Job Shadowing

I have two doctors that are willing to let me shadow. Now, how does one pin them down? One doctor emails me every few months and asks me if I need to shadow and what I wanted to see. I know she checks her email every few weeks. But, never sends back any dates.

The most recent doctor actually offered for me to come in and do both clinical and surgical shadowing. I didn’t ask, but, was thrilled when he suggested it. Gave me his email and personal cell number. Two phone calls and an email later, no reply. Should I throw out some dates? Should I call regularly? At what point do you release your contact? I know doctors are busy, and I managed to find two really busy ones (they both train residents, medical director of clinics, assistant professor at SOM, you name it they do it). What is reasonable? I do not want to be annoying, however, I don’t expect to be on top of their list for a return phone call.

What has been your experience? Should I expect to call weekly? Thanks!

This may sound annoying, it certainly did to me, but one doc asked me to e-mail him initially and then e-mail him again every 48 hours until I got a response. I would say that it is better to be politely aggressive about what you want rather than being too timid out of concern of offending them. I know that I tend to miss e-mails unless I am looking for them (on my radar at the time) because I often receive upwards of 75 a day, hard to sort through them all. Good Luck, Jaysun

Kim, I felt the same way when I first was in contact with the DO I’ve shadowed. I was only able to get his phone number (his cell phone no less). So, when I called I was adamant about setting up a set time weekly so I’d have a schedule to go by. When I realized that I would not be able to make the days/times I had initially suggested (because of exams, appts etc), I called him back to set up another time. The phone conversation went something like this:

Me: Hi, Dr.____, how are you? Unfortunately, I will be unable to make it to your office this week due to a conflicting appointment. Is there another day that would be feasible for me to come in?

Dr.: Oh hey, dont worry about it. Come any day you want. Just call me like an hour before you come in.

Me: …Oh, really? Sure if that works for you. I just didnt want to come with such short notice and -

Dr: No no, I’m here all day, just give me a call!

Me: (uhhhh)… Alright great, thank you for being so accomodating! Have a great week!


Of course this is not the case with every doctor (although it would be nice lol) Just thought i’d throw it in.

But to answer your question Kim, YES throw out dates!! Give them something to work with! Of course they are busy, so being ambiguous with your intentions wont help.

If you have them on the phone, I would suggest you say something like, "Thank you for offering to let me shadow. My schedule can accommodate Wednesday afternoon and Thursday mornings. Is what feasible for you? "

If they say no, then ask them what is!!

You’re lucky that you’ve had 2 doctors offer to have you come in and shadow, so take advantage of it. Now you have to take initiative to make it work. Jaysun said it perfectly too: be politely aggressive.

Good luck.