14 June

Must-know tips for writing a perfect email for shadowing opportunities (free templates included)

Anton Diduh
Anton Diduh Content writer & Video content creator at Stripo
Table of contents
  1. What is shadowing in the medical world?
  2. What is a shadowing email?
  3. How to write a proper shadowing opportunity email template
  4. Tips for writing a flawless shadowing opportunity email
  5. Shadowing email templates
  6. Wrapping up
What is shadowing in the medical world?

Shadowing is an integral part of the development of any medical professional, and finding a mentor for this is an important process. Since junior doctors will have to shadow for a large amount of time (100 to 200 hours), you need to be sure that you make a good impression on your mentor with your email. In this article, we will look at shadowing emails, tips for writing them correctly, and provide free templates that you can use for your emails to your potential mentors.

What is shadowing in the medical world?

If you are a newcomer to medicine and studying medical specialties, you should first understand what shadowing is in general.

Shadowing is a process when medical students stay close to a doctor during their working day and observe work processes, medical nuances, and the general everyday life of a medical institution, gaining experience along the way. It is a novel experience that allows young future doctors to see all the details and minutiae of a doctor’s work — from spectacular moments to mundane routines.

What is a shadowing email?

A shadowing request via email is a key method for students to connect with their chosen mentors. Besides calls and in-person meetings, many students prefer to request shadowing opportunities through email, as doctors often have busy schedules that make phone calls and face-to-face meetings difficult during the day. When seeking a shadowing opportunity, it’s crucial to craft a professional email that outlines your objectives and what you bring to the table.

How to write a proper shadowing opportunity email template

Now we’ve figured out what shadowing emails are, it’s time to outline some must-know steps that will take you from the idea of creating an email to a fully fledged one ready to be sent.

Step 1. Choose your specialty

As you explore shadowing opportunities, reflect on your long-term career aspirations and potential medical specialties. Understanding your interests can help you identify the right physicians to shadow within your desired field. If you’re still undecided on a specialty, consider shadowing doctors from various disciplines to find the one that best aligns with your passion and goals.

Step 2. Pick a physician to shadow

Once you’ve chosen your specialty, begin by seeking out physicians in that field. Start by reaching out to any doctors you know personally, such as family or friends, as they might be more open to allowing you to shadow them. If they can’t help, they may be able to refer you to a colleague. Your personal doctor is also a good option if their specialty aligns with your interests.

Additionally, consider reaching out to hospitals and medical schools in your area, as they often have established shadowing programs. Your academic advisor or medical supervisor might also be able to connect you with doctors who are open to shadowing requests. To increase your chances, compile a list of multiple doctors in your chosen specialty, and contact them to explore potential opportunities.

Step 3. Start your email with an introduction

When crafting your shadowing request email, begin with a brief introduction about yourself. Mention your name, the school you attend, and your current year in medical school. Describe your interest in the specific specialty, and explain why you believe they would be an ideal mentor to shadow. Be sure to mention how you found out about them and obtained their contact details, as this adds a personal touch and shows respect for their time and consideration.

Step 4. Write an email body with a direct request

Following your introduction, clearly state your intention to seek a shadowing opportunity. Mention any previous shadowing experience, as this can enhance your chances of a positive response. Emphasize your flexibility and willingness to accommodate their schedule. While providing a range of dates and times that you’re available is helpful, ensure that you also ask for their preferred dates to show your readiness to adapt to their availability.

Step 5. Finish your shadowing opportunity email with a conclusion

End your email with a note of gratitude for their time and consideration. Mention that you are available to answer any questions they might have. Ensure that you include your contact information for easy communication. Conclude with a professional closing, such as “Sincerely” or “Best regards.” Besides that, you can wrap this up with a fancy email signature containing your contact information.

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Step 6. Proofread your shadowing email thoroughly

Once you’ve written your email, take the time to proofread it thoroughly. A polished and professional email creates a strong impression on potential doctors you are looking to have mentor you. Check for any spelling or grammatical mistakes and ensure that the content is coherent and well organized. This attention to detail can enhance your chances of securing a shadowing opportunity.

