Learner FAQs

Why can't learners shadow until Phase 2?

  • MUN Faculty of Medicine have decided that shadowing in Phase 1 is not permitted. The key thing for learners to understand is that if they shadow outside of our formal Physician Shadowing Program, they will NOT be covered under the medical malpractice insurance provided by MUN through CURIE (Canadian Universities Reciprocal Insurance Exchange).

 How many physicians will I be assigned to shadow?

  • From January - June, each Phase 2 and 3 learner will be assigned 4 physicians (from their top 8 specialties). From September - December, Phase 3 learners will be assigned 4 additional physicians (from their top 8 specialties). Each assignment will last one month.

 If a physician in the program and I both have an empty month on the shadowing schedule, can I shadow him/her in addition to my assigned physicians?

  • Yes! Please let your Learner Shadowing Coordinator know that you would like to be assigned to an additional physician at the start of that month.

 On what days are learners permitted to shadow?

  • MUN Medicine learners are given every Tuesday afternoon off for whatever activity they wish, and this is a prime time for shadowing experiences. However, learners are permitted to shadow at any time (including evenings and weekends) that the physician and learner mutually agree on. Please note, however, that there is a limit of 12hrs/week permitted for shadowing, and learners are expected to not skip lectures, labs, small group sessions, etc. for shadowing.

 What do I wear when shadowing?

  • Learners should wear their professional clothing (think: similar attire to what learners wear to Clinical Skills). Don't forget your MUN Medicine name tag! White coats are generally not required (this is true for most shadowing, clinical, and clerkship experiences), but could be requested by individual physicians. If unsure, ask.

What do I wear and bring if I'm shadowing in the O.R. (including surgery and anesthesia)?

  • If you are shadowing in the O.R. we recommend wearing professional clothing to the O.R., and bringing sneakers or other appropriate O.R. footwear in your bag. Upon arrival, ask the staff (eg. at the nursing station) how to access the locker room and find the required green scrubs, booties, mask, and scrub cap/hair net. When in doubt - ask the nurses!
  • NOTE: Learners are NOT granted access to O.R. change room lockers. Therefore, we recommend you do not bring any valuables with you when shadowing.

What should I bring?
This may differ depending on where you are shadowing, but the key items are usually:

  • Pen and notepad
  • Name tag
  • Stethoscope (if clinically appropriate - eg. yes in Anesthesia, no in Pathology) 

I know a doctor that wants to join the shadowing program, what do they need to do?

  • That's great news! We are always looking to recruit more physicians into our program. Please forward their contact information onto your class Learner Shadowing Coordinator and they will get in touch.

A physician I know said I could shadow outside the program, is that true?

  • Learners are strongly discouraged from shadowing outside of our official Physician Shadowing Program because they will NOT be covered under the medical malpractice insurance provided by MUN through CURIE (Canadian Universities Reciprocal Insurance Exchange).

When and how should I get in contact with my assigned physician? What should I say?

  • Please wait for your assigned month before contacting physicians for shadowing. This prevents physicians in the program being contacted by multiple learners requesting shadowing experiences.
  • When you are matched with a physician you will be provided with their contact information, usually an e-mail and/or telephone number. E-mail is a great way to get in touch with most physicians, but don't be afraid to call during normal business hours if they provide a phone number or you have trouble reaching them by e-mail. Most of the time, the number provided will get you in touch with the physician's administrative assistant. 
  • When e-mailing physicians, you may want to use the following template as your introduction:

Hi Dr. ____________,
I am a  (first/second year) MUN Med learner and I have been assigned to you through the Shadowing Program for this month. I’m really looking forward to it. I am free Tuesday afternoons as well as (evenings, weekends, etc.) . Please let me know what days work best for you.
Thank you,

  • In your follow-up emails make sure you know where you will be meeting them (in their clinic, in the OR, at their office) and what time you are expected to be there.

Am I allowed to perform procedures/patient care while shadowing?

  • Shadowing learners are only allowed to perform hands on examination or procedures when they are fully supervised by the attending physician and when there is informed consent by the patient, who is made aware of their level of training prior to consent.

 Do I document my shadowing hours?

  • Like all extra-curricular activities, it is an excellent idea to keep track of your shadowing hours and experiences as this will be very useful when updating your CV for residency. You can use this log here, but attendance tracking is optional. 

Can I shadow over Christmas or Summer break?

  • Learners are generally permitted to shadow outside the usual months of the school year, but all shadowing experiences must be approved by the Learner Well-Being and Success Office. If learners are shadowing outside the formal Physician Shadowing Program and are not approved by Learner Well-Being and Success, they will NOT be covered under the medical malpractice insurance provided by MUN through CURIE (Canadian Universities Reciprocal Insurance Exchange). 

Can I shadow in a different province?

  • Learners may be permitted to seek shadowing opportunities in other Canadian provinces, but they must first be approved by the Learner Well-Being and Success Office. Learners are reminded that shadowing experiences that have not been approved by the Learner Well-Being and Success Office will NOT be covered under the medical malpractice insurance provided by MUN through CURIE (Canadian Universities Reciprocal Insurance Exchange).

I am a learner from another institution and am interested in shadowing a physician at Memorial University.

  • Please be advised that the current provincial legislation does not allow for shadowing experiences for learners visiting from outside Newfoundland and Labrador.