I need help, I want to start shadowing doctors, since I don’t know too many on my area I think it would be a good idea to send an e-mail or drop some letters off. What do I write on the e-mail or letter? any ideas? I just don’t know how to start… thanks!
My own personal opinion is that dropping off letters or e-mailing physicians whom you do not already know (or do not have some connection to) is not the best way of going around this. Shadowing is a teaching experience, and as such, means that the doctor must take time out of his or her day to show you things. There often just isn’t the motivation if you’re a complete stranger. As I said, this is only my opinion, and others may disagree.
I do not say that to discourage you, however. There ARE ways of making connections with physicians. For example, go to your own physician (PCP, and if you see any specialists, them too). Ask whether you can shadow him/her, and/or whether he/she know other doctors who might be willing to let you hang around for a day. Get in touch with your alumni association, find out whether there are any MD alums in your area who would be willing to let you tag along (I got a summer research lab job and a shadowing experience through this avenue). Ask those physicians who you do know. Ask if they know other physicians. Work your contacts to get more contacts. It’s all about networking, and asking, and asking, and asking. Be prepared to get turned down, though, because as I said it is extra work for the doc. But a lot of them care about teaching docs-to-be, and are willing to put in the effort. Having that connection to them, though, can prove to be the tipping point between them saying “yes” or “no.” As I said, that’s my perspective.
Best of luck!