It is never too early to start acquiring clinical experiences, whether by shadowing health care professionals, participating in research, or gaining internship experience. Be sure to ask questions about the profession and ask for referrals to colleagues who practice in other areas that might be of interest to you.
WHAT IS SHADOWING?
Observing a professional while they work in order to learn about that particular profession. It is an important part of a competitive professional school application!
WHAT KIND OF SHADOWING EXPERIENCES SHOULD I PURSUE?
Seek experience in your chosen area in multiple healthcare settings and with professionals in different specialties.
HOW MANY SHADOWING HOURS SHOULD I GET?
There’s no set number of shadowing hours you should strive for, but generally speaking, the more the better. However, quality should be valued over quantity.
HOW DO I SET UP SHADOWING EXPERIENCES?
- Use your network
- Begin researching locations and professionals
- Create a tracking system
- Create a phone/email script template
- Call or email…and follow up!
- Prepare for your shadowing experience
HOW DO I GET THE MOST OUT OF SHADOWING?
Be active, engaged, and curious when shadowing. Some health professionals may make time for you to ask follow-up questions about what you observed, so be prepared to ask questions. Use your shadowing experience to increase your network of contacts in the healthcare field.
WHAT DO I DO AFTER JOB SHADOWING?
Create a consistent way to record your shadowing and your reflections on the experiences. Consider sending a thank you note to the healthcare professional you shadowed by email or mail. Be sure to be specific about what you learned and found valuable from the experience.
Need more information on shadowing experiences? Download one of the resources below or contact your MPA Advisor.