If you don’t have any clinical type of experience, getting a volunteer position in the hospital is the best bet. It might pan out that you can also get a shadowing experience out of it, since you will be at the mothership where you can find most doctors ;).
If you are looking at an osteopathic school as an option for medical school, you might want to consider contacting one of these schools…sometimes they have a list of alumni willing to talk with perspective medical students.
Sometimes I wonder if you ask a doctor directly if you can shadow them, it might cause them to close up…it’s got to be a little self-restricting for them to have to set up a particular schedule that they can have you follow them. However, if maybe you contact one asking to sit down with them for a little bit to just talk and ask them their advice about pursuing medicine. Maybe just over a cup of coffee (i.e. 15 minutes)…this will give them an idea of who you are and then maybe a longer period of time can be pursued.
Even if it works out that shadowing may not work with that particular doctor due to their schedule, maybe they would be more willing to refer you to a doctor-friend who would be willing to have a perspective medical student to shadow.
When I am hopefully in the position to do so, I will make the time to have students shadow me, but I would want to meet them briefly first to see if it is a good fit.
This may be a backdoor way of doing this…but do you know anyone in the medical field in any type of clinical career (nurse, respiratory therapist, whatever)? Maybe you can ask them to help you out to just set up a quick chat with a doctor and then proceed from there.
Fortunately, with working in the hospital I’ve had options of talking with MDs/DOs a little more…however, it has only been recently that I’ve delved into talking with one of them a little more intently. I was pretty excited when I found out that one of the neonatalogists I work with is actually a DO, since I need a DO letter for my top choice medical. I was lucky because the conversation was actually opened by the doc. She noted the organic chem book on my desk, and from there I was able to find out more about her route towards medicine…btw is is a nontrad whichis also great! Now that she knows that I am pursuing medicine, I can work on letting her know me better, and hopefully, I can get a LOR from her before I apply for med school.
It’s about building relationships, and unfortuantely that takes time. Since relationships require a sense of trust, many doctors aren’t just going to want anyone shadowing them, they will want to know that they can trust the student to be respectful to them and their patients, not get in the way and just be pleasant and enthusiastic.