Annual Summer Shadowing Program

Program Description

In partnership with the Dean’s Office the Office provides rising second year medical students with the opportunity to gain exposure to clinical specialties early in their academic careers.  Through observational rotations during the summer months, students have the option of shadowing faculty on their service. Students will participate in a purely observational capacity.


  • End of April - Invitation to GW affiliated faculty to participate 
  • Second week of May - Application to students available (includes faculty preceptor list)
  • Last Week of May - OSPE sends matching notification to both faculty and students
  • Early August - Evaluation to participating students and faculty


In the summer of 2024 the annual shadowing program is in-person. If other arrangements are decided (virtual shadowing/telehealth visits) please ensure the links and/or telehealth visit platform is clearly and fully communicated beforehand. Here are some tips and guidance for in-person shadowing that may be helpful to guide your experience.

Mentor Expectations

Tips for maximizing the student experience:

  1. Beforehand, establish with student time, location and duration of shadowing experience for the day. Since each shadowing experience is unique, OSPE does not have a minimum or maximum number of patients or days per student. Please work with your student to determine this in advance. 
  2. Reminder that as a shadowing experience, students will be observing doctor-patient interactions and are not expected to participate clinically. 
  3. Introduce student(s) to key office staff when they arrive.
  4. Introduce the student to the patient and seek patient permission for the student to observe the visit for their learning.
  5. Communicate to students the best time for them to ask questions about visits.
  6. Provide insights into your own specialty choice decision and your specialty
  7. Complete the 2024 Faculty Student Shadowing Survey after the shadowing experience has concluded
  8. Communicate with OSPE at if you are having any issues or concerns 

Student Expectations

  1. Wear white coat and dress professionally
  2. Observe HIPAA and preserve patient confidentiality
  3. Students are not expected to obtain EMR access for the purposes of the shadowing program.
  4. Gain increased understanding about clinical encounters and about a specific specialty.
  5. Complete the 2024 Medical Student Shadowing Survey after you have concluded your shadowing experience 

Student Interest Groups: Many SMHS Student Interest Groups (SIGs) also participate and facilitate Shadowing Opportunities for students. Please see the list of SIGs and reach out to SIG leadership for more information. 

Questions? Please contact