Shadowing activities/outcome

Quick question on physician shadowing.

I am set to shadow a doctor in a large NYC hospital. This is good and will be great experience as well as aiding my premed journey.

However, I am not totally clear on what I should do while shadowing? Take notes? Give him occasional high fives?

Any thoughts on how to make the most of this opportunity are appreciated.

I was a fly on the wall. I literally followed him in the door of the exam room, stood to the back of the room, asked no questions while in the room with him, and took NO notes while in the exam room. In fact, I wrote nothing down until I got home and let things settle in my head.

During one of the patient visits, the spouse of the patient started talking to me while the physician was talking to the patient. I nodded, smiled, and tried to be as unobtrusive as possible without being rude to the patient’s spouse. I was a little concerned I should have done something differently but the physician just beamed saying I handled it really well.

When we were in his private office, he led the discussion. He asked me if I had any questions, and then I asked away. When he dictated, I listened and observed. Then it was back to patient visits.

During the afternoon, I saw some more interesting things and during the entire time, I was there it was before-cradle to terminal and everything in between.

He told my dad (who is his patient) that he had an absolutely amazing day with me and that he could hardly wait to get me back to shadow some more. So, I guess I did things “right” if there is such a thing

Hope that helps. My day there solidified my reasoning for rural family practice. There is no way I could do anything else now. Loved every minute of it (sans where I divorced my meager lunch).

as jkp said: a fly on the wall. That is all you are there to do - observe. Certainly dont ask questions while the patient is in the room! and I would not recommend taking notes while in the room either. Aside from it probably making the patient feel a little invaded, I find it to be a distraction. Just wait until you get home (or in your car, which is what I do) to process/write down everything.

The time between the doctor seeing patients is a good time to ask questions. And as far as “where I was located” during the exams, since I am shadowing a neurologist, some of the visit are simply follow ups so the patient sometimes sits in a chair across from the doctors desk and due to lack of space, I was asked to sit on the exam table lol… Odd, but it’s better than standing. And when the patient was on the exam table I darted over to the chair on the otherside of the room.

Most of all, while soaking up as much as you can, you just want to remain as unobtrusive as possible and try and save all the questions you may have until after (or between) patient visits.