#T4DPacNW Day 2: Meaningful Shadowing
Finding shadowing opportunities has come up several times throughout the tour. Cold calling physicians and clinics is not likely to yield much success. An alternative strategy that I found more effective was seeking clinical volunteer opportunities. Most hospitals have a volunteer team and applying is usually pretty easy. Community health centers also like to make use of volunteers. These experiences will allow you to see how health care is delivered in a particular setting and to develop relationships with various health care professionals. After you establish a relationship, physicians will be more likely to let you shadow them or to mentor you. When I was in college I also had a hard time finding shadowing opportunities. Then I started volunteering at a free clinic as a Spanish interpreter. I honestly didn’t feel the need to set up specific shadowing opportunities afterward because I worked regularly with a variety of physicians and gained valuable clinical experience. Medical schools just want to see that you have had exposure to medicine and that you know what physicians do on a day-to-day basis. Clinical volunteer opportunities will offer you that exposure in a much more meaningful way than shadowing.