Seattle Children's Observership Program
I had applied to the Seattle Children's Shadowing Program once or twice previously, and I had been rejected with the comment that my application wasn't unique enough. It seemed that in answering "Why Medicine", I was simply repeating the cliches that many of my peers were: that we liked science and we liked helping people. However, in a testament to how much I've grown in the past couple of years and much more informed I am about my future based on the experiences I've had since I first applied, my application this time around was a success.
The shadowing program was redesigned for my quarter, so rather than pairing me up with just one physician, I was assigned to many and thus allowed to sample a variety of specialties. Over the course of the quarter, I shadowed neurosurgeons, cardiologists, hospitalists, laboratory, and radiologists. I was a big fan of this set up, because it gave me a sense of how much goes in to health care. It really is a vast, complicated system, its own organism in a sense, because of all the unique but interconnected parts. Another great thing about the redesigned curriculum was that it avoided shadowing fatigue. As interesting as medicine is, as a shadower, there's only so much of seeing the same thing that you can handle before you're not really learning anything anymore. You really don't need more than 20 hours to get a sense of a profession. In the follow journal entries, you'll see that even in several short hours, I was able to extrapolate a great deal of self-reflection.