As a pre-med, I struggled to find doctors to shadow, especially Osteopathic Physicians (DO). To relieve some of your stress, I have listed the four ways I have found physicians to shadow.
- Religious organization
- While attending the house of worship, get acquainted with different members.
- As your parent meets more people, they will most likely talk about your goals to their friends. This opens doors, when they say they are a physician. At that point you can ask to shadow them and they may become a mentor who writes a letter for you.
- Mass email
- This usually works.
- Emailing doctors in school affiliated health centers, hospitals, clinics or urgent care centers.
- Use a formal introduction
- Body paragraphs of your goals and interests in medicine
- Use the last sentence to ask if you could shadow them.
- Below is the email I used to shadow Osteopathic Physicians.
Dear Dr. X,
I am a (school) University graduate student named (your name), who is interested in becoming a physician. I would like to learn more about being a Doctor of Osteopathic medicine. I saw that you work in the (specialty) department. This specialty is something that I am more geared towards. With that said, may I shadow you in order to learn more about the holistic approach of Osteopathic Medicine?
- http://doctorsthatdo.org/ (DO physicians)
- There is a box that says Find Your DO.
- Type in your city and it will find doctors within your area with their contact information
- Volunteer in health related areas
- Volunteering in Food Pantries or with the Medical Reserve Corps creates opportunities to meet physicians.
- I have met several who have allowed me to shadow them.
- Have a few conversations with them. This allows you to get to know them more and they will realize your interest in them and medicine. When you decide to ask to shadow them it will not be awkward.