Observation in exchange for Office Work

I met with an MD who has been in private practice for 4 years. We hit it off very well. She offered that I come in and observe her every now and then in exchange for office work. I’m writing to this group to ask whether an observation/office work arrangement is normal or whether it is likely that another MD would just let me come in and observe…I’m in Manhattan where there are many other MDs.
Thanks for any input and thoughts on the matter.

Sam, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone else mention such an arrangement. I do think it could be helpful depending on the nature of the work. I worked as front office staff for a physician friend for about 6 months before I started medical school, and it was a real eye-opener. The business end of medicine is something you don’t get to see during medical school and it is good to be sensitized to this part of it. Insurance hassles abound. I never understood how insidious this was until I spent literally three hours on the phone trying to get a patient the durable medical equipment that she was entitled to under her policy… well, that was about $35 out of my boss’s pocket for NO money brought in. I spent countless hours filling out referral forms. I dealt with patients who would call back and say, “My insurance won’t pay for this prescription, can I have something else instead?”
I can now tell you that residents and attendings in teaching hospitals rarely think about these issues or worry about them, but out in practice the practical stuff like what medications are on which insurance formulary is going to matter to patients a LOT.
So I think that office work could actually really enhance an observational experience.
Now, as to doing it as a quid pro quo - well, I dunno about that. I think maybe it would be good to have an additional conversation with this physician to find out just what are her expectations. Is she suggesting this because of the reasons I’ve described above? Or is she desperate for office help and sees this as some quick relief for her business concerns?
hope that helps

Thank you Mary. Your insight is very helpful, as usual.
I think she is really looking for office help. I have a lot of experience in the business/legal world and I know I could help her significantly. None of my prior experience has been in the medical sector, however, so this could help me as well. I’ll have to think about it, in the balancing of school and volunteering and life. Thanks again. -Sam