Getting accepted into medical school is not an easy task. The application process is grueling for a reason. Medical schools want only extremely motivated, intelligent individuals that will be able to withstand the rigorous educational demands of pursuing a path in medicine. Having the ability to show the admissions committee that the student has outstanding academic grades and MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) scores is not enough; it is also imperative to show some working , hands on, knowledge of the vocation they decided to pursue. Shadowing in a clinical setting can help achieve this requirement.
Once a year, Dr. Fletcher and Dr. Hinkes show their medical support to a gifted, enthusiastic student by means of mentoring and providing a highly coveted shadowing position. This opportunity allows the student to go beyond learning in a classroom, from a textbook and slides, into a tangible clinical setting with real patients. What is the purpose of this exposure? Well, before an aspiring student devotes eight years of education, not to mention the financial expense of pursuing a career in medicine, it is imperative to be able to make an informed decision that medicine is, indeed, the career path best suited for the student.
Shadowing allows the student to witness, firsthand, patient-physician interactions in a real-life setting. This experience can either enhance a student’s motivation or force them to come to the realization that this may not be the profession best suited to their skillset.
Students given shadowing opportunities with our physicians are required to sign and comply with all HIPPA guidelines. Also, since patient comfort is of upmost importance, verbal permission is requested from each patient in order for the student to accompany the doctor during the patient’s visit.