I’m wondering how I can obtain shadowing opportunities in the summer. since I don’t have any familial connections. When and where do I find the appropriate people to email? Also, where am I typically allowed to shadow? I imagine that something as intense as surgery wouldn’t be feasible. Thanks in advance!
Shadowing is definitely doable even if you don’t personally have familial connections. Here are a few options:
1. I’m sure you spend lots of time in the pre-med community, so chances are, someone you know has family members or family friends that would be willing to take you on as a shadow. Let your friend/acquaintance know that you are looking to find an shadowing opportunity, and ask if they would be willing to reach out to their connections.
2. If you are taking any classes with MDs or DOs, you may be able to ask them if they have any colleagues who are willing to take you on as a shadow as well.
3. Talk to your own doctors. You likely already have some sort of relationship with them and they may be more comfortable with you shadowing them, or refer you to colleagues in specialties that you are interested in.
4. Scribing is a paid opportunity to shadow doctors in the emergency department. There are a few companies that work in the Ann Arbor area, but be warned that the hours do tend to be long as you are working at a doctor’s pace. If you are looking for a scribing opportunity, check out companies like PhysAssist or ScribeAmerica, and watch for job openings through Handshake.
5. There’s a website where you can find the contact information of DOs who are at the very least open to being contacted. Here at UM, you can find a doctor’s contact information by looking up their specialty at this link. While cold emailing and calling is not the most efficient method, you could be surprised by the results.
With regards to the second question, my personal philosophy is that you don’t know until you try! If you shadow a surgeon, ask them how close you can be to the operating room. If you shadow a cardiologist, see if you can follow the patient while they do stress tests. As a shadow, you can’t really engage in patient care, but be as proactive as possible and gain the most out of the experience.
-Daphne, PMH Board