The Application Process
What is the application process?
When the application opens for the semester (you will receive an email if you are a MedSpecs member!), you can create an account through our google form: http://tinyurl.com/9833hdw
You will receive an email after the application deadline has passed about attending an information session before you can sign up for a shadowing opportunity
Attend information session (see section on information sessions below)
Your information will be verified on your online shadowing account by our shadowing coordinators (ex. the submission of your deposit and the two forms signed at the information session)
Upon verification, you will receive and email with a link to a Doodle Poll to sign up for a shadowing opportunity from the options listed
You will receive a confirmation email once you sign up, which will list all the details about your shadowing opportunity. You will also receive a reminder email 3 days before your shadowing opportunity, which will include:
Preceptor name and speciality
Shadowing date, time and location
Any special instructions
Reminder of the important points from the confidentiality and observership forms you signed
Submit a testimonial by emailing the MedSpecs shadowing account – within 1 week of your shadowing opportunity
Who can apply to shadow?
ALL McGill Undergraduate students – no preference given to science students!
You can apply to shadow from ANY faculty – we have had students shadow from Engineering, Arts, Music, and many more faculties!
You must be a McGill student to be eligible to shadow with MedSpecs
Is there a selection criteria?
There is NO selection criteria – we welcome students from all faculties, backgrounds, and experiences
You DO NOT need to submit a CV, letter of intent, or your transcript
Students get priority to sign up according to their year of study – this is to ensure that students who are graduating get a chance to shadow before they graduate or before they decide on their choice of graduate studies
Who gets priority in choosing the dates?
Waitlist students from previous semesters
New applicants - U3 students
New applicants - U2, U1, and U0 students
How do I cancel my shadowing opportunity?
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org at least 48 hours before your scheduled shadowing opportunity, otherwise your deposit will be forfeited
If I cancel my shadowing opportunity, do I get another chance to sign up?
Yes, if you cancel your shadowing opportunity, you will get another chance to shadow
If there aren’t any shadowing opportunities left for that semester, you will be put on the waitlist and given priority to sign up the following semester
When will I receive the information about the location of my shadowing
opportunity once I sign up?
All shadowing opportunities have their specialty listed with the date and time on the online shadowing system, so you can choose the speciality you would like your shadowing experience to be in
Most shadowing opportunities will have the location listed when you sign up – if the location is NOT listed, you will receive it an email 3 days before your shadowing opportunity
You will receive a reminder email 3 days before your shadowing opportunity, which will list the date, time, location, any special notes, the preceptor’s name and speciality, and other reminders
Will I be able to choose a speciality I want to have my shadowing experience in?
Yes, you will be able to choose the speciality you want to have your shadowing experience in
Will I be able to choose the date and time I want to shadow?
Yes, you will have be able to choose the date and time of your shadowing opportunity on a Doodle Poll, once your information has been verified after you have attended an information session
How long is one shadowing opportunity?
Some shadowing opportunities are half-day opportunities (4 hours)
If you sign up for a half-day opportunity, you will get the chance to shadow twice (4 hours each time)
Where are most of the shadowing locations?
MedSpecs is affiliated with the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) so all the shadowing opportunities will be offered at the MUHC hospitals:
Royal Victoria Hospital
Montreal General Hospital
Montreal Neurological Hospital
Montreal Chest Institute
Is the information session mandatory?
Yes, the you must attend an information session before you can sign up for a shadowing opportunity, as there are two important forms which have to be signed at the information session before you can shadow
What happens at the information session?
Sign two important confidentiality and observership forms
Receive a name tag which you will wear to your shadowing opportunity
Pay a $20 deposit (cheque to ‘MedSpecs’ or cash) which will be returned to you after your shadowing opportunity, once you have submitted a post-shadowing testimonial
When will the information session be held?
Once the application deadline has passed, the information session will be held the following week
There will be 1-3 information sessions, depending on the availability of the shadowing coordinators
How long is the information session?
30 minutes – 1 hour
What do I need to bring to the information session?
$20 deposit – cheque or cash
What is the deposit amount?
How can I pay the deposit?
Cheque or cash at the information session
When do I get the deposit back?
After your shadowing opportunity, once we receive your post-shadowing testimonial
If I want to shadow again, do I need to collect my deposit and re-submit it?
If you would like to shadow again, you may keep your deposit with us
If you would like to collect your deposit, you will have to re-submit it when you decide to shadow again (ex. a different semester)
What do I bring to my shadowing opportunity?
A white lab coat
Name tag which is provided by MedSpecs – given to you at the information session
Your enthusiasm :)
What is the dress code?
Semi-formal – what you would wear to a med school interview!
NO: jeans, open-toed shoes, heels, t-shirts, tank tops, shorts, flip flops, dirty or ripped clothing, perfume, large jewellery
APPROPRIATE: dress pants, dress shirt, closed-toe flat shoes, etc.
