How To Write a Shadowing Letter to a Doctor

If you want to make something special out of your lettering, adding shadows is a great and also a simple idea.

I will show you how you can create shadows, how you know where to add them and I will also show you some different kind of shadows you can add to your lettering.

How To Draw Shadows in Hand Lettering | ADDING SHADING TO YOUR CALLIGRAPHY (easy!)

What is a shadowing letter?

Shadowing letters are the documents that pre-med students often use to request shadowing appointments. Most students send their shadowing letters by email, which is often a good way to get in contact with busy doctors who may not be able to answer calls during their day. Its often helpful to write shadowing letters in a professional tone, describe your goals and provide your resume. Doing so shows that youre a dedicated professional, which may make doctors more likely to offer you a shadowing opportunity.

What is shadowing?

Shadowing is the process of following a doctor throughout their entire workday and observing all the tasks they complete. Pre-med students usually shadow in order to understand the realities of a doctors life before the student enters medical school. Shadowing can also help students decide on a specialty by showing them the workloads and schedules that different types of doctors have.

How to write a shadowing letter

Here are several steps that can help you choose a doctor to shadow and craft a shadowing letter:

1. Select a specialty

When shadowing a physician, its often important to know your future goals in the medical field. If you already know what specialty you are interested in, you can begin looking for doctors in that field to shadow. If you havent decided on a specialty, shadowing may help you decide. You can shadow several doctors in specialties you are interested in, observe their work and choose the specialty that appeals to you most.

2. Choose a doctor

After choosing a specialty or list of specialties, you can begin searching for doctors in those fields. It may be helpful to contact any doctors in your family or among your friends first. They may allow you to shadow, or if not, they might know another physician who can. You can also ask your personal doctor if their specialty is appropriate for you.

Medical schools and campus hospitals may be useful options for many pre-med students looking for shadowing opportunities because they often have experience in fulfilling with student requests. You may also ask your pre-med advisor, as they often have experience in connecting students with shadowing opportunities. It may be helpful to gather contact information for several doctors so that if one is unavailable, you have other options. If possible, you might also set up several shadowing dates in different specialties to further understand what you are interested in.

3. Prepare to write

Once you have a list of contacts, you can prepare to write your shadowing letters. Its usually helpful to write these letters well ahead of time so that doctors have time to consider, and you have time to prepare for your appointment. It may also help to have time to change plans if your first choice is unavailable.

4. Write an intro

Its usually helpful to begin a shadowing letter by introducing yourself, including your name, where you are studying and what year of school you are in. You can then describe your interests in the medical field and explain why the doctors work interests you. You might also tell the physician how you heard of them and how you obtained their contact information.

5. Write the body of the letter

After the introduction, you can briefly explain that you are contacting the recipient for a shadowing opportunity and list any previous experience that could apply to the experience. Flexibility can be very important when scheduling a shadowing appointment, so its usually helpful to include a list of times and dates that you might be available to shadow. You can also ask the doctor what times work best for them. In closing, you can thank them for the opportunity and for considering your request.

6. Write a follow-up letter

After you receive an answer, its usually beneficial to reply, thanking your contact for their time and making follow-up plans. If a doctor gives you an opportunity to shadow, you can thank them and clarify the details of your appointment. If a doctor does not have the time or opportunity for a shadow, you can thank them for their consideration and ask if they might put you in contact with another doctor.

Shadowing letter example

Here is an example shadowing letter to help you write your own:

Dear Dr. Denison,

My name is Sylvia James, and I am a fourth-year pre-med student at the University of Silverton. I hope to pursue studies in orthopedic surgery, and I became aware of your work in the field through your colleague, Dr. Yusuf. They were kind enough to provide me with your contact information.

I am contacting you to see if it would be possible to schedule a shadowing appointment with you at Rawlins Orthopedic Surgery Center. If possible, three full days would be ideal and would give me an opportunity to understand your work and your daily schedule. However, I would be very grateful to shadow for at least one day during the next four months.

I am aware that you have a very busy schedule and your time is important, and I hope to be as accommodating as possible with my schedule. Aside from the week of February 7th-13th, I can be available at any time. If you are interested in allowing me to shadow, please let me know of any times and dates that might work for your schedule.

If there is anything I can do to help facilitate this opportunity, or if you need any further information from me, please let me know. Thank you so much for your time and consideration. I look forward to the opportunity to meet you.


Sylvia James

Follow-up letter examples

Here are two examples of follow-up letters to help you write your own. The first is an example of what you might say if you receive a shadowing appointment, and the second is what you could say if the doctor is not available for shadowing.

Dear Dr. Denison,

I am so grateful for the opportunity to shadow you at the surgery center. I appreciate you allowing me to learn from your experience and expertise, and I look forward to meeting you.

I wanted to clarify some details of our appointment if possible. You mentioned the first week of March, which is perfect for my schedule. I would love to shadow you Monday through Wednesday that week if possible. I was also hoping you could tell me what time to arrive at your office, what to bring and what to wear.

Thank you again for the opportunity.


Sylvia James

Dear Dr. Denison,

Thank you so much for your consideration. I understand that you have a busy schedule, and I appreciate the time you took to read my message.

I am still looking for shadowing opportunities during the next few months. If you have any colleagues in orthopedic surgery who have the time to let me shadow, I would really appreciate a chance to talk with them.

Thank you again for your time.


Sylvia James

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