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Should I spend the whole summer job shadowing for an optometrist center?

I was wondering if it's possible to shadow a doctor twice a week for the whole summer. Do most job shadowing only last for a week? How long can I shadow a doctor for?

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Rita’s Answer

I would highly recommend you try to shadow a doctor as much as you can this summer. Not only is it essential to figure out if this is what you want to do, but it will also help you obtain a letter of recommendation from an optometrist that you will need for your optometry school application. It might also lead to a job as a technician or receptionist if the optometrist is impressed with you.

As you start to get in touch with the optometrists you want to shadow, you can discuss with him/her how long you would like to shadow. Most optometrists are very happy to have you for as long as you like. Two mornings or afternoons a week is very reasonable. I have had both high school and college students shadow me in the past.
Thank you comment icon Thank you, Dr. Bhakta! Anna
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Kristin’s Answer

If you can find a doctor willing to have you shadow them it can last any amount of time you both agree to. With so many offices short on staff, a part time job can give you valuable experience and be an asset to the doctors office as well.
Thank you comment icon Thanks for your answer, Dr. Burns! Anna
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Alyssa’s Answer

Hello Anna! I would definitely recommend shadowing as much as you can so you have the opportunity to see a variety of patient interactions and situations. Additionally, I would encourage you to contact multiple optometrists/optometrists who practice at different types of practices (private vs commercial and etc) as everyone has their own way of doing things. I would suggest you take a notebook and pen with you so you can write down questions as you go. An example question: What other responsibilities does the optometrist have at the clinic? How comfortable are they at treating a certain disease? Everyone has their own go-to drops or go-to way of doing things so feel free to ask similar questions to different doctors as you probably will get different answers. You got this!
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much Dr. Chin! Anna
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CAROLINE’s Answer

I highly recommend job shadowing for any career you want to have. Job shadowing is super important when you are figuring out if that career path is something you really want to commit to. Optometry is very specific to one area of the body and is different than medical school, so if you are possibly thinking of pursuing a path in optometry shadowing would be amazing. I am not on the optometry path, but I have experience shadowing in the medical field. If possible, you might want to shadow the whole summer. Some schools require shadowing to get in, and they want to see that you are fully committed to being in that field. Depending on the doctor, you can normally shadow for however long you are available. They also might try to get you in with different specialties among the optometry field, so you can see the overall makeup.
Thank you comment icon Thanks so much for the advice Caroline! Anna
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