Too early to shadow?

Hello all!

I am just about to start my post baccs and have a few questions.

  1. I have a teacher colleague that has a husband who is a DO, and offered me a shadowing opportunity this summer. Is it too early to actually be effective, since I have literally no science yet?

  2. I am weighing the decision to do a local DIY or move three and a half hours away for a formal Post bacc. Either way, I have to give up a great job, and if I stay around here, I can still sub at my school. Is a formal post bacc really worth it?

    Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks for your time and consideration!

I definitely don’t think it’s too early to shadow. Remember, they don’t expect you do be a doctor yet! And the more experience you can get, and the more specialties you can observe, the better. So I say go for it.

I did just post some suggestions (as did some others) on the “lame shadowing question” thread on how to make your shadowing experience as valuable as possible; you might want to check those out. Those strageies have helped me, at least.

As for a formal post-bac, that is really up to you to decide. For me, I was fortunate to live in a city where I had multiple formal and informal options, so I didn’t have to move to do a formal post-bac program (which is what I am doing). But if I’d had to move to do a formal program, I don’t think I would have gone that route. It’s quite possible that you’ll have to move for medical school, so that’s another move to consider in the near future. Just a thought.

Best wishes as you make your decision!

I’m not sure I can answer #2, but I’d like to give my input on # 1. I don’t believe its ever too early to shadow, although if you wish to have it considered for some schools it has to be post high school (which isn’t a problem for you). The earlier exposure you get the better. It gives you a better idea of what your getting into. For me shadowing gave me something to look forward as well. Good luck and I’m sure you will do well!

Artman–as for your first question, I agree with Lorien whole-heartedly. It’s never too early, and you should take any chance you have!

As for your second question, come to the OPM conference this summer! There will likely be a panel discussion about this very topic (different ways to structure your postbacc and do it successfully). I’m sure whoever is leading that discussion will be engaging, helpful, and downright brilliant. So bring your questions!!

It is never to early to shadow. But I think that shadowing is not enough. At the last premed conference that I attended, a panel of doctors unanimously recommended to go beyond shadowing. Instead, they suggested getting a medical-related skill and getting a job or using it for volunteer work. EMT, phlebotomist, ER tech, OR tech, surgery tech, etc. were suggested. Even dentistry and nursing, although there was some disagreement about these because they lead to other non-physician medical careers.

Shadowing is a great was to see what really happens in the daily lives of physicians, so the earlier the better;Imagine being completely done with your schooling and figuring out you don’t like what doctors do!

Any chance that ‘tattoo artist’ counts as a medically related field? A bit of a stretch, but knowledge of dermatology, anatomy and blood borne pathogens are required…