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What is Shadowing?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Intrepidation, Jul 29, 2001.

  1. Intrepidation

    Intrepidation I wear PASG underwear 7+ Year Member

    Jul 25, 2001
    I am relatively new to the world of 'being a premed' although i have yearned to be a doc for quite some time. From what i have read shadowing is following around a doc for what? one day? What is the sheer purpose of this?
    Does it look good on applications to shadow every field of medicine you can find? I am intrested in Family Medicine, so would it be good to shadow a Family Doc for a day? Do they write letters of recommendation for you? Please fill me in on all the details of shadowing. Thanks
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  3. Amy B

    Amy B I miss my son so much Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    I shadowed a pediatric oncologist and his med students a number of times to see what this specialty career would be like. This is my field of interest and I wanted to know if I could handle it emotionally. I know I have a long time before I would be making a choice about my specialty but I wanted to know what it was like.

    I would follow the doc around as he vistied his patients. It was quite interesting.

    I did put this experience in my personal essay simply to show my ongoing interest in the field of cancer. Cancer is my personal reason behind my drive to become a doctor.

    I did not get a recomendation letter for this. I had enough letters for the other volunteering I've done for the past 2 1/2 years.

    After shadowing I did look for a way to help out in the cancer center. I wanted to do as much as I could to help the patients so I become a volunteer in the cancer and now I bring refreshments to the people receiving treatments.

    If you want to shadow, use it as an opportunity to see what a doctor's day entails. It is good insight into your future career.
  4. Popoy

    Popoy SDN Super Moderator 10+ Year Member

    Apr 22, 2001
    You might want to consider shadowing a DO, in your case seeing you're a TCOM hopeful.... then possibly get a letter of rec. The point of "shadowing" is that you have an understanding of what goes on in a daily life of a doctor and then you can ask yourself if this is what you really want to do for the rest of your life.... I guess it shows the adcoms that you've done your homework and you're still serious about medicine.

    BTW, it's a heck of a lot easier to answer a "Practice Vision" type question on your secondaries if you'd shadow a doc that you want to become some day....
  5. emdeetwobee

    emdeetwobee Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 4, 2001
    Unlike most, I don't have any relatives or close associates who are doctors. I tried asking for shadowing opportunities while I volunteered hoping to get recs later on. But the doctors would always say stuff about patient privacy and liability. The secretaries are the worst... I just plain hate them. I come up front nicely dressed, CV in hand and ask if I could speak to the chief resident, and when I mentioned shadowing, she just flat out rejected me. Some of my other friends tell me that if I had done research with a faculty doctor, I would've had more opportunity.
  6. Amy B

    Amy B I miss my son so much Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    The way I got to shadow was through a doctor I have volunteered with for the past two years at a free clinic. I told him I was interested in seeing what a pediatric oncologist did and he gave me the name of one of his co-workers at the med school hospital. He offered to call that doctor and let him know that I was going to be contacting him.

    If you already volunteer in a clinical setting with other doctors, ask them who they would recommend you shadow. :cool: :cool:

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