How Do You Job Shadow a Doctor?


Quick Answer

To job shadow a doctor, wear comfortable but professional clothes, and follow the guidelines the doctor provides. Ask yourself key questions during the experience, such as how the doctor interacts with patients.

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Full Answer

Dress in business casual, and wear closed-toe shoes. Prepare some questions ahead of time in a notebook, and use the notebook for note-taking and to jot down further questions. However, refrain from taking notes while patients are present. The doctor introduces you to each patient and explains why you are shadowing. For example, he might mention you are interested in medical school or are a medical student. Refrain from physical contact with patients. Verbal contact may be okay if prompted by questions on your schooling or plans. Leave the room if a patient does not want you present for some aspects of an appointment. You may also be required to sign privacy documents.

Some issues to consider while you shadow are if you might be interested in doing every day what the doctor does, what seems positive and what seems frustrating, and what does the paperwork look like. Also consider how you feel when patients apparently do not take care of themselves, and what problem-solving methods appeal to you.

After shadowing, send the doctor a thank-you note. Furthermore, write down your thoughts and what you learned.

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