If I’ve Shadowed PAs, Should I Include that in my Apps?

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If I've Shadowed PAs, Should I Include that in my Apps?

Session 63

Should you include shadowing mid-levels as an activity on your applications? No. But here are some ideas on how to include them.

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[00:14] Shadowing Different Healthcare Fields

As you’re going through this process of figuring out that you want to be a physician, you may have encountered other healthcare fields. There are physician assistants (PAs), chiropractors, podiatrists, nurses, NPs, etc.

And you think that the time spent with those other careers is important to put into your application.

'Everybody is worried about hours.'Click To Tweet

But if you shadowed a PA, should you include that time in your application? The answer is no.

[01:15] Should You Talk About Shadowing Other Careers

It doesn’t mean you hide the fact that you shadowed PAs. It may be an important part of your journey to show you’ve shadowed PAs. You may have thought about being a PA but you’ve ultimately reflected on your journey. Then you’ve decided that being a PA isn’t what you want. You know that you need to be a physician.

'Don't hide the fact that you are out exploring careers. In fact, it makes your personal statement and your story stronger.'Click To Tweet

Showing the admissions committee that you’ve shadowed other careers shows that you’ve done that critical thinking and analysis that this is what you want. 

[01:53] What to List in Your Shadowing Hours

When it comes to your extracurriculars, you have a spot for shadowing. But when it comes to those hours, don’t include anything outside of shadowing physicians.

So if you’ve shadowed other healthcare-related fields other than physicians, don’t include that in your shadowing hours.

A lot of students have done PTA (physical therapy assistant). This is not shadowing but paid work. You’re working with PT clients and you’re showing them exercises that the PT has prescribed.

You can put this in your application as another clinically related job. This is clinical experience although it’s not clinical experience in the world you want to be in. You can talk about this in your description.

'When it comes to shadowing specifically, do not include anything outside of being a physician.'Click To Tweet

Perhaps you got your doctorate of podiatric medicine. A podiatrist is basically an orthopedic surgeon in a very specific body part. They’re dealing with foot, ankle, below the knee (in some states), and surgery. They are seeing patients and doing everything an orthopedic surgeon would do.

This is very similar to a physician. You can talk about this in your personal statement and try to work it in there. But as far as shadowing hours, don’t include it.

[04:00] Shadow a Physician

'You want to be a physician. Shadow physicians.'Click To Tweet

Shadowing PAs is not enough to show that you’re interested in being a physician as well as shadowing a podiatrist. It could be the same thing but it’s not enough to show that you want to be a physician.

When you’re trying to find someone to shadow, make sure that he/she is a physician so you can use those hours in your application. You can add them up.

Show that you’ve done the work to prove to yourself and to prove to the admissions committees that this is what you want to do.


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