Loved it. Can wait to do it again. I only saw 1 patient since I can only be there for 2 hours before work.
I know exactly what you mean! While volunteering can be interesting, shadowing is amazing. What type of physician did you shadow? I shadowed my primary care physician. I was there for 3 hours and he saw a new patient every 15 to 30 minutes! And all the different reasons people came in for…very cool. I’m hoping to shadow some more this summer. It’s like getting a taste of something you’re working your butt off to achieve.
Does anyone know the best way to get doctors to let you shadow? I’ve found it to be a bit challenging with HIPPA regulations.
I work at a cancer hospital so I shadowed a medical oncologist. Because I do it for 2 hours before I go to work, I only get to see very few patients. But it is amazing.
My shadowing experience was amazing as well. I shadowed various ER residents and attendings at GW Emergency Dept. in PG county for about 12 hours over two months. It was an incredible experience that helped increase my enthusiasm for this endeavor even more.
The HIPAA regs do make it a bit challenging. The attending who organized my shadowing experience required me to fill out and sign two different forms each time I came to shadow. I’d have to sign and fax them in the week before or I couldn’t come in that following week.
I wish I could have continued doing it for several more months, but I didn’t want to take advantage of the attending and the residents. I could see how incredibly busy they were.
I start my shadowing on Monday and am amazingly excited to begin. I am shadowing Mondays and Tuesdays throughout the summer.
I feel very fortunate to have gotten this opportunity after spending a couple months attempting to set something up. I have a PA friend who found a doctor that was willing to bend the hospital’s rules (they require the person to be a med school student with a letter from the med school) but I certainly didn’t want to put a doctor in that position. I finally contacted two smaller medical schools in my area and asked whether they were aware of any doctors that may be interested in mentoring. One school said they were having difficulties placing their students and would try, but probably wouldn’t be successful, which is understandable considering they couldn’t get their students placed. The other school bent over backwards to help me locate a shadowing position, and even more, really tried to match up my interests, location, schedule, etc. Of course, I told them I was willing to take anything and was just excited for the opportunity, but they really wanted to get the best fit, and so on Monday I begin to get a much more personal look at the life of a doctor.
So, the short of it, for anyone trying to find shadowing opportunities I suggest contacting smaller medical schools in your area and working from there.
I believe Natalie has allowed some OPM’ers to shadow her. I imagine there are others as well. Hopefully, as the organization continues to develop and grow, we can have a network of doctors across the nation willing (and able) to provide this opportunity for future doctors.