where/how to find shadowing opportunities??

Hi guys,

I am looking to find some shawdowing experience and was wondering the best methods to go about it. Specifically, I was looking into Pediatrics, and was wondering from any of you how you might have been able to shadow a physician. For example, I am not sure whether simply picking up the phone and cold-calling all the Pediatricians in the phone directory starting from A-Z will work (I highly doubt it, since I am sure these physicians already have their hands full with their patients.)

Any ideas?? Thank you!!

Your county medical society may have a list of doctors willing to help out. The pre-health advisor at my school had a listing.

I shadowed my PCP and it was great!

You can always contact your Family Doctor and talk to him/ her. Even if you don’t want to shadow them, you can ask if they can recommend you a pediatrician who would be willing to accommodate you.


Where is your general location? You are not perchance in Kansas?

We have every manner of shadowers, students and residents at our clinic, if you happen to be around here, I am quite sure it could be arranged so you could hang out with us…

My specialty Internal Medicine and Pediatrics “Med-Peds”, is am amazing specialty.

I can in the same week work a medical ICU at the VA with older patients with multiple complicated medical problems and then blast over and take care of sick kids in the pediatric intensive care unit.

Last week was a little better than average for doing procedures, I intubated a code, I placed a chest tube (spontanous pneumothorax) and also did a paracentesis (relief of ascites in a pt with cholangiocarcinoma). I also did an umbilical vein cannulation of a neonate we resuscitated.

I was oriented or “checked out” on the use of the so-called “high frequency ventilators” in kids; VERY interesting when one considers that on paper these should not work, the “tidal volume” is NOT sufficient to displace dead space in the respiratory system of the child on whom it is being used, yet due to laminar pulsing of the air at different humidities they work magnificently. Reducing barotrauma to tender lung tissue in kids caused by conventional ventilators.

If you are near a University, contact the premed office there. This, by far, was the best source of physician contacts for shadowing that I found.

You could also try to contact the HR Department/Workforce Development Office of your local hospital and ask if they have any form of a shadowing program. The one’s around here do - but it is usually for a very limited timeframe. It may be a good way to meet someone that would be willing to let you come back if you wanted to. They may even be able to set you up with someone in a private practice that is affiliated with the hospital.

Otherwise, you may have to do some calling around. I started off by asking my child’s pediatrician, and he offered to let me shadow him.

Good Luck!

Hi there,

I’m a pre-optometry student, not pre-med, but it is also highly recommended that I do shadowing.

So, this is what worked for me…

I wrote (typed) a basic generic letter to optometrists in my area. I only changed the name, and some of the specific material based on the doctor. For instance, if the doctor went to Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale for Optometry school, I also said that I would like to attend that school. You get the idea.

The point is that you create a general letter and tweak it based on your research of that doctor.

Then, you mail it off. Give it a week. If no calls, call them yourself and see if they got it. This will usually lead to an appreciation of your time and interest in the clinic/doctor. Then, you arrange a meeting time and start shadowing.

Hope this helps.

Best of luck, Remember…honesty really is the best policy. Sometimes picking up the phone and just simply saying, “I’m an aspiring doctor in your field and I would love an opportunity to shadow with you.” will get you in the door.

Good luck again!