Shadow a doctor in Tampa

December 8, 2020

Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.

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If you are a pre-med or pre-health student in Florida, you know how important getting clinical experience is for your career. Shadowing a doctor is an effective way to understand the profession and help you decide if medicine is right for you. We can tell you what you need to know to shadow a doctor in Tampa.

We help students who are interested in healthcare, by providing comprehensive doctor shadowing and global health experiences abroad. Many students can find it challenging to connect with the proper mentor for shadowing, so we have done the work for you. If you are a student in Florida who wants to be a doctor, nurse, physician assistant, or midwife, you should take a look at our programs.

Tampa is home to University of South Florida, which is in the top 50 medical schools for research. There are lots of options for you to shadow a doctor or physician in Tampa.

The importance of shadowing a doctor 

Shadowing helps you decide if you want to be a doctor, find references to write letters of recommendation, and helps you choose a specialty. Whether you are a pre-health student, or already in medical school, it’s important to continually get shadowing experience.

If you are a high school or undergraduate student who is interested in medicine, shadowing a doctor or healthcare professional is important for you to decide if healthcare is the right path for you. You may think it’s interesting but change your mind once you are on the front lines of a hospital. There may be another medical profession or specialty that you end up being more interested in. 

Doctor shadowing helps you become a more competitive applicant to apply to an undergraduate program or medical school. While most medical schools don’t necessarily require students to shadow a doctor, it helps show them that you are serious and committed. Additionally, if you have a great learning experience during your shadowing hours, you can use that in your essays and interviews for admission.   

Many of our Global Pre-Meds students are able to observe medical cases and surgeries that few students would be able to see in their home country. We partner with hospitals and identify medical doctors to serve as mentors, so that we can provide the best learning experience for you.

We understand the importance of doctor shadowing and clinical experience. We have created a program where you can get the most out of your placement without having to worry about anything else. We take care of your transportation, food, and housing, so that you can focus on the learning experience.

How to find a doctor to shadow in Tampa

If you are a pre-med or pre-health student in Tampa, you will be competing with many other students, particularly from the University of South Florida and University of Tampa, to find the best doctor shadowing opportunities.

We always suggest that you start looking for a doctor to shadow by leveraging your personal connections. Ask your friends and family who are in the medical field or are doctors themselves if they know of an opportunity for you to shadow a doctor in Tampa.

You can also consider your personal doctor, who may not allow you to shadow them, but might know of someone you can contact. If using personal connections doesn’t work for you there are other options.

Contact the college or alumni offices of the programs you’re interested in. The University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine is an amazing program that may have some connections for you.

In particular, USF has a “Pre-Med Student Observation Program,” which allows students who meet their eligibility requirements to observe at the Moffitt Cancer Center. This could be a great option, but you do have to make sure you meet their GPA requirements, and are accepted by the selection committee. With our Global Pre-Meds programs, all you have to do is apply. 

There are also student organizations that can facilitate connections to doctors or other healthcare professionals. HOSA – Future Health Professionals, formerly known as Health Occupation Students of America, is an amazing association for students who want to pursue a career in healthcare. Both the University of South Florida and the University of Tampa have HOSA chapters that you can join.

Utilize all the search engines out there to find physicians near you. Google, white pages, or any healthcare provider search engine will help you find phone numbers and email addresses. You can send a message or give them a call with your name, interest in medicine, and why you want to shadow them.

Understand that you will have to be flexible because they are busy working professionals who are granting you a favor. Make sure you know what your availability is in terms of school and work so that you can quickly respond with your own schedule.

Some other locations in the Tampa Bay area are Tampa General Hospital, St. Joseph Hospital, and Florida Hospital, which all have summer teen volunteer programs.

Finding a doctor to shadow can feel daunting, which is why we’ve made it easy for you. If you are student interested in healthcare, our Dominican Republic program is a short flight away from Tampa. We can help you get an amazing international experience on the frontlines of a hospital.

Our program has been designed to fit the needs of future physicians, physician assistants, nurses, and midwives. We have programs designated for high school or university students who want to experience a professional working hospital.

Our program is a challenging, comprehensive learning experience, where you are guided by mentoring doctors who will show you the range of cases they see. Upon completion of your program, your mentor will write you a personal letter of recommendation that is an honest reflection of your time on the program.

You can get global health experience without going too far. The kinds of cases you see in the Dominican Republic are common, but not necessarily in the United States. Tropical diseases such as malaria and dengue fever, which are not an issue in the U.S., can create additional complications for patients. You can gain a unique perspective on international healthcare, with limited resources.

We help students stand out from the crowd of other applicants. Check out our program dates here