One, there is an urgent need for more medical professionals. And two, virtual learning can have just as much merit as in-person education. In fact, most medical schools in the United States and beyond are now accepting virtual shadowing hours as part of their med school shadowing requirements. And even if the schools you are looking at don’t require any medical school shadowing hours, virtual shadowing is still a great way to get introduced to the exciting, varied and ever-changing world of medicine.
Here’s why you should consider virtual shadowing in 2022 and beyond.
More Specialties to Choose From
Whether you have your heart set on practicing a certain kind of medicine, or you have no idea what field you might pursue, having a lot of different specialties to choose from in one of the best reasons to include some virtual shadowing experiences in your med school shadowing journey. Scheduling an in-person shadowing experiencing can be time consuming, and can involve a lot of back and forth with hospitals, doctor’s offices and clinics before getting a slot. With virtual shadowing, you can follow along with any number of doctors at any time. Many online shadowing experiences are prerecording, meaning you can spend the day shadowing an orthopedic surgeon and then shadow an ER doctor in the evening!
Getting some of your medical school shadowing experiences online means you don’t have to spend precious time commuting to different medical facilities near you. This is especially important if you live somewhere remote with not a lot of choice in terms of shadowing. It also means you can shadow doctors, surgeons and other medical professionals who work at facilities all around the country. Not only will you get to experience a day in their lives, you’ll also get a peek at what it’s like to work in different places.
It’s the Safest Way to Shadow
The coronavirus pandemic has emphasized a need to socially distance, to protect ourselves from germs, and to avoid highly contagious environments. Medical facilities often make it impossible to do any of these things. By shadowing a doctor virtually, you can rest assured that you are protected from potential contagions while you get an up close look at a doctor’s day. What’s more, the doctor will likely be more relaxed and informative since they will not have to worry about your health and safety on top of everything else.
How to Find Virtual Med School Shadowing Experiences
Unlike in-person shadowing, virtual shadowing can be found through a few different resources. You can ask your school advisor for recommendations, or even see if the clinic, hospital or doctor’s office has a referral for a good virtual experience. You can also search online for “Virtual Medical School Shadowing” or “Online Doctor Shadowing” to find options. As with in-person shadowing, any virtual shadowing service should offer free shadowing experiences. They should also offer live Q&A opportunities with the doctor either during the shadowing itself or at a later date.