Im in a bit of a dilemma… I know I will need to shadow a DO physician before I apply and need a LOR from one … But no one is returning my calls??
How can I get them to pay attention and how do I find one thats willing…
I guess the “duh!” answer to keep trying and keep looking and be persistent… but between where I live in Maryland and and where I would be willing to commute there are only a handful of them…
Any ideas? So far Ive just been calling their offices…
First of all, congratulations on your decision to pursue medicine and welcome to our group!
As to shadowing, keep calling. If you live near a medical school, call them and ask if any of their staff would be willing to have you shadow. If that doesn't work, try calling every medical school you can think of (use their 800 numbers) and ask for the names of graduates of their school that are in your area. Tell them you are trying to find a doctor to shadow and would like to shadow one of their graduates. (By the way, where are you located now?).
Most of all, DON'T GIVE UP!! Just keep dialing. Eventually you'll find someone. I guess if it were me and that didn't work, I'd probably try making an appointment to sit down and discuss the issue with them, even if I had to pay for the appointment time.
And, by the way, if you haven't thought about attending the convention this year, think about it! Our opening speaker is a D.O. that was a non-traditional student himself, formerly a nurse/paramedic. He has been in practice about 10 years now, and works as an attending and an assistant professor in a family medicine residency program. He loves to give advice, and what he suggests is GOOD! I know the ideas he shared with me were invaluable. After applying them and other ideas I gained from attending the first two conventions, I got accepted in next year's entering class. I'm sure he would be more than happy to share ideas with you, and maybe he would know how to put you in touch with someone in your area. With all the other information you can acquire at this year's conference in DC, the entire application process will seem much easier.
Where are you located?
I know we live in the age of quick results…(Microwaves, cell phones, tanning booths, etc.) but I would think that I great approach would be a plain, good ol’ fashioned letter. Instead of a phone call try writing, and be thoughtful enough to include a SASE (Self addressed stamped envelope) for their reply.
Letters are more formal, tactful and, in my opinion, more personal as well. Just a suggestion, but I do think it would be more impressive than a phone call. Call me romantic.
I had the same trouble you had. I called, I faxed, I wrote to NO avail. I called VCOM and they suggested going to the AOA page and seeing if I could find someone from that. None of those listed had any phone numbers so I went to my state AOA web page. VOMA (for people in Virginia) had a list of their officers so I found one in the district where near where I live and emailed him.
He said I couldn’t shadow him since he only allows med students and not pre-meds, BUT he said he would interview me. I faxed him my personal essay as well as a number of secondary questions I was working on so he would know a bit about me before we met. I brought a recomendation form in a pre-stamped priority mailing envelope with the address for my pre-med advisor, who was handling all my LORs.
He talked with me for 45 minutes. And then agreed to write my LOR. It did come up in my interview at VCOM. The doc asked me why I didn’t shadow anyone and I told him no one would let me. He gave me the name of someone he knew up in the area.
I would contact all the schools you are interested in and see if they have alumni in your area, or if they know someone that is willing to meet with you or shadow them.
Or try your state AOA web page and contact someone from your area. Look for a link to the directory of officers. The officers should be able to help you.
Here is the web page
Good luck. Don’t give up.
I called our local hospital’s community relations department and asked about how to shadow a DO. This is the department that is also responsible for assisting people to shadow the nurses. They provided me with the name and number of a “shadow friendly” doc and I am going to be shadowing with him this August. It might be worth a try to call your area hosptials.