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I have some shadowing experience to share.

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It is very difficult to find a practic that is willing to take students to shadow if you are not associated with them. I have some experience to share with you guys who are still looking for PA shadowing.



I think the most easiest way to get in a practice or hospital to shadow is to do volunteer work first. Volunteer registration needs your full vaccination and some paperworks done which will be also needed when you shadow PA. If you are a volunteer in a hospital, that means: you are or you did contribute to them. Since you helped them, I would say most likely they will not refuse to help you out. Plus, volunteer already had paperworks done(e.g. vaccination, HIPPA form etc.). A lot of practices refuse to accept students to shadow because of HIPPA and infection control.


Another way to get a PA shadowing is to ask your primary care if you have a good raport with him/her. If your PCP is a PA, that would be great. If your PCP is not, then you can ask your PCP to see if she would recommend you any PA to shadow in the same practice or other practice.


I have shadowed two PA this summer. I volunteer one day a week in DMK from Jan 2009 to Jan 2010. I did my clinical rotation with that hospital when I got my medical assistant program. I was told as long as I can find a PA who is willing to take me, they are ok to let me in. So first before my health insurance expired, I had a physical exam with a PA.(when I scheduled I told the scheduler that I wanted a PA0. So when I had my exam, I talked with her and see if she would let me shadow couple of hours. She agreed and I did for two mornings.


Another PA I shadowed was recommended by my neurologist in the same hospital. So when I emailed her, I said" I was recommended by Dr so and so to...". Usually when they see a doctor in the same practice recommends someone to shadow and if their schedule is available, they will at least give you couple of mornings to shadow.


One more big thing is you need to let the practice know that you just need to observe only. You do not need to get anything clinical things on hand, observe only! I think this is very important. Because most of those practices that do not want to take students to shadow is because they have to assume the responsibility if the students do anything wrong and they don't like students to slow them down. But if they know you only need to observe, then most likely they would take you. If you are lucky, the PA will spend some good quality time to share teach you and share his/her experience with you. The two PA I shadowed were very nice. They were very patient to teach me even though I said that I only need to observe.



So, good luck for shadowing!

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