Is volunteering or shadowing better?

While many premeds seek out shadowing experiences, and this can be beneficial, volunteering often requires a specified time commitment and can thus be perceived by medical schools as more useful and instructive than shadowing. Volunteering is usually a more formalized arrangement than shadowing.

Is shadowing different than volunteering?

Volunteering is the hands-on, unpaid delivery of time and services. Shadowing, on the other hand, is the concentrated observation of a healthcare professional as they provide care to patients or clients in a clinical setting, such as a hospital, clinic, assisted living/care facility, private practice, etc.

Is 100 hours of shadowing good?

If you want to put a number on it, around 100-120 hours is a good ideal range. Shadowing one doctor for one day will be approximately 10 hours, so if you can shadow multiple doctors for a total of 10 days spread over time, (even over a year or so if you start early), then you can easily hit your target.

Does shadowing count as clinical experience?

Shadowing is not considered clinical experience because it is usually hands-off, and observational only. However, shadowing allows prospective med students to get clinical exposure so that they know what to expect from a career in medicine.

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Is virtual shadowing good?

Is virtual shadowing an effective option to shadow a doctor? The UW School of Medicine said it best, “The Admissions Committee has always valued the insight and reflection that applicants gain from their experiences rather than the number of hours.” One virtual shadowing experience may be better than the others.

How many hours of shadowing do you need for med school?

Ryan recommends shooting for around 40 or 50 hours of shadowing, and then more clinical experience. That’s just a rough estimate, though. Some schools actually state a requirement on their website. Of those, some say 100 hours, while others are around 12-24 hours.

How many hours of volunteering do I need for med school?

Quantitatively, medical schools suggest AT LEAST 10-15 hours a month (give or take). Medical School Admissions also view service work as a long-term commitment, where a prospective applicant has committed at least 6 months to a given organization.

Is 200 hours of shadowing good?

You need consistent clinical experience, consistent nonclinical volunteering, consistent shadowing. Even if you think you have enough total hours, if the last time you shadowed was last year, it’s not good enough. Consistency is very important. So if it was consistent, 200 hours may be enough.

How many hours should you shadow a PA?

Shadowing Experience: Strongly recommended – minimum 40 hours verifiable direct shadowing of a PA with at least 20 of those hours spent directly shadowing a PA in a primary care setting (Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, or Emergency/Urgent Care Medicine).

How do you find shadowing hours?

The easiest way to set up shadowing hours is to simply ask someone you know—perhaps someone in your family or a family friend (keeping in mind that you shouldn’t plan to get a letter of recommendation from a family member). If you don’t happen to know any doctors personally, however, don’t worry.

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How many hours a week should you shadow a doctor?

The majority recommend shadowing a doctor for 25 to 40 hours every week. The idea is to make certain you understand exactly what is required for a career as a physician. Shadowing a doctor provides you with insight into the specific demands required of physicians.

Does shadowing a doctor look good?

Shadowing a doctor is a great way to find out if a career in medicine might be right for you. It will give you a better understanding of what a doctor’s typical day is like, and give you good experience to talk about in your applications and interviews for medical school.

Is shadowing paid?

Job shadowing is commonly considered a type of externship that is generally not paid unless you are already an employee and looking to move into another department or job within the company. You will essentially shadow another employee who is already doing the job you are looking to fill.

Which virtual shadowing is best?

You should familiarize yourself with all of these virtual shadowing platforms to decide which one is best for your needs!

  • Virtual Shadowing Opportunity #1 – The HEAL Clinical Education Network.
  • Virtual Shadowing Opportunity #2 –
  • Virtual Shadowing Opportunity #3 –

How do you talk to virtual shadowing?


  1. If possible, discuss any interactions between you and the patients themselves, especially diverse patients who are much different than you.
  2. Make yourself as active as possible in the narrative.
  3. Explain new clinical skills you learned or practiced.

How do I get medical shadowing experience?

Complete and submit a Job Shadow Request form to the AHS manager of the department or unit you wish to observe. The request should outline the goals and objectives of the proposed observational experience. Search for hospitals or facilities here.

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