Shadowing or clinical observation is a critical component in preparing for a health career. We encourage all prehealth students to shadow physicians or other health care providers. Shadowing several times and in several different specialties can provide a realistic view of medicine, an understanding of the many ways one can participate in health care, and the skills and capabilities that are needed in a profession. For more information on shadowing, volunteering with patients and gaining clinical experience, see the webpage on Finding Experience.
The Office of Health Professions Advising at Duke provides training and shadowing clearance for current Duke undergraduates (sophomores through seniors who are in good academic standing) who wish to shadow at Duke Hospital or a Duke facility. This shadowing clearance is only valid at clinical sites associated with Duke University and is not transferable.
In order to shadow, you must be compliant with immunization requirements and you must complete the HPA Online Shadowing Training Program. Because there are university and hospital offices that need to check records and give approval, and because the approval process must follow federal and hospital guidelines, clearance for shadowing can take as long as a month. We ask for your patience and professionalism during this process. Please start the shadowing process early so you can be cleared in time for your first scheduled shadowing experience.
Shadowing Clearance Process for Students
In order to shadow, you must be compliant with immunization requirements and you must complete the HPA online training program. Because there are university and hospital offices that need to check records and give approval, and because the approval process must follow federal and hospital guidelines, clearance for shadowing can take as long as a month. We ask for your patience and professionalism during this process. Please start the shadowing process early so you can be cleared in time for your first scheduled shadowing experience.
The shadowing approval process opens each year on October 1 and once you are cleared, will allow you to shadow until the following September 30, or graduation, whichever comes first. If you shadow over several years, you must go through the training and clearance process each year.
Students who received shadowing clearance through AdviseStream/Inspire between August, 1, 2018 and January 25, 2019, should not do this process at this time.
To Gain Clearance Please:
- Complete the online HPA Shadowing Training Program. Follow the instructions on Qualtrics here https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_efHy7kBs9vZJSkZ.
- Email the following to Student Health at firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Date of birth
- Unique ID number (begins with "0")
- Applying for volunteering, shadowing or both
- Digital copy of your 2018-2019 influenza immunization which can be a photo of a physical form)
*Influenza documentation may be waived if you are a current Duke Hospital College Volunteer*
- Wait for an email from the HPA Office notifying you of your clearance. This can take upwards of a month.
- Set up your first shadowing experience. You may find physicians to shadow by:
- Asking professors who are also physicians.
- Asking research mentors who are physicians or who know physicians.
- Asking other students or staff.
- DO NOT ask a physician that you meet or have met while volunteering in the Duke Hospital Volunteer Program. One of the requirements of the volunteer program at Duke Hospital is that this program is volunteering only, and not shadowing.
- When you find a physician to shadow, please send an email to email@example.com and let us know who you are shadowing so we have a record.
- If you are unable to find a physician or health care provider to shadow, you can also email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try to assist you. We have a short list of providers who may be available. Include your general availability (day of the week, time during the day), whether you have transportation to drive or not, and any specific interests. If you find a health care provider through the HPA Office, we ask that you let us know when you begin shadowing and when you end shadowing, so that we can continue to refer students to that provider when available. You can email your start and stop dates to email@example.com
- Keep track of who you shadowed, dates, hours, your observations and reflections. You will want to refer to this information when you apply later.
For Clinicians Interested in Having a Student Observer
If you are a Duke affiliated physician, nurse, physician assistant, physical therapist, pharmacist or other health care professional interested and willing to host a current Duke undergraduate, we greatly appreciate your time and mentorship of our students.
- Please complete this quick form so that we can add you to our list of available health care professionals for students. https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eDQVhBZR1pBMSuV
- If you have any questions, feel free to call or email us (contact information is below).
Please note that Duke undergraduate students can make arrangements to shadow at any time, but they may not actively shadow until they have been cleared through our office. If you are unsure if the student who has contacted you is currently cleared, you can ask them to forward their HPA clearance email or you can contact our office directly.
Questions regarding shadowing can be directed to:
Brittany Morhac, Assistant Director: firstname.lastname@example.org
RJ Jones, Staff Assistant and Shadowing Coordinator: email@example.com
HPA Office: 919 684 6221 or firstname.lastname@example.org