4 Physician Shadowing Programs In Charlotte

Shadowing is critical in helping you decide on a career in healthcare. But finding programs near to you can sometimes prove difficult.

If you’re based in Charlotte or surrounding North Carolina state, these physician shadowing programs could be a great fit for you.

List Of Physician Shadowing Programs In Charlotte

Shadowing at Atrium Health

Atrium Health Carolinas Rehabilitation offers shadowing opportunities for individuals interested in gaining important skills and learning more about rehabilitation.

Their shadowing program has helped hundreds of students learn more about this area of health and continues to work with high school and college students, allowing them to follow therapists and nurses as they go about their daily duties.

Students can shadow for a maximum of 16 hours per year and can sign up via the website listed below.

There’s also a popular volunteer program open to any interested participants aged 15 and above.

To learn more about Atrium Health, check out the video below…


Observation Students at Novant Health

The health group Novant Health, which operates at various sites in and around the city (including Charlotte Orthopedic Hospital), has an observation/shadowing program for high school students and anyone else interested in internships or preceptorships.

Their program requires participants to identify qualified preceptors first because each school/program has varying educational requirements. They also ask that you submit any request 4 weeks prior to starting.

In addition to their shadowing program, there are also undergraduate nursing rotations available as well as clinical and non-clinical student opportunities.

See the video below for more on what it’s like working at Novant Health…


UNC Medical Center Shadowing

Although it’s temporarily paused (due to the pandemic) it’s worth checking in with UNC Medical Center to see when/if they accept shadowing placements once again.

The group, based out of Chapel Hill, doesn’t arrange placements but does state that it allows interested parties to set up their own shadowing experiences via contacting hospital departments at their hospitals/clinics.

For anyone interested in shadowing Rehabilitation Therapies (PT, OT, CL, RT, etc) they also encourage emails to clinicaledreq@unchealth.unc.edu.

Pediatric shadowing requests must be received by the Pediatrics Education Office via Lynn West (lynn_west@med.unc.edu).

Make sure you read the Shadow Visitor Policies and complete the HIPAA training before completing a shadowing request. More information is available on the website below.

UNC also has a super useful virtual shadowing series too. Check out the session in the video below, with Dr. Nielson (Urology)…


CaroMont Health Student Programs

CaroMont Health, based in Gastonia, has several educational opportunities for the next generation of medical professionals interested in learning more about health careers.

For college students, there are groups and preceptorships for those enrolled at schools with existing Education Affiliation Agreements. But there are also internships for a broader audience too.

For high school students, there’s the CaroMont Health Club, a program providing safe, robust, hands-on learning experiences with health care professionals for students in grades 9-12. The group meets one evening per month between October and April and participating students can attend 5 out of 7 meetings to receive credit.

There’s also the CaroMont Health Sciences Academy, a program designed to offer high school students in the area to observe and learn from working healthcare practitioners.


Ortho Carolina Shadowing

The Ortho Carolina group runs a shadowing program offering placements in its orthopedic locations (including the Spine Center – Charlotte) and Physical Therapy Centers throughout the broader state.

Sessions are usually a one-week period and participants must be 16-year-of-age or older with those under 18 requiring parental permission and the completion of a liability form.

To be eligible students need to first find hosts/preceptors and make requests 4 weeks (or more) prior to the shadowing start date.


Other Opportunities For Clinical Shadowing In Charlotte

As well as applying to the organized shadowing programs listed above, it can be worth researching and enquiring about possible hospital volunteering programs in Charlotte and the surrounding metropolitan area.

Signing up to volunteer can help you build a network among physicians, nurses, physician assistants, and other healthcare workers that could lead to important shadowing opportunities.

What About Private Shadowing?

It’s possible to set up private shadowing programs with physicians (and other healthcare workers) in Charlotte.

Here are some important tips on how to secure further shadowing opportunities in the city and surrounding areas:

  • Contact your own personal care provider (PCP) and enquire about shadowing
  • Look up major hospitals in the area and check to see if doctors practicing there are alumni of your college (email them and explain the situation)
  • Try cold calling/emailing physicians listed on the faculty list of Charlotte’s major medical schools
  • If you’re interested in becoming a PA, email or call up the North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants (they have a list of PA’s who offer to have students shadow them)
  • Consider applying for hospital scribing jobs in the city
  • Look into virtual shadowing opportunities

I Want To Shadow A Certain Specialty Doctor, What Can I Do?

If you’re looking to learn more about the various areas of medicine (and the differing roles) then shadowing can help.

Finding opportunities is generally the same across all areas of medicine and health. You’ll want to contact departments (and physicians) directly and see if they can put you in contact with specialist healthcare workers in areas you may be interested in.

I also have individual tips on finding opportunities within each specialty (psychiatry, anesthesiology, surgery, etc).

Final Thoughts

A physician or clinical-based shadowing program is important for any student interested in allied health careers. Not just future doctors but nurses, physician assistants, and anyone in between!

Hopefully, the programs above can help give you an introduction as to what life in healthcare is all about.

Looking for shadowing programs elsewhere? Check out or other physician shadowing guides. We cover all major U.S. cities!