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Thread: Can I shadow my scoliosis surgeon?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    155

    Can I shadow my scoliosis surgeon?

    I'm planning on shadowing my surgeon so I have more chances to get into medical school and a good college (yes i know that it may not be a good choice to become a surgeon but let me at least what he does and I'll probably ask for his opinion)
    So how old do you have to be to shadow a surgeon and what will I do(I know I won't be in the operating room that's for sure)

    I would like a specific age on when I could shadow him

    Or at least your opinion on what age is appropriate to shadow him

    Thanks in advance
    Kat
    Last edited by Kat3573; 09-01-2012 at 09:03 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Yacolt, WA
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    1,573
    So much depends on the policy of the institution and the willingness of the MD/Surgeon/NP/PA. We are always concerned about patient privacy/confidentiality, so even if the health care provider agrees, the patient has the option to say "no" to having a student in the exam room to observe. At Kaiser, and I am sure and at all institutions, the student's school and the medical institution needed to have a signed agreement. There will be tons of paperwork and classes on HIPPA and patient confidentiality that you would need to attend. I know that there have been some high school students that shadow health care providers, but most of the students that do so are college students.

    Re: concerning your possible limitations from your spine surgery and whether or not you could endure the rigor of being a surgeon or whatever in the future, I have a different take on that than Linda. Each person is different and while there may be general caution to reconsider a possible carreer choice [like a surgeon that stands for numerous hours on end like a scoliosis surgeon], I would never say never. For one individual, it might work where for most that have had a spinal fusion, it probably wouldn't be a good choice. In the health care field there are TONS of possibilities for someone that is interested in being a health care provider. You would need to see what all of the possibilities are and then choose what is best for you both physically and interest wise.

    Best of luck and keep in touch with us so that we know how you are doing. Please feel free to send me a PM.
    Susan
    Adult Onset Degenerative Scoliosis @65, 25* T & 36* L w/ 11.2 cm coronal balance; T kyphosis 90*; Severe disc degen T & L stenosis

    2013: T3- S1 Fusion w/ ALIF L4-S1/XLIF L2-4, PSF T4-S1 2 surgeries
    2014: Hernia @ ALIF repaired; Emergency screw removal Spinal Cord Injury T4,5 sec to PJK
    2015: Revision Broken Bil T & L rods and no fusion: 2 revision surgeries; hardware P. Acnes infection
    2016: Ant/Lat Lumbar diskectomy w/ 4 cages + BMP + harvested bone
    2018: Removal L4,5 screw

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    155
    Thanks Susan!
    I really appreciate your time!

    In your honest opinion, when do you think is an appropriate age for someone to shadow a surgeon?

    Just curious

    Thanks again
    Kat

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    2,755
    Kat,
    I was going to job shadow one of our local PA's as I was going to go on to the PA program after my BS degree. I needed consent from the Clinic, the PA I would shadow, and each patient. I had already been in healthcare so I know the privacy stuff. You do have to fill out some paperwork stating why you are shadowing, who you will shadow, and the privacy policy. I would guess you would have to be at least 18 and in a medical program at a university. I was far enough along into my program that they were sure I would graduate. For personal reasons I didn't go to school beyond my BS or follow through with the job shadowing (I had all the above criteria met and was allowed to do the shadowing). Job shadowing is primarily to build your resume, NOT to see if you want to go into that field. I would contact your doctor's office and ask them about their policy on job shadowing. I wish you all the best! If being a doctor is what you want to do, then you have plenty of time to decide on which specialty you can pursue. You might find there are other areas of medicine that interest you that you never even thought of before. =)
    Be happy!
    We don't know what tomorrow brings,
    but we are alive today!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Yacolt, WA
    Posts
    1,573
    Quote Originally Posted by Kat3573 View Post
    Thanks Susan!
    I really appreciate your time!

    In your honest opinion, when do you think is an appropriate age for someone to shadow a surgeon?

    Just curious

    Thanks again
    Kat
    It would depend on the rules of the institution, but probably 18. Love your enthusiasm and goals. I know that you will do well.
    Susan
    Adult Onset Degenerative Scoliosis @65, 25* T & 36* L w/ 11.2 cm coronal balance; T kyphosis 90*; Severe disc degen T & L stenosis

    2013: T3- S1 Fusion w/ ALIF L4-S1/XLIF L2-4, PSF T4-S1 2 surgeries
    2014: Hernia @ ALIF repaired; Emergency screw removal Spinal Cord Injury T4,5 sec to PJK
    2015: Revision Broken Bil T & L rods and no fusion: 2 revision surgeries; hardware P. Acnes infection
    2016: Ant/Lat Lumbar diskectomy w/ 4 cages + BMP + harvested bone
    2018: Removal L4,5 screw

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