A Day in Life: Pre-Med Shadowing a Hospitalist

I am so excited to have received many DMs through my Instagram and email! One of the repeatedly asked question is asking if I think shadowing physician experiences are rewarding. Most of y’all said that you are currently considering shadowing but have not done so – in response to this, I wanted to share with you what shadowing is like. However, since each physician and each specialty and each day is different, I will just do a simple walk through for my first day shadowing a hospitalist.

What does a hospitalist do? This was one of the first questions I asked my attending – hospitalists are basically internal medicine physicians that are more trained in healthcare communication and focuses on how to maximize the patients experiences!

Their faces reflect my state of confusion with all the medical terms for the entire day 

with all the medical terms.

A Day in Life: Hospitalist (first day with this physician!)

7:00 am On my best behavior!

Met with the doctor in the lobby and headed to the hospitalists’ office

7:10 am Information exchange:

Night shift doctors begin passing on urgent or complicated patient information to the day shift doctors.

7:30 – 8:30 am Checking patients’ charts:

Grab a cup of coffee from the doctors’ lounge J.

Checking the patient list, updates from the night shift nurses and doctors, lab and procedure results and other chart material.

The doctor begins sharing with me the critical information to look for when reading a patients chart, and also shared with me the treatment each patient might receive.

8:30 – 10:00 am Begin rounds (patient visits)!

This doctor is only doing mostly procedure follow-ups for this morning.

Hospitalists do not follow one patient throughout his/her lifetime, but instead may only see a patient during the current admission duration.

He had performed maybe lumbar puncture the previous day, so we visited 3 of the patients.


10:00 – 10:30 am Breakfast at Starbucks:
We met up with his resident to compare patients notes and divide up the rest of the patient list (since the resident shares the same list).
10:30 – 11:00 am More rounds:

Possible tick infection?
During a follow-up, the patient shared that the nurse pulled out a tick at night and was afraid that he had infection from the tick.
I then learned more about tick infections than I ever wanted to – ex. engorged tick means they have been living on you for a while.
Then I learned about other common tick infections in this region.

11:00 – 11:30 am Updating patients’ notes:

They know they will be performing a CT scan and lumbar puncture later in the day but was waiting for their notice. In the meantime the doctor was discussing different patients’ conditions with the patients’ team, the resident gave me some life advice. The doctor then shared with me some of the interesting diseases and dilemmas that the doctors often face.

11:30 am End of the day!

Since today is not a busy day and procedures would not be until late in the afternoon so they will be doing notes.

I decided to head home to give my dog a restroom break.


I hope this gave you an insight! I am more than excited to return for the second day and see some procedures in action. Overall, I strongly suggest shadowing if you can find a doctor that is willing to teach and not taking you up due to the shear sense of obligation.

What other questions do you have? Or do you have any new post suggestions?
There has been a suggestion to do a “how to” post for select a great doctor to shadow for gaining the best experiences, are you interested in this too?

Leave a comment or DM me on Instagram or email (amoreformosa@gmail.com)

à bientôt!

2 thoughts on “A Day in Life: Pre-Med Shadowing a Hospitalist

  1. Delighted to discover your blog! I am a native North Carolinian myself, and dedicated Tarheel-for-life, even though I now live in the Pacific Northwest. Thanks for visiting Wing’s World! I love your approach to life.

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