Presented by the Creighton Career
Center and the PMED Seminar Program
Presented by:
Lisa Brockhoff and Linda Dunn
Creighton Career Center
Shadowing…What Does it
Really Mean?
Beyond just looking it up online…It
is actually watching someone do
a job for a few hours, days or
whatever time is necessary.
It is the only way to really find out
what you may like or not like
about a specific profession or
clinical specialty!
You will ALWAYS learn somethingboth positive and negative
Will come away either more excited
or less excited – never neutral
Why do I need to shadow?
• “But I already KNOW what
doctors do –”
– Your experience as a patient
(or TV fan) does NOT give
you a real picture of what it
takes day in and day out
– You need to be sure
– Medical Schools want to
KNOW that you have truly
explored being a doc!
– The focus should be to have
exposure to many different
practices and specialties
What is an “ideal”
shadowing experience?
• How many
times do I
need to
• How many
hours of
do I need?
• How many
different doctors
do I need to
The Rule of 4-3-2-1
• At a minimum
– 4 - different doctors
– 3 - different visits to each doc
– 2 - hours at each visit
– 1 - no more than one doc you
already know
• The best shadowing experiences
will occur over several years
• Not a checklist
• Learning process
What are the “logistics” of
• Find a physician to shadow
• Use of Reference USA
– Physicians all over the US
who graduated from CU’s
Medical School
– Demonstration
• CU Physician Experience
Database (available to
• Networking
• Shadowing Guidelines handout
Before you Shadow…
• HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability
and Accountability Act )
– Patient Confidentiality is
– Physicians will prefer those
already HIPAA proficient
• PMED students received
certification, so refer to this.
– If you have one, use it.
– PMED 201 students will
attend Resume Development
workshop in the Fall
Shadowing Etiquette
• Have a good reason for your
choice of doctor
• Contact the appropriate person
• Be flexible in scheduling
• Dress professionally and wear
comfortable shoes
• Have at least 5 questions
– Inquire about referrals for
other physicians
• Always write a Thank You note
• Remember that shadowing is not
a not a group project
While you are there
• What is the scope of a shadowing
– To watch, listen and learn
– Observing only
• BE SENSITIVE to patients
• Be on time
• Be polite, sensitive and
considerate of office staff, nurses
and other docs
• Remember that you are there to
learn, not teach!
• A database of more than 850,000
US doctors and dentists
• Can select by geography, medical
specialty, size of practice, medical
school attended, etc.
• Examples: CU medical school
alums in Des Moines; Nebraska
med school alums in Denver;
Pediatricians practicing in Omaha
from Creighton’s medical school,
etc., etc.
Other Suggestions for
Getting Clinical Experience:
• Start shadowing with your own
physician and their colleagues
• Volunteer at local hospital and
long-term care facilities
• Get trained to be a Certified ,
Nursing Assistant, Emergency
Medical Tech, Phlebotomist, etc.
• Information about local CNA,
EMT and Phlebotomy programs
available through Career Center
• Summer months – good time to
do this…. Could then get paid for
clinical experience

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