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How can I find opportunities to shadow physicians/doctors?

I'm participating in a hospital internship + dentist's office internship this summer, but I'm not sure how indicative these experiences will be to experiencing what a real healthcare experience is like. So, I'm wondering if shadowing a doctor would be better.

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Rita’s Answer

I think this is going to be hard. Because of your age, it's going to be difficult to have anyone consent to having you in the room. There are privacy issues. Honestly, I'm not sure how much it will be helpful. I think it's more helpful to see if you can tolerate hearing problems all day. It's after you learn medicine that it's helpful to see how other practice.

Perhaps you can just volunteer in a doctor's office and be on the outside. You can still do a lot and hear a lot being outside the room.

When you are older, I would get a job working as a scribe. If you get into medicine, this will be helpful during the learning process.
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Martin’s Answer

Great question! The answer can be a bit tricky, depending on what you're interested in. If dentistry is your passion, then this sounds like an ideal opportunity for you to learn. However, if you're thinking about becoming a general physician, like an MD or DO, the experience might not be as relevant. While you'll certainly get a taste of patient interaction, it won't fully represent the day-to-day of these types of doctors.

Shadowing a dentist in a hospital can be quite thrilling, as they often handle more urgent cases compared to their usual routine. But without knowing your specific interest within the healthcare field, it's tough to give a clear-cut answer. Regardless, kudos to you for securing a chance to shadow a healthcare professional!
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Karissa’s Answer

Intern for a while. You will build relationships with doctors and then you can ask to shadow them. Plan on this process going into the fall.
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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Chuer !

Congratulations on obtaining such an exciting Internship ! It sounds wonderful and I would like to share some advice for you.

You are in a great position with this internship than many other students who are not able to obtain an Internship - you're already in ! Especially in New York City, you will be getting one of the best experiences through interning in a hospital and dental setting. Probably incomparable to many other regional internships. A hospital is the major setting of healthcare of all types. Do not underestimate dentistry either. Many dental problems can be life threatening and it's important to see patients in every circumstance and you will have this opportunity in a hospital and also a great opportunity interning in a dental clinic , for sure. Take full advantage of this fabulous opportunity in a city that will expose you to countless diverse populations with numerous health issues.

About shadowing, no. My viewpoint on shadowing in the health field is not agreed with by many, but I do not feel that shadowing in healthcare is appropriate because of the privacy and trust elements and the patient should come first. That being said, shadowing is not something you need when you already have obtained a marvelous internship to be involved in. Shadowing is for students that think they want a certain career so they stay with a professional all day to see what it's like, and then determine if they want to go into that work. You are already past that level and will have hands on experience, so shadowing is not even necessary. Also, your internship is an item for your resume but shadowing would not be.

I hope that you will consider this advice because you are really in a fortunate position and there will be many more advanced opportunities whenever the internship ends. It is important to learn through your internship about various types of illnesses, including dental, so that when you go into your selected career you will have hands on experience working on your own and in collaboration with various healthcare professionals.

Best wishes to you in whatever you choose to do !
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