Many pre-health students will shadow practicing professionals as they explore possible careers. This can be an excellent learning activity as students observe doctors going through their day-to-day activities. However, shadowing is a passive learning experience that does not require a future candidate to build their own skills.  A small to moderate amount of shadowing is desirable but large amounts of shadowing (50+ hours) are discouraged. 

Students interested in shadowing are responsible for seeking out these experiences. Students often meet physicians through their volunteer or paid experiences who are willing to be shadowed for a single day or more. Some pre-health student organizations host virtual shadowing experiences or have an alumni network of potential shadowing connections. Check out these tips from retired physician, professor and advisor, Laurence A. Savett, M.D. about how to get the most out of a shadowing experience.