down and write a few sentences out for you; it doesn't take much. Thousands of people have already done it that way. It might not be easy, but I'll bet you that it's easier than the four years you'll spend in medical school.
                   

                  BrownianMotion

                  Einstein's Simple Diffusion
                  10+ Year Member
                  Aug 2, 2004
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                  Planet Earth
                  1. Fellow [Any Field]
                    Reinhard said:
                    I've been trying to find a D.O. who is willing to be shadowed but to no avail. I contacted my state association (Maryland) and received a list of D.O.'s "who take students". Even though it was updated in May 2006, the list has so many inaccuracies that it's virtually useless. Several of the doctors retired or moved out of state (within last two months?). Some others apparently had their emergency numbers listed (under "work phone") and weren't too pleased to hear from someone looking to shadow. Yet some others only took medical students and no pre-doctoral students. So I gave up.

                    Then I went to the AOA website and tried to contact D.O.s listed there, but that didn't work either. Often I was told to leave a voicemail for the receptionist (I did, but I don't know if that's going anywhere). Or I was flat-out told by the receptionist that her doctor doesn't do shadowing. At no time I was told I could shadow the doctor.

                    Any suggestions? This is getting really frustrating. I really want to shadow a D.O. and learn more about osteopathic medicine before I apply.
                    Try this site, its extremely useful: http://www.osteopathic.org/YOM/mentor_search.htm
                     

                    SpecialK_07

                    New Member
                    10+ Year Member
                    Jul 24, 2006
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                    1. Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
                      Hey there- I live in Baltimore and am really interested in shadowing a D.O. Please reply with any additional information and thank you in advance for your help!

                      rub1003 said:
                      I'm from Maryland too and I did find it a little difficult to find someone to shadow. But you have to be persistant. If they don't call you back by a day, call them back again until you get to talk to the doctor or until the receptionist tells the doctor and you have a definite answer. Voicemails can get ignored, so can letters. Though phone calls seems a bit "unofficial" its the best way to actually talk to doctors and tell them your situation. Where in Maryland do you live because I know a D.O. that will definitely take a shadow, and she's GREAT!
                       
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