2 answers

What should I know for shadowing?

Asked Alexandria, Virginia

I'm a rising senior, and I've always been confused about this. I would love to be a doctor (I'm debating on the type) and would like to shadow my local doctors to see which would be a better "fit" for me, but I don't want to show up naive or seem unintelligent. I don't want the doctor to quiz me or ask me a question such as "are you familiar with this type of disease or medication?", to which, I'm not even familiar with medication disease names! I don't want the doctor to think that they're wasting their time on me because I don't know anything. So my question is, what should I know? Should I cram names of diseases and medications into my brain? Should I memorize the formal name of each body part? I'd like to hear from a doctor's opinion on shadowing and what they'd like to see in a student shadow.
Thanks for the help!
#hospital #doctor #medicine #pediatrician #shadowing #learning

2 answers

Bayley’s Answer

Updated Crofton, Maryland

Congrats again on this opportunity! It can open so many doors. Be prepared to learn a lot! Before going in, do some preliminary research; what kinds of terms, language, and jargen is your subject going to use. This will help you alot when trying to follow what they are doing. I would also have a small notebook and write down questions throughout the day, then when there is down time you can ask all of your questions. This will not only make you look engaged but it will also get you better answers because your subject won't be rushed. Good luck!

Bayley recommends the following next steps:

  • Do some research about the practice and the field of medicine.

Aly’s Answer

Updated Atlanta, Georgia

First of all, congrats on your desire to shadow! It is a great opportunity to view different fields and jobs in medicine. By no means should you feel you need to be an expert or know everything about the diseases or medications you might see. Shadowing is an opportunity to learn about the environment, you are not expected to see patients on your own so you should not expect to be quizzed. When you ask people if you can shadow them, let them know you want to learn more about the field and day to day life of a doctor. It is a great opportunity to ask the doctor you work with about his or her training and education, or even why they choose that speciality. When shadowing, be sure to be polite, arrive on time, and be respectful of the patients and office staff. When I was in college, I shadowed at a podiatry office and with a pediatrician. The shadowing opportunity turned into a summer job for me, it was great to get paid while continuing to learn! If you shadow with someone for a few months, they might be a great source of a recommendation for college or medical school.

Thank you for your answer! I will certainly keep that in mind. My mom tends to continuously ask her doctors for me to shadow them, and while I appreciate her intentions, i would rather be the asker than her. I want them to know that I am personally interested and curious rather than come off as someone who needs their parents to intervene if you know what I mean. I was also a little hesitant because I didn’t want to come off as stupid or a waste of time if I didn’t know things, so this answer greatly helps me. Thanks again!