What Types of Physicians Should I Shadow?

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What Types of Physicians Should I Shadow?

Session 37

Shadowing seems to be one of the hardest extracurriculars that premeds face. How many physicians should you shadow and what types of specialties too?

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[00:40] Who Do You Shadow?

Do you need to shadow a primary care physician? Or do you need to shadow everything? Do medical students want to see that?

'It doesn't matter what med schools want. You cannot go through this process always questioning what medical schools want.'Click To Tweet

You need to go through this process asking yourself what you’re interested in. The sooner you ask yourself that question, the easier your path will get. Since now you’re no longer beholden to this idea of a standard of what admissions committees want. Not, what they want, but what you want. What do you want? What do you like? What do you enjoy? Do you like surgery? Go shadow a surgeon and stay in that world.

Medical schools don’t care. You’re not trying to prove a point to them to say you like primary care. That’s not what they’re looking for. They’re looking for your passion and for your awareness of what medicine is like. They’re looking for your passion to go out there and be involved with physicians and be around patients.

On any day, it’s quality versus quantity.

[02:35] How Long Should You Shadow a Physician?

If you shadow a physician for a year, where you do it a couple hours every couple of weeks, that’s great. That’s much better than one day and on day there, then one day over here. Again, quality.

'Build that relationship with one person instead of splitting it up among many.'Click To Tweet

Some of you may complain that the hospital you’re shadowing will only allow you to shadow one physician for one day once a month. Then they make you switch somewhere else. Well, there’s probably another hospital where you live or a private practice physician or other physicians in that area where you can go and shadow. It’s going to take a little time and effort on your part, but that’s okay. Effort is worth it.

[03:34] Should You Shadow Every Specialty?

Don’t assume that you need to shadow a primary care doctor or a surgeon or any other specialty. You don’t need to prove to anybody that you’re interested in everything. Go out and do what you enjoy. Build a relationship with the types of physicians that you enjoy being around. When it comes to writing about it in your personal statement or talking about it in your medical school interviews, that passion will shine through.

'Don't worry about what the admissions committee wants to see. They're not looking for anything. Don't try to shape who you are based on what you think they want to see.'Click To Tweet


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