How to Shadow a Doctor as a Pre-Med Student

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Have you mapped out your journey to medical school? There’s a pivotal step you might be overlooking: the invaluable experience of shadowing a doctor. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) ardently endorses physician shadowing, emphasizing its role in offering an intimate glimpse into a physician’s daily life.

While many medical institutions might not explicitly list shadowing as a prerequisite, it’s an unspoken expectation. Its significance is underscored when it becomes a talking point during interviews or a standout feature on your application.

So, how does an aspiring medical professional go about shadowing a doctor? Let Advanced eClinical Training (ACT) guide you.

How to Ask a Doctor to Shadow

Navigating the process of shadowing a physician? Advanced eClinical Training (ACT) understands that the initial approach can be pivotal. If there’s a physician within your network, consider the depth of your relationship when choosing your mode of communication.

For those you know personally, a direct call or text might be apt. If you’re contemplating reaching out to your primary care physician, leveraging the patient portal messaging system can be effective, granting them the flexibility to address your request at their convenience.

In instances where the physician is a referral, or someone you’re less acquainted with, a professionally crafted email can be your best bet. This method respects their schedule, allowing them to revert at a time that suits them.

Regardless of the communication channel you opt for, clarity and intent are paramount. Ensure you articulate your aspirations transparently, emphasizing your imminent journey to medical school and your earnest quest for shadowing experiences.  

Diversifying Your Shadowing Experience

Ideally, you would set up multiple opportunities to shadow a doctor. This means not just limiting yourself to a single physician but branching out to both general practitioners and specialists. Even if you’ve identified a potential physician to shadow, broadening your horizons is always beneficial.

Begin by making a list of physicians in your vicinity that align with your aspirations. Investigate their online presence—Does their official website list a contact email? Perhaps they maintain a professional LinkedIn profile or other social media platforms that could serve as a bridge for communication. If this approach doesn’t yield results, then embrace a more traditional approach. Write a letter and mail it to the practice or office. 

Avoid using a template for each letter, email, or message. You want this doctor to know you hand-picked them, so make your message personal.

Creating Doctor Shadowing Opportunities

At Advanced eClinical Training (ACT), we believe in proactive approaches. Why wait to seek doctor shadowing opportunities when you can lay the groundwork early? As an aspiring member of the healthcare community, ACT empowers pre-health students by offering a blend of certification courses and mentorships.

Courses such as the medical assistant certification equip you with invaluable insights, placing you directly within healthcare settings alongside seasoned physicians. Within a concise eight-week span and at an accessible price point, you can attain the credentials to function as a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) across diverse healthcare establishments, from hospitals to private clinics.

Such experiences not only enrich your knowledge but also expand your professional network. By the time you’re ready to accumulate shadowing hours for medical school, you’re already well-acquainted with potential physicians to approach.

However, the CCMA course is merely a glimpse of the comprehensive medical certifications ACT offers. These meticulously designed, budget-friendly courses are not just gateways to the medical world but also tick off essential prerequisites for your dream medical school.

Consider the patient care technician certification, for instance. It’s a strategic move to accumulate the clinical and patient care hours that many medical schools mandate. Secure this certification swiftly without straining your finances.

Remember, the journey to medical school is akin to a marathon, demanding endurance over speed. With ACT, you’re never alone on this journey. Our Medical School Admissions Consulting program is tailored to ensure you’re equipped for every application phase. With the guidance of an MD mentor, familiar with the intricacies of the process, you receive comprehensive support in:

  • Crafting standout applications
  • Gaining hands-on clinical experiences, inclusive of physician shadowing
  • Strategizing your application timeline
  • Preparing for the MCAT
  • Enhancing your resume
  • Mastering interview techniques
  • Drafting compelling personal statements

The mentorship of an MD, someone who’s navigated these waters, could very well be the pivotal factor in securing a seat at your top-choice medical school.

Enroll today and get your medical career on the right path with a cost-effective certification or mentorship at Advanced eClinical Training.

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