Tips for writing a flawless shadowing opportunity email

It would seem that, by following the step-by-step instructions, a successful email is ready. However, there is always room for improvement, and these tips will serve as great help in creating an impactful shadowing email template.

Keep the email short

Keep your shadowing request email concise. Doctors have busy schedules, so aim to be clear and to the point, highlighting your interests, background, and availability within a few short paragraphs. This increases the likelihood of your email being read and considered. Respect their time, and they will notice it.

Maintain a professional tone when writing a shadowing request

As you are seeking a doctor to shadow, this implies professional communication between mentor and student. Therefore, maintaining a professional tone is vital from the first contact. Keep your shadowing emails professional by using formal language, addressing the doctor respectfully, and avoiding slang or casual expressions.

Do your homework before creating a shadowing email

Before writing a shadowing email, it is worth studying the doctor’s specialty, merits, experience, and so on in detail. This will not only help you understand exactly whether this doctor is suitable for mentoring, but will also allow you to show your diligence and desire to gain experience by mentioning some details in the email.

Shadowing email templates

You now know the process of creating an email and are armed with the necessary advice. The final touch remains — ready-made templates for inspiration. Take any of them and adapt them to your needs to create the perfect template for you.

Shadowing email example 1

Dear Dr./Ms./Mr. [Doctor’s name],

My name is [Your name], and I am currently a [Year of study] at the [University/medical school name]. I am in the process of exploring healthcare careers, and I am very interested in the field of [Mention desired medical fields]. I am looking for opportunities for shadowing and informational interviewing in order to better understand what it is like to be a/an [Their specialty].

If you are willing and your hospital/clinic/office allows students to shadow, I would welcome an opportunity to observe your work. I would also value the opportunity to have a short conversation over coffee or tea (my treat!) to hear more about your experiences and to get your advice on how to prepare for a career in [Their specialty]. I realize that you are busy and that your time is valuable. If you have any questions or concerns, you can reach me by email or phone.

[Your phone number]

[Your email address]

Thank you for your help.

Kind Regards,

[Your name]

Shadowing email example 2

Dear Dr./Ms./Mr. [Doctor’s name],

I hope you are doing well. My name is [Your name], and I was a patient of yours last year. Currently, I am a junior at the [University/medical school name], majoring in premed with a focus on [Your specialty].

I am writing to inquire if you would be open to allowing me to shadow you in your practice. I am eager to gain insights into the day-to-day responsibilities of a/an [Their specialty], and believe that shadowing you would provide invaluable experience. I am available during my winter or summer break, and I am happy to accommodate your schedule.

If you are willing to consider my request, please let me know the dates and times that would be convenient for you. I am very flexible and willing to work around your availability.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best regards,

[Your name]
[Your phone number]
[Your email address]

Shadowing email example 3

Dear Dr./Ms./Mr. [Doctor’s name],

My name is [Your name], and I am a [Year of study] medical student at [University/medical school name], specializing in [Your specialty]. I am eager to pursue a career in this field. [Mention someone who recommended this doctor] highly recommended you and provided me with your contact information.

I am writing to ask if you would consider allowing me to shadow you in your practice. I am keen to learn about your daily responsibilities and gain firsthand experience in [Their specialty]. I am available to shadow you anytime within the next two months, starting from the beginning of next week, and I am willing to work around your schedule.

Please let me know if you need any additional information from me. I appreciate your time and consideration, and I look forward to the possibility of learning from you.

Warm regards,

[Your name]
[Your phone number]
[Your email address]

Wrapping up

All medical professionals go through shadowing, as it’s part of their starting point that launches their careers. When looking for your ideal mentor, you need to use all the tools and give it your all, and emails to mentors are no exception.

Research your future mentors, respect their time, pay due attention to creating shadowing emails, follow our advice, and you will succeed on your journey.

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