How can I obtain shadowing opportunities for the medical field?
Also volunteer at your local hospital. The MDs who see you around will be happy to help.
There are a few different ways to get shadowing opportunities. I already had some connections to doctors because of my medical history so finding shadowing was easy for me! I would definitely recommend starting with any connections you may have -- a lot of your physicians would be more than willing to allow you to shadow. If you personally don't have any connections, your family members (parents, aunts, grandparents... grandparents always seem to know everyone) should also be able to help you find someone. You can also reach out to friends, professors, or hospital contacts you may know because they might also be able to help you network with some physicians!
If those connections do not seem to be helpful, I would recommend cold calling or emailing physicians. This is a hit or miss option (in my experience), but if you are persistent and reach out to a wide variety of physicians, you will find someone.
Good luck! Shadowing a physician is an awesome experience!
Hi Christopher, there are a number of ways to secure shadowing opportunities:
If you have any family friends in medicine (physician, nurse, PT, hospital administration) they will probably know a doctor. Leverage that relationship. They'll likely be happy to support you if you're serious about pursuing a shadowing opportunity.
Reach out to a nearby hospital's volunteer department
Many large hospitals have a volunteer department that need constant help. Send a thoughtful email or call them asking for opportunities to help out. These relationships may lead to shadowing opportunities. Personal experience - I was a volunteer at Grady Hospital in Atlanta back in the day. I saw a ton of great procedures in the ER and made connections with some of the residents and attendings.
Cold email/call doctors
Some doctors will appreciate the hustle. Offer to take them out for coffee or breakfast. They'll end up paying for you, but it's the effort you're willing to put forth that will impress them.