Jesse H., M1

Shadowing during your first year is a great way to gain exposure to other specialties and to clarify “what you want to be when you grow up.” Fortunately, as one of my fellow classmates put it, “getting into WashU is like the holy grail of shadowing.” Remember in undergrad when you tried shadowing surgery at your local hospital and got absolutely nowhere? Faculty and residents at WashU are incredibly willing and excited to have medical students follow and learn from them. Almost every specialty has an interest group that will post organized sign up sheets for shadowing opportunities. Most physicians are also quite responsive to email and will be happy to accommodate you in their schedule — no one has turned me down yet. I’ve shadowed general surgery, infectious disease, interventional radiology, Ob/Gyn, plastic surgery, orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, emergency medicine, and pediatric surgery all in the block I was here. Physicians are quite welcoming to medical students and often take extra time to teach and accommodate you. Residents and older medical students may be a little more harried, but are always kind and happy to teach has well! Altogether, shadowing at WashU has been a great experience.