Shadowing a Doctor

Shadowing a doctor is one of the best ways to gain clinical experience as a pre-health student, and our program provides a minimum of 40 hours in a working hospital environment, evidenced by a physician’s recommendation letter on successful completion.

All of our placements are compliant with both AAMC and BMA guidance on student shadowing, and our individual mentoring system ensures the highest standards of professional supervision.

This is an immersive and at times intense experience that will introduce you to the complex challenges of life in the medical profession – supported throughout by our expert staff, and living with your peers from around the world in the famous Global Pre-Meds House.

Your Mentor

Guiding you through your hospital experience is your mentor – an accredited medical doctor who is your supervisor, and through whose eyes you will gain a very personal insight into a career in clinical medicine and surgery.

The relationship you build with your mentor is an important basis of the learning experience, and all of our doctors are chosen because of their passion for helping develop the next generation of health professionals. That relationship also enables your mentor to write a personal letter of recommendation for medical schools that honestly reflects their observation of your approach and aptitude.

On your first day, you’ll have a familiarisation session with your mentor, to discuss your own personal learning objectives and how the placement can help you meet them. Due to our strong hospital partnerships (see our ethics), your mentor can also call on colleagues from across the healthcare team to allow you to observe a range of clinical cases (e.g. surgical procedures or childbirths) in which he or she is not directly involved.

Robyn Spibey, 20

Biomedical Sciences Student at Cardiff University, UK

I felt really lucky to have had Dr Garcia as my mentor. In surgery, he always explained each procedure, showed me the X-rays and linked it to the symptoms the patient had been experiencing. He often made sure I was stood in the best position to see what he was doing, and whenever he could, paused to let me look closer. I will definitely recommend Global Pre-Meds to anyone and everyone!

Marta Carlotti, 21

Biomedical Sciences student at the University of Kent, UK

Dr Artiles was very welcoming as soon we first met. He explained everything that was going on with great detail. He kept asking questions related to the topics we were seeing to consolidate the learning that was taking place. He was always very approachable and made sure I was understanding what was going on at all times. He was always concerned about my well being inside and outside of the operating room.

Morgan Jones, 20

Biology Major at the University of Delaware, USA

Dr. Elido Perez answered questions before they were even asked, I couldn’t have asked for a better and more caring teacher during my placement. And his goofiness and comic nature helped us as students be more comfortable and open with him. All the doctors were amazing and so friendly, so eager to try and communicate with us and learn who we are. It was truly life changing and my outlook on life and my career pursuit has been influenced heavily. I will be back in the future.

Cases You Can Observe

Our programs are based in the Dominican Republic because of the excellent opportunities hospitals here offer to experience both mainstream cases that are common around the world and more specialist tropical medicine.

It’s likely you’ll have at least one opportunity to observe surgeons at work in the O.R. In most of our partner hospitals, orthopaedic, gastrointestinal and E.N.T. procedures are all relatively common, and our specialist trauma hospital (the largest in the country) also offers more advanced surgeries including neurological and maxillofacial.

If you’re with one of our maternity mentors, there’s a good chance of being invited to see a natural delivery, as well as experiencing the ante- and post-natal functions of the hospital and the neonatal I.C.U. Caesarean sections are relatively common, and consent is often given for students to attend.

One of the great advantages of shadowing a doctor abroad is the opportunity to experience medical conditions you’re unlikely to see at home, and Dominican Republic allows students to experience cases such as malaria, dengue fever, malnutrition and many more.

Your mentor may sometimes use quieter times between patient cases to provide informal teaching of basic clinical skills, allowing you to practice with your peers in a safe, controlled setting.

Safety In The Clinical Environment

The Global Pre-Meds program is designed to allow students with little or no clinical training to experience the hospital front line in a safe and responsible way, through observational shadowing. Students are not allowed physical patient contact or any participatory involvement in clinical procedures.

At the start of the placement, you will be introduced to the hospital by one of our Student Coordinators. From this point on, your mentor takes over responsibility for your safety and will ensure you are under professional supervision at all times.

You will be provided with Global Pre-Meds scrubs that you must change into on arrival at the hospital each day, for infection control reasons. In some settings (such as the O.R.), you will be required to change into clean scrubs and wear additional personal protective equipment, all of which will be explained by your mentor.

Our Programs

Our University Program is open to all students aged 18 and over who are seeking to pursue a career in medicine or healthcare. It is a two-week residential program, which can be extended in further two-week blocks for students wanting more hours clinical experience and the opportunity to shadow different doctors.

Our High School Program operates in exactly the same way as the University Program, but is exclusively for students aged 16-18 and has a higher level of supervision 24 hours a day.

Our new Global Pre-Meds Lite Program is a subsidised one-week shadowing experience for 16-18 year olds available only during February, March and April 2020.

Apply for a Program