Job Shadowing

University of Washington wants 40 hours of job shadowing with a physician. How many hours do you have? Who have you shadowed? Any of those hours from your volunteer work at a hospital? I want to shadow my OB/GYN and she thought that a person “may” have to have credentials to shadow. She was going to look into it and “see what she can do”. I need to make sure and do my research. I don’t know many doctors and wonder if she won’t…who will?

I do not know why she would think this? I have had over 1,200 hours shadowing. One was an ER attending, and various different PA’s.

One PA in particular was an Cardiological PA in surgery, where I was able to scrub in on many open heart surgeries and what nots.

Is she very receptive to you shadowing her? I do not know why else she would bring up credentials, unless it is not her practice? The whole point of shadowing is for experience and for helping to decide if that/this field is for you, or of interest…I have never ran into that in all the hours I shadowed…? Keep us updated…

She seemed receptive to the idea. She said she would check with risk management. She is my facebook friend. Doesn’t that mean anything? Hahaha. I know she trains residents, and is her clinic’s medical director. It is an extremely busy clinic. You would have thought they would have people through there. I just got in touch with the resident who was there when my twins were delivered (she checked on me nearly every day I was on hospital bedrest. She just replied that it was one of the best experiences she had as a resident). I am hoping she will consider being a resource for me. I literally just messaged her over facebook. I love facebook! I have to say that I am an unfaithful patient and will go to almost any family doctor. I have almost no relationship with doctors to ask to shadow. However, I am extremely faithful to my OB/GYN. I am hoping it will pay off. Good think I have a few years to figure this out. Can you imagine if I waited? I would really be scrambling. Any advice for getting docs to let me in?

That’s tricky, with literally no relationship with any doctors to really speak of, I am lost? I know your ob is a good relationship. I would ask her for a connection? Just tell her what your hoping for. Remind her the oath!

Hopefuly, if she can’t personally let you shadow, she may have an associate you would be of help.

I guess I am going to have to start asking anyone and everyone I meet. LOL. Another reason I am glad that I obsess over these things. I would be scrambling in a few years.

I haven’t shadowed yet, but I got some advice on how to get a foot in the door from someone last week. She is an ER nurse who had previously been a premed student. She said to call the office manager of the clinic or hospital department and they can help set it up for you. They know which docs will shadow & which don’t like to. So, that’s one place to start without any other connections.

She also gave me a cardio surgeon’s name who she shadowed and said that her ER has students shadow there all the time, but unless you’re in KC, that won’t help you much

Another thing I read was that you should also shadow doctors who have experience shadowing and writing recommendations. You’ll be counting on these people for LORs, and you want someone who knows how to do a good one.

Good luck!

OH nice info on that! Thanks. I will definitely start putting feelers out there. I am not in KC…FYI about me… born in Cameron, MO. I am definitely from the “Show Me” State.

You could also try to see if your local hospital has some type of career development program. The ones around here have shadowing opportunities, but the amount they allow varies by the hospital and who you talk to. It has been my experience that the volunteer offices do not necessarily know about shadowing opportunities, so if they don’t know try to call HR and ask around.

Also, if you are taking prerequisites call the premed office at the school. They may have a list of doctors in your area that they know are willing to allow students to come shadow. Most of the actual contact information was for the office manager, etc of the Drs office or Department at the hospital, so if you can’t find a list you may try taking the suggestion of AliJ and calling around to the different hospital departments.

Unfortunately, with all of the privacy issues these days, some doctors (or the practices that they work for) would rather just say no than to worry about how HIPAA applies. Good luck.

Isn’t it interesting that “U. Dub” wants 40 hours of physician shadowing and another medical school in the recent past has indicated that they don’t count shadowing as “clinical experience”?



I start volunteering/shadowing next week. I did a tour of the ER tonight and it was buzzing. I cannot WAIT!!

Mika Emergency Medicine is what I am really interested in. May I ask how you were able to volunteer/shadow in the ER?

Sure thing.

I contacted the hospital’s volunteer program and at my interview was asked which department would I most like to be placed. I asked for surgery (I want to be an anesthesiologist), but was placed in the ER. Dunno why, though.

Kinda glad I did b/c the volunteer who gave me the tour got me really excited about it. I’ll be wiping down beds, restocking, making lab runs, emptying bed pans, and helping direct the flow of traffic. Not all of it right away, but I’ll get added responsibility the longer I’m there.

(The volunteer that did my tour just got into a DO here in Texas. She told me that her experience shadowing/volunteering was very impressive in her interview.)

And the best part is that the ER docs are very cool guys/gals. They do serious work, but they aren’t serious people…and that made me relax a little.

I guess I’ve over-answered your question at this point, but to recap just contact the volunteering department at the hospital/medical facility nearest to you.

You gave me the info that I needed, thanks and good luck with your volunteering/shadowing.

I am going to go shadow a doctor in a little town’s ER. I am so excited. It will be in the next few weeks. I love that I will get to see the difference in workloads between a big Seattle hospital and an ER with only 15 beds. Harborview in Seattle has at least 15 beds in their HALLWAY! I am determined that I will win my OB/GYN over and she will find/make a way for me to shadow.

40 Hours !!! Looks like I need to get some shadowing done.