As an osteopathic medical student or a pre-med student, you have the opportunity to connect with established physicians to help you achieve your career goals.
: [search now
] A person who is advised, trained or counseled by a mentor. The success of a mentoring relationship depends to a large degree upon your attitude and your commitment. Mentees are expected to take the lead in the partnership, to be proactive and work in order to achieve success. Mentoring allows the mentee to explore new ideas in confidence. It is a chance to look more closely at yourself, your issues, opportunities and what you want in life. Mentoring is about becoming more self aware, taking responsibility for your life and directing your life in the direction you decide, rather than leaving it to chance.
Preceptoring or Preceptee Student*
: [search now
] Gains hands-on experience under the guidance of a Preceptor. The preceptee will work with the preceptor for a defined period of time acquiring new competencies required for safe, ethical and quality practice.
*: [search now
] Shadowing is observing. The student will observe how the doctor spends his/her day, interacts and communicates with patients, and how the doctor works with a health care team. When you contact a physician regarding shadowing, there are two main points to share:
- Your resume. It is extremely important that this be clean, neat and looks professional.
- A paragraph on why you are interested in shadowing that particular physician. Include the fact that you are a pre-med student.
- Shadowing should not be limited to one day, one week or one doctor. If given the opportunity, shadow multiple physicians in a variety of settings of the course of your pre-med studies.
- Be professional, arrive on time dress professionally and be courteous to everyone you meet.
- Know you limits. You are not a medical professional, so do not expect to participate in hands-on patient care.
- Keep a journal. Make notes about what you are observing and discovering in the clinic and with doctor-patient interaction.
*The primary difference between a student who is precepting and one who is shadowing is how much the student is allowed to do under the supervision of the physician. Usually a preceptee will be allowed to meet with patients independently, whereas a student who is shadowing will only be allowed to meet with a patient in the presence of a physician. It would be inappropriate for a pre-med student to be a preceptee; however, an osteopathic medical student may either shadow or be a preceptee in a physician's office.