What can I do in order to shadow a doctor?

Hello everyone! I am currently a volunteer at the community hospital and I was wondering what is it that I have to do in order to shadow a doctor? I would really love to get the experience as well as getting a good LOR for medical school when I am ready to apply. Do I just ask a doctor if he or she would allow me the opportunity to shadow him or her? I am not sure on how to go about it.

I would really appreciate your guidance in this matter. Thanks!

My shadowing came from asking around w/ some professors I knew on a more friendly level. Some preprofessional organizations might have connections, as well. Best thing to do, I imagine, I to ask!

One note: Letters of Rec from a doc you shadow might not be the best idea. The doc doesn’t necessarily know you or your capabilities that well, and I believe AdComs may not consider shadow-LORs as favorably as others.

Then again, I may be entirely wrong, haha. And if I’m remembering right, I think I did have the doc I shadowed write me a LOR to use as an additonal or backup. Come to think of it, now (or maybe after boards…) might be a good time to drop him a line, update on my progress, thank him again. Hm…

Anyway, good luck!

I haven’t done any shadowing yet, but I’ve developed a (professional) relationship with an MD whom I met through my undergrad alma mater’s online networking group (it’s kinda like Facebook or LinkedIn, but for alums of my undergrad university). I was able to search for local MDs, and messaged several, and this particular one messaged me back. We’ve e-mailed many times, met once at his office, and plan to meet more this summer (and he’s hoping to get me into an OR to observe! - he’s a pediatric anesthesiologist). He also set me up with a volunteer research lab position for the summer with a former MD/PhD colleague of his. I never imagined I’d get the opportunity to do research, but here I am.

Anyway, the point of my story is, perhaps you could contact your alma mater and see if they can put you in touch with anyone from your former university? Or perhaps there is some networking framework already in place, as there is at my alma mater? It’s worth looking into. It’s amazing how people who went to your university sometimes feel a kinship with you and are really willing to help you out professionally. That’s not always the case, of course, but it has definitely been so in my situation.

Just a thought.

Good luck!

Thanks everyone for your assistance.