8 Physician Shadowing Programs In Columbus, OH!

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 Columbus or surrounding Ohio state, these physician shadowing programs could be a great fit for you.

List Of Physician Shadowing Programs In Columbus

Nationwide Children’s Job Shadowing & Internships

Nationwide Children’s Hospital has shadowing programs that provide unpaid learning opportunities to help you discover more about healthcare careers.

Participants have the chance to experience a typical hospital workplace setting and see the duties performed by varying health care professionals in order to enhance their learning.

There are virtual shadowing on-demand programs in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), as well as Speech-Language Pathology.

There are also separate shadowing programs for high school students (must attend a school covered by the hospital’s affiliation agreement and be at least 14 years of age), and college students.

Aspiring participants should submit requests a minimum of four weeks before the requested observation date. Priority is given to students who need shadowing as part of a degree/course curriculum.


OSU Wexner Medical Center Observation

OSU’s Wexner Medical Center provides observation opportunities for students looking to fulfill requirements for applications to health science programs.

Their program is only for individuals with imminent application plans and asks for observers to be at least 18 years old at the time of applying.

There is an opportunity to shadow in the following areas:

  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Radiography
  • Sonography
  • Radiation therapy

Participants will be responsible for ensuring all documentation forms are completed and that they keep their own records of shadowing hours using paper timesheets. An Observation Hours Record can be provided by the group’s Volunteer Services on request.


  • Name: The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
  • Location: 410 W 10th Ave, Columbus, OH 43210
  • Contact: 614-293-3983
  • Email: observation@osumc.edu
  • Website: wexnermedical.osu.edu/observation

Buckeye Shadowing Club

The Buckeye Shadowing Club is a student-led organization running out of Ohio State University. They provide and facilitate shadowing opportunities for all pre-health students at the university/college.

Due to the events surrounding the pandemic the club has been running very popular Zoom sessions, giving participants the chance to interact with doctors of different specialties and learn from their experiences in medicine.

Interested participants may be able to access these sessions (without being enrolled/matriculated at OSU) via contact with the group’s leader Mukund Tarimala via email (tarimala.2@osu.edu).

Their Instagram page lists all upcoming events (with physician announcements). You can also check out their LinkedIn page here.


OhioHealth Interns

Something that may be of interest to individuals looking to gain experience in healthcare is the OhioHealth Interns Program.

OhioHealth employs over 4,000 interns each year, with individuals having the opportunity to gain clinical training toward the end of degrees and make connections with thought-leaders and industry experts in mentorship roles.

The internship lasts a maximum of 6-months.


The City of Columbus Public Health

The Office of Public Health Practice of Columbus offers support and helps coordinate the placement of students and volunteers throughout their governmental department.

Individuals (of any age) interested in participating in internships, field experiences, clinical rotations, shadowing, observations, and any other practice, should make further contact to see what opportunities are available.

The office lists the following types of shadowing areas as places that could be available upon inquiry:

  • Medical
  • Nursing
  • Medical Assistant
  • Pharmacy
  • Public Health
  • Veterinary
  • Environmental Health

To apply you should follow the instructions on the website; send a formal letter with a current resume addressing your areas of interest and dates of availability.


Job Shadowing at Premier Health

Premier Health Ohio has college job shadowing opportunities for those interested in healthcare careers.

Opportunities exist in both non-clinical and clinical settings, pairing up students with healthcare professionals to observe everyday skills, communication, and responsibilities in a patient care environment.

There are roles in the following environments:

  • Nursing
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • Imaging
  • Physical or Occupational Therapy
  • Pharmacy
  • Hospital Administration
  • Patient Care Technician

To participate you must be 14 years old or above. To shadow in surgery or the emergency department, you must be 16 years or older.

Applicants should apply at least 8 weeks prior to the date of request and allow 1-2 weeks for review.


Ohio Association of Physician Assistants Shadowing/Mentoring

Although their shadowing program is currently suspended (due to high demand), Ohio Association of Physician Assistants (OAPA) does encourage participants interested in shadowing PA’s to check back regularly for openings.

Their mentoring program is also expected to be available in the future.


Knox Community Hospital Shadowing

Although located 40 miles northeast of Columbus, in Mount Vernon, Ohio, Knox Community Hospital is another option to explore for people interested in gaining healthcare shadowing experience.

Their opportunities are for both high school students (2-4 hours long) and adults (4-8 hours), with longer options considered for both, depending on personal circumstances.

To be eligible you’ll need to be 16 or older (18 if you wish to shadow in The Birthing Center, Perioperative Services, or Emergency Department) and completion of an application at least 14 days in advance of a placement start date.


Other Opportunities For Clinical Shadowing In Columbus

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

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 Columbus/Ohio major medical schools
  • Check out volunteer opportunities in the city, get orientated and introduce yourselves to members of the medical team personally
  • 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!