#T4DFlorida Day #4: How Many Hours of Shadowing Do I Need to Have?
In short there is no minimum or goal number of shadowing that one needs to be competitive for med school. Being consistent with your shadowing experiences is the most important part in the application process. Some students have 300+ hrs. of shadowing while others have much less than that. Every student has different circumstances and unique experiences that make them different from the next candidate. Some students work and go to school full time so they don’t have much time to shadow physicians and most medical school will put that into consideration. I would try to shadow at least once a semester and during Christmas break and/or summer break try to get a couple more shadowing experiences. Also if you can make sure you don’t only shadow the same doctor or specialty. Medical schools want to see that you are getting diverse experiences and prospective that comes from shadowing different physicians and specialties. A common pitfall that I see students often do is wait until the semester they apply to cram all their shadowing experiences. That is a red flag for medical schools and shows them that you aren’t really serious or dedicated to a career in medicine. Remember medical schools are looking for a well-rounded student and having shadowing experience is one key component that medical schools look for and it affirms that you want to go into a career in medicine.