Shadowing is a great way to become familiar with physician assistant medicine.
You don’t need to be a licensed PA to begin practicing ethically. I recently received a letter from a woman (I will call her Joan) who found Inside PA Training while researching the ethics of shadowing. Her letter brought forth all kinds of feelings for me, and I think it’s a great way to discuss ethical practice in medicine. Dear Paul, I recently had an appointment with an orthopedic doctor for knee issues. After I had my vitals checked and was wearing paper “shorts,” the PA came in and introduced herself and the very young lady with her as her assistant. I had to ask what this “assistant” had to do with my care and it was only then that the truth came out. She did not ask me if I was okay with a shadowing student in the room. Joan requested the student to leave. She told me that she had already been a patient in a similar situation once before. She felt that these episodes demonstrated a lack of professional conduct and common courtesy, and that they ruined the sense of trust that she had with her provider. […]
You know shadowing is a crucial part of the PA school applications, but you may have wondered, “Just what do I say in a shadowing letter?” Shadowing – literally following a PA or physician around for a day – demonstrates to PA schools not only that you have done some research on the profession and understand what it is like in reality, but that after learning about it, you are still interested in a career as a PA. But how do you introduce yourself and get a PA or physician to let you shadow them? […]
What questions should I ask when I shadow a PA? We get this question all the time, and it’s understandable. No one wants to look stupid, and no one wants to kill a networking opportunity before it even gets off the ground. But you won’t learn much if you clam up for fear of putting your foot in your mouth. Remember: you aren’t interviewing – when you shadow, you’re just checking things out. Any sane clinician you’re observing will understand that you probably don’t know much, and will likely remember a time when they were in the same boat. […]
We’ve talked about why you need to shadow a physician assistant, and how to find a physician assistant to shadow. When it’s time to actually shadow a physician assistant, there is definitely a right way to go about it. First, know the four Cardinal Rules. […]
Last week I wrote about why you should shadow a physician assistant if you plan to apply to physician assistant school. One of our readers emailed me (please do if you have something you’d like to read about) and asked me, “How do you find someone to shadow?” I gave some ideas off-the-cuff, but I decided a more formal reply was in order… […]