Pre-med shadowing

January 18, 2021

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

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Shadowing at a hospital or clinic is essential for pre-med and pre-health students. Shadowing gives you the opportunity to observe the environment you may want to work in, as well as get to know the profession you aspire to. 

We put students directly on the frontlines of international hospitals and clinics for pre-med shadowing experience. If you are interested in becoming a physician, physician assistant, nurse, or midwife, we can help you on that journey. 

What is shadowing?

Shadowing as a premed student means observing a healthcare professional in their place of work so that you can learn about their job. 

Shadowing is generally observational only because students are not medically trained professionals and should not be performing any hands-on care. This is your chance to be on the frontlines of the action but in a safe and controlled way. There is so much you can learn from watching and asking questions. 

You can shadow doctors, surgeons, physician assistants, nurses, midwives, and pretty much any healthcare professional as long as you are at least 16 years of age.

You can ask questions of your mentor and get a real understanding of what their day-to-day responsibilities are, and what kind of lifestyle you can expect to live in the future. 

We provide doctor shadowing and global health experience programs that help aspiring doctors decide if medicine is the right choice for them. Each experience provides you unique opportunities to learn about medicine that can help you stand out from the crowd of other applicants.

Why is shadowing important for premeds?

The purpose of pre-med shadowing is to make sure you understand the career and can decide if it’s right for you.

It’s important to get this experience before you commit to a career in medicine. Not only do admission officers want to see that you’ve shadowed a doctor, but this is your chance to learn what’s involved before you make a commitment.

It’s good to shadow more than one healthcare provider, but you also want to make sure that you spend a good amount of time with each person. One day may not give you insight into what really goes on.

On our hospital doctor shadowing program in the Dominican Republic, you will spend a minimum of 40 hours shadowing at an international hospital. On our global health experience program in Tanzania, you will spend five days shadowing healthcare professionals at a primary care center, and then additional time learning about global health and from traditional healers.

These are the opportunities that help you write personal statements which are powerful and representative of your ambitions. Adding phenomenal premed shadowing experiences to your resume will show any future school or medical program that you are committed to a career in healthcare.

How to get shadowing experience

There are many ways you can find doctors to shadow. First off – ask people you know! If you have a doctor in your family, or a personal doctor, you can start by asking them. Even if they aren’t able to allow you on their service, they may be able to recommend someone who can help. 

Contact your local hospitals and see if they have any shadowing programs you can apply for. Hospitals and clinics are used to premed students asking to shadow at their facilities. 

You should also consider one of our programs for your pre-med shadowing hours. Our unique experiences, where you get to observe a range of medical cases and surgeries, can help set you apart from other premed students. We also abide by all AAMC and BMA guidelines to provide a safe and ethical experience.

By shadowing at an international healthcare facility, you will also get to observe cases that medical students in your country may never get the opportunity to. These cases may be quite common in that country but different from what you might typically see at home. 

We can help set you up for success as a pre-med student. You can learn about our programs here