Shadowing and Clinical Experience

Hello Dr. Gray and nontrad community,

I am a former high school science teacher who left the classroom to pursue medicine. I have a BA in political science and an MS in education. After completing a policy fellowship and teaching for four years, I knew that both education and politics were not for me. I had considered medicine at various stages in my life, but didn’t want to pursue it until I was fully sure. My life experiences taught me that I wanted to work with people in need and help them achieve their full potential. I believe that through medicine and education, I can treat and heal patients so that they can achieve their goals and live the lives they want. A year and a half ago, i began volunteering at the front desk of a major hospital and then transitioned to the ED while working full time as a teacher. I started off as a science major in college and had some science AP credit awarded by my undergrad institution so I was not starting from scratch with prerequisites. I also completed about 24 science credits at a community college and took the MCAT. My undergrad GPA is a 3.8, and current GPA from my prerequisites is a 4.0 and my MCAT is a 511. I started a post-bacc this past summer at a university and am currently enrolled full time in all upper level science courses. I have about 250 volunteer hours.

Right now, my main concern is getting clinical experience and shadowing hours for the upcoming admissions cycle. I recently started volunteering with a hospice organization, but have only done 4 hours so far. When I volunteered at the hospital, I didn’t have a ton of patient interaction. Also, I have only shadowed 2 doctors thus far, 1 being my dad. Today I spent about 3 hours calling doctor’s offices and every single office told me they didn’t allow shadowing. I am wondering 1.What is the most effective way to get permission to shadow? 2. Does it look bad to get most of your shadowing and clinical experience in the 6 months before you apply? 3. Should I not even worry about research and just focus on getting all As and clinical experience?

Thank you all for your help!

Is there any reason you can’t shadow your dad more? Also, maybe ask your dad if he has any friends that would be willing to let you shadow? If you want to go to a research school, and are interested in research I would do research. If not, I would not prioritize it.