Hospital shadowing for teens

January 13, 2021

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

Click here for 2021 shadowing opportunities

If you’re a teenage student interested in a career in healthcare, it’s important for you to shadow at a hospital or clinic. Hospital shadowing for teens is a way to observe the working environment and the career you may want to pursue.

You may be wondering how to find hospital shadowing for teens. It can be challenging for, especially for those under the age of 18, to find the right opportunity. 

There are age minimums for most hospitals and clinics, which we will explore in detail below. But the answer is yes, you can shadow at a hospital even if you are under the age of 18. 

We know about the importance of job shadowing for pre-med and prehealth students because that’s exactly what we provide to high school, university, and gap year students. You can participate in our global health and doctor shadowing programs abroad as long as you are at least 16 years old.

For your information, we have delved into hospital shadowing opportunities for teens so that you can decide which path is right for you. 

Shadowing at a hospital or clinic

You can shadow at most hospitals or clinics as long as you are at least 14 years of age. You must be 16 years of age to observe in the Emergency Room or the Operating Room.

Shadowing a doctor, nurse, or surgeon can be a wonderful learning experience that you should take seriously. If you are under 18 years of age, there may be additional consent forms for your parent or guardian to sign. 

Patient confidentiality is very important as a medical professional, and is also the reason it can be challenging to find hospital shadowing opportunities. Shadowing a medical professional means they are trusting you to behave professionally and responsibly while you are on their service. 

The professional you are shadowing will explain all the rules and regulations of the healthcare facility. If you have any questions be sure to ask, but make sure you wait for the appropriate times. Do not ask questions when a doctor is speaking with a patient.

Do some research before you commit to an opportunity that offers hospital shadowing for teens so that you can be prepared for what you might see. You may want to have some questions prepared in advance and you can bring a notebook and pen with you to take notes.

Dress appropriately. This usually means business casual or scrubs  and if you have any questions you can ask the healthcare professional who will be allowing you on their service. 

At Global Pre-Meds we provide you with International standard PPE for each day that you are on the hospital frontlines. We have selected medical doctors who will serve as engaging, professional mentors for you during the entirety of your program. 

Your mentors will not only ensure your safety in the hospital, but they will make sure you get to observe a balance of medical cases and surgeries that represent what they see on a day to day basis. 

We have separate sessions for our high school students and our university or gap year students. The only difference is that there is a higher level of supervision for our 16 to 18 year old high school students. Other than that, your experience is just as exciting and educational.

We currently offer two programs. You can get hospital doctor shadowing experience in the Dominican Republic or gain global health experience in Tanzania. Both programs provide unique learning experiences for pre-med and pre-health students that are sure to make your resume stand out. 

Medical internships for high school students

Another way to find hospital and doctor shadowing experience is through medical internships.

There are several internships available for high school studentsSome of them are focused on research, but they often include a hospital shadowing component. Check with your local universities and major health organizations, like the National Institute of Health. 

The National Student Leadership Conference on Medicine and Health Care, for example, is a competitive program for grades 9 -12, which invites students to learn about modern challenges in medicine and visit medical facilities. 

Unfortunately, many of these internships have been postponed due to the pandemic. Additionally, the application process can be highly competitive.

Our program provides many of the same learning opportunities and has been enhanced to provide a covid-safe learning environment. You can safely isolate in a bubble of our staff, your peers, and your mentors while you complete your shadowing hours. We also provide regular covid testing for our students to ensure their health and safety. 

Your Global Pre-Meds program fee includes a stay at our beautiful guesthouse, meals prepared by our in-house chef, transportation, and 24/7 support. It also goes towards paying the doctors who work as your mentors, and the hospitals you will be shadowing in. 

We have a team that will be with you every step of the way. All you have to do is apply. After a brief interview and references, we will start to get you ready for your international adventure. 

Teen volunteer programs

You can also get premed experience as a teen through volunteer programs

You can look at your local hospital’s website to see if they have any openings for volunteers. Volunteering at a hospital can include helping to check patients in, delivering meals, or assisting with clerical duties.

While you may not see as much medicine as if you were shadowing a doctor, volunteering can give you a sense of how a hospital works and help you make some connection in the field.

You can also volunteer at a nursing home or homeless shelter, which you can use on any application or resume. While seemingly outside of the realm of healthcare, volunteering at these facilities can help you learn about patient care, which is an important aspect for any medical professional.

We also offer weekly volunteer opportunities for our students so they can get in touch with the local community. We partner with organizations in the community for visits to local orphanages or environmental projects. 

If you are looking for hospital shadowing as a teenager, we hope you consider one of our programs. Check out our program dates here