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Volunteering / Shadowing

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by EyEnStein 07, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. EyEnStein 07

    EyEnStein 07 Senior ɸ Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 6, 2008
    East Coast
    Hello everyone,

    hopefully im not getting bashed for this however, i will be attending college in the fall and after a conversation with my current doctor, she remembered that i always wanted to go into medicine, there fore told me that she has friends at Mt.Sinai and Lennox hospital (located in NYC) and said that she will help me get a volunteering job there. She is a pediatrician and she mentioned that shadowing or volunteering for her is not a good idea because med schools might think that she is "helping me out" since she is my doctor.

    So she suggested that i go there and spend a summer. Is this a bad thing? I figure i could possibly ask to make it into a Volunteering/ Shadowing experience that way im kind of killing 2 birds with one stone. I have volunteered before throughout my high school years (im a senior about to graduate) and i have actually figured out what i want to do from it.

    So i was thinking that if i get the opportunity at the hospital i would take it and while volunteering be able to shadow different physicians just to expand my knowledge and what not.

    Would this be looked down upon if i volunteered or shadowed for a whole summer? i know a lot of people on there have done about 10 doctors and what not within a year and all at different places. Does it look bad to stick to one? im also assuming its not too early for me to start this, and my doctor told me that she helped a few students before and they gained a lot of experiance and knowledge.

    What are your views? Also i am most interested in Ophthalmology so i figure that i would get some experience at the hospitals and focus in that area, and of course in the future shadow other Ophthalmologists and Optometrists possibly...

    any ideas thoughts or comments? am i on the right track
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  3. Katatonic

    Katatonic 5+ Year Member

    Nov 6, 2007
    I don't know where you got the idea that this would be a bad idea, but take the opportunity. You get clinical experience. Who cares if you're not interested in Ophthalmology? The point is to experience the daily routine of a doctor and to get some patient contact.
  4. futuredrcrawfor

    futuredrcrawfor 2+ Year Member

    Dec 16, 2006
    First off- a couple days shadowing your pediatrician wouldn't look bad- I shadowed my general physician and she is writing me a LOR. However, I also shadowed 7 other doctors in the field I have always thought about going into (peds hem/onc).

    Volunteering is good- a summer would be great- remember though that many schools like to see long-term commitment (do something 1-4x a month while in school) so don't do one summer and then never volunteer again (some might argue with this but I really feel strongly about it)

    Start with the connections you have and then sometimes you can get other doctors names- my general gave me names of her friends/relatives in medical field if I was interested- I already made connections in the field I wanted so I just stuck with that.

    Good luck!
  5. 135892

    135892 Guest 2+ Year Member

    Feb 5, 2007
    Um... I'm not quite sure what you are asking here, but if you want to volunteer and get some clinical experience, then go for it. You don't have to over-do it, just a few hours a week is good enough. Personally, during the summer before college started, I just watched tv and did absolutely nothing, so you would at least be doing something productive with your time.
  6. EyEnStein 07

    EyEnStein 07 Senior ɸ Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 6, 2008
    East Coast
    no no i will but its like im just a bit confused as to how to shadow.

    I mean i will obviously be expecting to see different things each day, and over the summer will probably be 3 or 4 times a week, i dont really mind ive always been active in volunteering anyways. But i know theres a difference between volunteering and shadowing (2 different things right?)..Is there really a lot to learn? I know people say its just to get use to the lifestyle but i feel like i should be learning minor things about it...things that even if i dont understand, when i do get to it a light bulb will go off in my head.

    But of course i plan to not go to 10 different hospitals, but over the course of my years go to a few, maybe 1 or 2 privates just to acquire the experience.

    So would it look weird if i did it in the same place? Also what if i shadowed more than one doctor at the hospital, i don't want it to seem like i have a physical attraction to one place (referring to hospital)

    Also what other types of services are there except for volunteering? I know Sloan Kettering has a internship program, anything similar?
  7. Caesar

    Caesar In Memory of Riley Jane Physician Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Sep 26, 2007
    hSDN Alumni
    When you shadow no one expects you to know anything really, they tend to explain stuff to you, and you will pick up on some small things. It won't matter where you did it. I shadow in a large teaching hospital and an ENORMOUS teaching hospital.
  8. DrJosephKim

    DrJosephKim Advisor Physician SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

    Mar 29, 2008
    Pursue every opportunity you have to gain that clinical exposure. You will gain valuable insights and experience.
  9. doomknight

    doomknight Bing 2+ Year Member

    Apr 13, 2008
    volunteering and shadowing still count regardless of what you do. Just don't lie about it, may it be an exaggeration or understatement.

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