Question about volunteering/shadowing

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    I have worked in the medical field as an audiologist (in hospital settings, clinical ENT settings, and private practice) for 10 years. Now, I am considering a change in my career (at the age of 33) and going to medical school. I have a doctorate in audiology (clinical doctorate) and was wondering if a medical school would still expect me to do job shadowing, volunteering, etc even though I am a licensed autonomous healthcare provider with a lot of experience observing how physicians work behind the scenes. In fact the main difference between myself and the MD in the office next door is that he can dispense medications and do surgery, etc. I make patient decisions and recommendations, diagnose hearing loss, fit hearing aids, dictate patient reports and referral letters, handle patient questions, etc.

    I would really appreciate any comments or tips on things to consider. I am thinking about medical school because I have always been led that way and talked myself out of it (marriage, then children, then $$ – you know the drill!!). I think I would be a good physician and would enjoy most of the duties – the negative ones I already know about because I deal with them now!! In fact, I was just on the phone today with an insurance company arguing over lack of reimbursement for an evaluation I had performed.


    I think the idea behind volunteering or shadowing is so that potential med students realize that medicine isn’t all sunshine and daisies. You’ve already got that. Draw from the experience you already have for your essays and interviews.

    Personally, I never understood the whole shadowing business. I didn’t shadow a doctor until just recently (because I need a D.O. to write a letter for me). If you have the behind the scenes look at medicine already, why would you need to do it in an unpaid position???



    I suspect that volunteering in YOUR case would be to make you look humane rather than actually “learn the ropes”…so it may be helpful to getting in…

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