I would like to know how to go about finding a D.O. to shadow? I’m thinking about going to the pre-med advisor and seeing what she has to say (I’m new to this college as a post-bacc student). But let’s just say those avenues don’t pan out…what next? Pick up the local phonebook and call around or call the AOA? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Yeah, the phone book idea isn’t far off if nothing else is working out. I was going to do some volunteering at an ER that had several D.O.'s, but then approached one of our doctors at a clinic my family has used for years. With a little persistence, I got a great letter from her.
If the ER volunteering isn’t an option, then if there’s anything you can visit a D.O. for (I have had a recurring knee problem for a few years when I run, and had been meaning to get a good D.O. to check out my hip and knee alignment anyway) and bring it up during an appointment.
Sometimes, your university may have a program at the career center that matches you up for shadowing. In all honesty though, I have heard from people much more “in the know” than I that a shadowing letter is the weakest kind anyway. If you can find a D.O. and just do some sincere explaining about what you need, either during a visit or over a cup of coffee, you may have much better results than wasting their time or energy with the whole shadowing thing. This is assuming you already have some medical background though.
If you have none, then volunteering or shadowing are probably better options to show that you are at least somewhat aware of what you are getting into, and don’t faint at the sight of blood, etc.
Another way to find out about doctors that will let you shadow is to call the alumni center of medical schools you may be interested in applying to. They often have lists of where their graduates are and are usually willing to give you names of doctors in your area. Once you know who they are, go ahead and call. If that doesn’t work, then, yeah, pick up the phone book and start calling!
What about DO schools that require shadowing and a letter from a DO?
Most D.O. schools require a letter froma DO, but do they require shadowing? Again, I think it’s just that they want to see some kind of medical experience, preferably with a D.O. If they say shadowing, that’s most likely the intent behind it. Do you know of any that specifically say they expect you to have “shadowed” a D.O.?
In my case I made sure that the D.O. writing the letter and I had a good discussion during which I demonstrated that I definitely understand the differences between osteopathic and allopathic medicine, based on history of osteopathic medicine, etc., and she said she would be talking about that in the letter as well.
I see what you are saying. Personally, I don’t think I would ask for a letter from a DO like if they didn’t know me without even a little bit of shadowing. For me, the best way to see how something different works, I have to see it and “get my hands dirty” to understand it.
If you are able to get a DO letter from a conversation about what DO is all about, that’s good for you. I’m just not sure I agree with that for everyone.
If any of you are looking for a DO to shadow in the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale area, PM me.
Yeah, again, in my case it was actually one of our two family physicians. While I hadn’t had a ton of interaction with her over the past 5 years or so, I had probably seen her at least once a year, and had told her about my desire to become a D.O. about 2 years ago, when I first made the decision. Technically, she was kind of a part of that, in that we would talk about how pre-med was going when I saw her, etc., so it wasn’t a far stretch by any means to gain her support.
However, if I hadn’t had that existing relationship, it might have been a bit different for me. I actually did talk with a few other D.O.'s prior to realizing I should just approach her, and I could tell that the undercurrent of their attitude was, shadowing was a huge pain in their ass, and they would much rather have an alternative way of getting to know me well enough to feel comfortable writing an LOR for me.
I don’t feel too bad being pretty assertive about getting help from a D.O., because I feel like they had to have had help to get where they are too, and when it’s my turn, I’ll gladly help out anyone who is willing to approach me in a mature, organized manner about their goals to take the torch and carry it for their part.
I found my DO to shadow by contacting my "state osteopathic medical association"
There you can look up DO’s via zip code and it lists the type of practice. From there I called/emailed them to get one to shadow. I will shadow one this Saturday.
I do not think it is NECESSARY to SHADOW one, but in order to really see the OMT in action, I chose to. Plus, other than a “shadowing” route, how can I get a LOR from one, having never been to one and never met one before? It may give them a chance to see me with patients and talk to me.