Physician Shadow Program
The Florida A & M University Student Health Services (SHS) Pre-Med Shadow Program (PSP) provides the FAMU pre-med student with clinical exposure and stories to talk about in the interview for admission to medical school. During the admission interviews you may be asked about your involvement in shadowing. This would be a great opportunity to expound on your experience during shadowing by sharing your encounters with the interviewers and use these experiences in your personal statement.
During the shadowing process, be sure to spend enough hours shadowing the same physician. This offers an opportunity to expose you to the clinical setting while working through the pre-med coursework. This also allows you to see what medicine and a physician’s life are like.
Contact the FAMU Pre-med Shadow Program. Choose a specialty of interest. Tell us what dates you would prefer to shadow. Communicate with the physician’s office (and the physician) that you would like to follow the physician in the office, in the operating room (OR) if available, and on rounds in the hospital.
Professional dress and groom is a must. If in doubt, overdress for the first day and once you get a better sense of what is acceptable, dress down if appropriate. For males, wear dress pants, shirt and tie. For females, dresses or professional business attire with closed-toed shoes. Pull hair back and limit perfumes since patients may find this offensive.
Stand back and observe what the physician does without doing anything yourself. Try not to interrupt or get in the way. Express to your physician how involved you want to be. Some physicians may include you to some degree and as they see your capabilities, may allow you to become more involved.
You want as much interaction with the physician so the physician can get to know you and observes that you are interested in medicine. Ask the physician for an excellent recommendation letter, and don’t forget to show your appreciation for their time.
Goals and Objectives
In partnership with the William Gunn Medical Society and other participating physicians in the Tallahassee area, the Student Health Services PSP expects to:
- Provide students exposure to at least one of the five areas of primary care medicine.
- Expose the student to the practice of medicine and daily activities of primary care physicians.
- Allow the student to observe the patient/physician interactions and problem-solving skills.
- Allow the student to observe the treatment of patients in the clinical setting.
- Allow the student to observe the office/hospital functions and management.
- Permit the student to develop an understanding of and adhere to professional ethics, communication and patient confidentiality.
- Allow the student to experience a work environment where professionalism, punctuality, and medical etiquette are important.
- Enable the student to observe diagnostic procedures and use of medical equipment.
- Assist students in making an educated decision about their careers in the future by giving them first-hand knowledge of what it is like to be in the specialty of interest
- Provide experiences to include in the medical school applications.
- Provide experiences to discuss during medical school interviews
Are You Interested?
If you think the Pre-med Shadow Program is for you, complete the application below and submit it to Tanya Tatum at FAMU Student Health Services. Applications are accepted year round. If accepted for a hospital placement, the student is responsible for obtaining facility required background checks and drug screens.