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How should I ask for a shadowing opportunity?

So far, I've been making calls to a few optometry centers to ask for a shadowing opportunity. One of the receptionists told me to show up in person. I gave him my resume without directly speaking to their optometrist, who doesn't work on that day. Would it be better to speak with their optometrist directly? Also, how long should I wait for a call-back about the opportunity? I'm not sure how much longer I should wait for a call-back until moving on to ask at another center...

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Subject: Career question for you

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Rita’s Answer

Great answers have been given. I agree with trying to email the optometrist directly and being very detailed about your goals in shadowing and when you would like to come in. You can definitely try to get in touch with more than one doctor. Also keep in mind this is a popular time to take vacations so the doctor might be out. Given that it may take a little longer for a response.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Anna
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Elizabeth’s Answer

Good job getting your foot in the door already. I would ask after a couple days if they'd like you to come in to meet.
I would not hesitate to ask at other places. If you get a "yes" from somewhere while waiting to hear from another it's ok. They are doing you a favor but they are not counting on your presence to get their job done. So if you choose to not come it its ok. If they call to tell you you can come in but you no longer need that location, express your gratitude. Another option is to observe 2 locations. This way you can observe how different people do things.
Also you can option offer to help with anything you can while shadowing. They may need some help with something and be eager to accept you. Don't be afraid to ask. They can always say no. It's ok. Be polite and professional. Who knows. You could leave a favorable impression and open up a potential future career opportunity.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for the advice! Anna
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Priya’s Answer

Hi Anna,
I would go ahead and ask as many people as you can first, because waiting one at a time may be a disadvantage for you. If you ask everyone ahead of time, like in a job interview, you can give it a few weeks to get as many answers as you can and go with the best option for you, while politely declining the other opportunities. I do not have experience shadowing but I would think this could better help your chances, as some places may forget or have it low priority.
Good luck!

Also I think it could leave a good impression to meet with the optometrist in person first, but that is just my personal opinion as I do not have experience there. Perhaps it could help your chance of shadowing, but I am not sure.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for the advice. Anna
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Kruti’s Answer

If you have any doctors appointments I would ask the physician directly or any connections via friends parents with a physician that would help. To know someone who has a connection would help.
Thank you comment icon Thank you, Kruti! Anna
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Svetlana’s Answer

My advice would be to try to address the doctor personally. Doctors can be quite busy and may not be able to give you much time. However, I have had good success with emailing doctors directly which is pretty easy to do considering many doctors post their email address on their website. I would recommend making the email like a cover letter. State why you are interested is shadowing an optometrist and why this particular practice. Also, give a flexible time frame about how long you would like to shadow. One afternoon on a Saturday or all summer, for example. If you don't hear a response within one week, I would move on.
Thank you comment icon Thank you, Dr. Pekovic! Anna
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