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Physician Shadowing as a Premed


Do any pre meds out there struggle to find a physician to shadow? I know this is a common subject to talk about but I must contribute my thoughts. It seems that a good majority of us end up volunteering at a local hospital or clinic and are not getting the patient communication and experience we need to figure out if this profession in medicine (radiologist, pathologist, E.R. physician, surgeon) is what we really want! Don’t get me wrong volunteering is terrific and a great experience as well but as a pre med it’s imperative to shadow a physician and see how they go about their daily life.

So how do you simply start shadowing?

This is how I started shadowing the orthopedic surgeon I have been with now for 2 years:
Seriously, go to your local clinic or doctor’s office (do not go the hospital OSHA law is strict there I have found out) and ask if you can speak to a doctor for a brief moment. If you get lucky enough to speak to one for a quick second let them know you are a student interested in a career in medicine [really let them know why!] and would love to come in and follow them around a few times a week. If however they are swamped with patients leave your name, number, and a brief note saying you are interested in the profession and would appreciate their phone call at their convenience. Most are very accepting!

Has anyone else gone about the process of shadowing differently? Where all have you shadowed!? I would love to hear yall’s feedback!


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