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Shadowing Experiences

When shadowing, a student can experience patient-practitioner interactions, can learn how classroom knowledge translates to patient care and can understand how clinical observations inform learning.  Exposure to patient care settings ranging from small offices to large hospitals, from private to nonprofit institutions, and from general care to medical specialty gives students knowledge of primary health care delivery. Shadowing experiences in auxiliary healthcare settings such as pharmacies, residential rehabilitation and nursing facilities, public health agencies or administrative offices provide perspective on how healthcare involves teams of professionals working together. A holistic understanding of how personal choices and societal constraints impact human health is obtained by working with volunteer or service organizations that provide food, social services, transportation and housing. Shadowing in technical support industries such as pharmaceutical companies, medical equipment sales or health insurance providers can open doors into a range of healthcare employment opportunities. The outcome of shadowing for each student should be a clearer vision of how they want to contribute to the community of healthcare professionals.

Many MMSc students participated in shadowing as undergraduate students. During your advising sessions after matriculating in the MMSc program, the Program Director will review your past shadowing experiences and help you set goals for additional shadowing during the MMSc program. Shadowing forms the basis for the culminating Capstone project of the MMSc degree, and you will need to complete at least 100 hours of graduate level shadowing specifically for the Capstone. Students may also want to do additional hours to explore particular interests or to fill gaps in their previous experiences.

The MMSc faculty and staff will work closely with you to design your shadowing to ensure that your experiences strengthen your application to medical or other healthcare professional schools. Miami alumni in healthcare professions are often willing to help Miami students by providing or recommending experiences. 

During your shadowing, you will keep a journal that records your clinical and technical experiences, your responses to situations that you encounter, your questions about what you observed, and your insights into your professional goals. The journal will then serve as the basis for your work in the Capstone class during your final semester of the program. The journal will also help you integrate your shadowing experiences into a compelling personal statement that will support your application to medical or other healthcare professional schools.