Privacy concerns make it hard to shadow a doctor: Here’s what you need to do

shadow-doctorShadowing is an important step on the route to becoming a doctor. Shadowing a doctor is a great way to make sure that you actually enjoy interacting with patients in a health care setting, but privacy concerns are making it harder and harder to get the hands-on experience that is so valuable for premeds.

Privacy is one of the biggest current concerns in the medical field and privacy issues prevent many doctors from allowing premeds to shadow their practice. If you shadow a doctor the right way, you’ll be an asset to the practice and gain excellent experience that will set you apart from other premeds.

If you’re not familiar with HIPAA and other privacy compliance issues, you’ll need to learn the basics before you ask a doctor for a shadowing experience. Depending on the medical situation, you likely are not be allowed to talk to the patient and, during certain procedures like a pelvic exam, you may not be allowed in the room at all. If that happens, it is best to ask the doctor after the exam for additional information about what they did during the exam.

While it can be hard to obtain permission to shadow a doctor, it is one of the best ways to distinguish yourself from other applicants and gain the kind of experience that will actually confirm your decision to become a doctor.

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