What do I have to write in the testimonial?
Please keep in mind of patient confidentiality and address the following (minimum of 50 words each)
1) One new POSITIVE insight that you gained about a career in medicine
2) One new NEGATIVE insight that you have gained about a career in medicine
3) How your perception of the medical career has changed, if at all
Feel free to include a thank you note for your preceptor in your writing and we will forward it to the doctor
You have the option to remain anonymous should you choose to
When do I submit my testimonial?
Within 1 week of your shadowing opportunity
How do I submit my testimonial?
Please email it to email@example.com
Does my preceptor read my testimonial?
Yes, all testimonials are mailed to preceptors
Is my testimonial shared through any media? How do I ensure my testimonial remains anonymous?
We choose a few testimonials to post on our website each semester to highlight the shadowing experience students have had
If you would not like your testimonial to be listed on our website or FB group, or if you would like your testimonial to remain anonymous, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know
Do I write one testimonial for all my shadowing opportunities or one testimonial per shadowing opportunity?
You must write one testimonial for EACH shadowing experience
Do I get to shadow more than once?
Yes students do have the opportunity to shadow more than once, but only after all applicants have had the chance to shadow at least once
What do I do if I want to shadow again?
If you would like to shadow again, you have to notify us at email@example.com and you will be put on the list for re-applicants
Once all applicants have shadowed at least once and if there are more shadowing opportunities still available, you will receive an email to sign in on the shadowing website to sign up for another shadowing opportunity
We usually have many more shadowing opportunities than applicants in the summer shadowing semesters, so if you are in Montreal in the summer and are interested in shadowing, you will most likely be able to shadow more than once in that time
Do I have to re-submit a deposit?
If you would like to shadow again, you won’t have to submit a separate deposit if your 1st deposit is still with us
If you reclaimed your deposit after your first shadowing opportunity and later decide to shadow again, you will have to submit another deposit
Do I need to attend another information session?
No, you only need to attend ONE information session to shadow with MedSpecs
I signed up to shadow, attended the information session, and when I went online to sign up for a shadowing opportunity, all the dates were taken – what happens now?
You will be placed on a waitlist
When more shadowing opportunities become available or if there is a cancellation, we will send out an email to all students on the waitlist and let you know
How long am I on the waitlist for?
You remain on the waitlist until we receive more shadowing opportunities, or until the next semester when you will have priority in choosing the first set of shadowing opportunities we receive from physicians
Who gets priority from the waitlist?
Everyone on the waitlist has priority to choose a shadowing opportunity over new applicants
Those students who have been on the waitlist longer, will have greater priority in choosing a shadowing opportunity once more dates become available
Do I have to keep my deposit with MedSpecs while I am on the waitlist?
Yes you have to keep your deposit with MedSpecs while you are on waitlist
We never know when we will receive new dates during the semester, and you may get the chance to sign up for something that’s a week or a month away, and you would not want the process to be delayed at that point just because you have not submitted a deposit
When will I find out if there is a shadowing opportunity available for me?
We will send out an email to all waitlist students as soon as we receive new shadowing opportunities, so keep an eye on your inbox!
How does MedSpecs get its shadowing opportunities?
MedSpecs is affiliated with MUHC and a special email goes out to all department heads in all MUHC hospitals, informing them of the start of the shadowing program for that semester
Physicians then sign up online or submit a form to our MUHC liaison, who forwards those availabilities to us
We then enter those dates online if the physician hasn’t done so him/herself already
How does MedSpecs decide how many shadowing opportunities there will be every semester?
MedSpecs does not have any control over the number of shadowing opportunities we receive every semester
We depend entirely on the physicians and residents working at the MUHC, their availabilities, and willingness to be a part of the shadowing program
If you are in contact with a resident or staff physician who is interested in signing up for the shadowing program, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
What specialities are available?
We don’t decide on the specialities – it depends entirely on the physicians who sign up and what speciality they are from
Physicians from the following specialities have been a part of the program:
Internal Medicine (ICU)
Are there opportunities to shadow other health care professionals? (ex. pharmacists, nurses, occupational therapists, etc.)
Currently we only offer shadowing opportunities with physicians
We are looking to expand the program to include other health care professionals – we’ll keep you updated!
Who do I list a verifier for my shadowing experience(s) if I want to mention it in my graduate school applications?
Contact us at email@example.com to get the current Co-President’s contact information to note in your applications
Can I list my preceptor as a referee for my shadowing experience?
NO – To ensure that our program does not impose strenuous time commitment on preceptors, please DO NOT contact them outside the time they devote to shadowing
Please note MedSpecs as a referee for your shadowing experiences – we have a record of all students who have shadowed with us and we will accurately be able to verify the number of hours you shadowed in your time at McGill University