stealdontkill (stealdontkill) wrote in med_school,

dr. shadowing, research, etc

Hey everbody! I'm currently in my junior year of undergrad, majoring in biology. I've seen a lot of you mention the importance of taking the time to shadow a doctor. I'm kind of wondering about specifics here. Would this involve shadowing a doctor for one day, several times, a month's time, etc? How do you include this in med school applications?

Also, I'm trying to get involved in some type of undergraduate research at my school, or working under a doctor in a hospital, but I'm kind of nervous about it. In general, for those of you that have done research, how exactly does a research job work? Are you given an experiment to conduct with directions, like in a lab? Or do you design your own? Or are you just doing things like punching numbers in a computer?

I'd love to hear about any of yall's experiences with shadowing and research. Thanks! :) :)
  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic
It's worth doing a little scouting and seeing if any of your local hospitals have ER scribes. It's fantastic clinical experience and they typically hire undergrads.
ummm....what is an ER scribe? haha
I think this wiki article does a good job of summing up what scribes do !
There's also this set of videos that lets you see a bit of what's involved.

I've been doing it for about 6 months and it is the best. Many recommend a year or two of something like scribing, PA, or EMT experience for your med school app. With scribing, you get to follow the doctor's process very, very closely. You also get great advice from them and the hospital staff because you are an integral part of the ER "family".
Dude, that's awesome. I wish there was a scribe for any clinic work, regardless of specialty (i.e., not just ER). That looks like it would save SO much time on the doctor's part.
NEAT!!! Thanks for the links! How did you get involved? I just googled "ER scribe job new orleans" and came up with nothing. I'm about to start volunteering in an ER, should I just ask around?
I volunteered at my local hospital first and then the word got passed to me by an operator. Just ask around. Scribes are pretty new but they're spreading to many ERs.
oooh, thank you so much for your help!
I do work researching at my college, and I really enjoy it. You'll get trained and given assignments by your PI, but you'll generally be expected to be pretty independent as far as deciding your hours and getting your work done, etc. But I've always found the people in my lab to be very generous, and I've already gotten a scientific paper published, which is a big bonus for me!

I have had research jobs where a lot of it is computer work, which I like less than what I am doing now. Currently, I run a lot of experiments and assays, which is much better for me! You probably won't design a lot of your own experiments, but you will be able to follow procedures for commonly done experiments, so I don't think it's particularly difficult as long as that kind of thing is something you enjoy!
That sounds cool, thanks for your imput!
I shadowed two dermatologist and a dermasurgeon nine hours a day for one week. Planning on shadowing and oncologist later this year as well. Basically, I wrote a nice letter about myself and my interest in medicine and stated that I was looking for an opportunity to shadow derms. Then I sent it out to at least 50 doctors in my area. About ten responded, most of them thanking me but saying they were too busy, and then a few who were willing to let me shadow. In your AMCAS application there is a section to list experiences like shadowing and write about what you gained from the experience.

My school is a lot different from most colleges and I was able to do A LOT of independent research, that was mainly me designing and conducting my own research in an area I chose with a bit of help from faculty, much like what I am told you do in grad school. I don't think that's the typical experience though. I also worked in the developmental biology lab and did a lot of random tasks but conducted very few actual procedures. My friends at other schools undergrad research experiences consisted mainly of pipetting and making plates, so sucks to be them, but I have a feeling that is pretty standard.
I did a TON of volunteering, but I never shadowed before starting med school. I felt like it would be strange and awkward. Now that I'm an M2 and have had to shadow many times... I still feel like it's strange and awkward. I actually helped convince my school to cut down on the M1 shadowing requirements, because I didn't think it was a worthwhile experience. Don't get me wrong, I love being in the clinic/the hospital, I'd just much rather have something useful to do while I'm there.

You can absolutely get in without shadowing.

I also had a couple research experiences, both in undergrad and in med school. In undergrad, I did a lot of assistant-type work for pay in one lab, then moved to another lab where I was given a bit more responsibility and worked for credit rather than pay. As a med student, I'm working with a department that gives me a ton of flexibility to get involved in pretty much any way that I can think of. No papers for me yet, though :)