Shadowing a doctor....

Any idea how to go about this? I’m not working right now, and would love to do this for a little while. While I am pursuing my dream of becoming a doctor, like mentioned in another thread, maybe I really need to spend some time seeing it all in action. Not really sure how to find a doctor that would be willing to allow this.

Seems like there would be all kinds of legal implications for a doctor to do this. Patient confidentiality and all that.

Ideas? I can possibly travel if someone knows one willing to let me tag along.

Hi Jimi,

I have been lurking here, and this is my first post. I wanted to know more about shadowing as well and here is some information I found.

First is a link to an article on Hunter College’s pre-health advising site. al…

The writer is a bit grim, but he recommends getting a basic nursing certification and working at a nursing home. I haven’t the time to do that but if I did, it seems like an interesting option.

For shadowing, this article … at (SDN) describes how to find a doctor to shadow. The writer says to just go to the phone book and find someone. Of course, it helps if you are actually in a pre-med program.

Personally, I have not begun shadowing, but I have asked a couple of my friends who are doctors for help. Others on this board have said they asked their PCPs or family doctors.

I think if you search on “shadowing” you will find some good feedback here.

Good luck!


If you have a regular clinic you visit, contact them and inquire. If there is a college that you are attending for your pre-reqs, look to the school’s pre-med associations… AMSA, AED, or other.

Generally, those organizations have connections into shadowing opportunities. To me, it’s the only reason I stay connected with the student orgs as… I’m a bit old to play connect the pre-med dots, eat pizza and play name that bone, games…

My shadowing opp came from calling on my dad’s clinic and asking. My dad’s physician is actually the one I follow around.

I would suggest going through your state physician societies/associations. For example, here in Washington state, we have the Washington Academy of Family Physicians which does have a mentoring program. The Washington Osteopathic Association also has a mentoring program. Good luck!

Hi Jimi -

My experience is that along with a strategy, some perseverence and good fortune are key ingredients to finding those valuable shadowing opportunities.

Beginning about three years ago, and last for nearly a year, after asking my own PCP, my wife’s PCP and the kid’s pediatricians I was not getting any breaks.

Then about two years ago I began volunteering at the local ER. This allowed me to make myself visable, meet the nurses and find out which doctors might be available to the idea, from which I garned one good experience with an ER doc and he has told me he would be happy to write me a LOR.

Then about a year ago my son’s ophthalmologist gave me the green light, and it’s lead to an very rewarding weekly hour or two at the office, and even a couple mornings of shadowing him during surgeries.

So, hang in there…check out the ER or maybe a hospice to get started with volunteering, and of course ask any doc you might have even the most minor acquantice with, and you’ll start getting some breaks…

Best of luck!


Since I’ve not been affiliated with any organizations that can set me up with shadowing, I’ve had to fend for myself and network. Its definately “who you know”…