7 Physician Shadowing Programs In Houston!

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 Houston, these physician shadowing programs could be a great fit for you.

Before we dive into the list of physician shadowing programs in Houston, check out our list of opportunities for hospital volunteers in Houston here. Many of these programs could eventually help in gaining vital clinical experience.

List Of Physician Shadowing Programs In Houston

Baylor College of Medicine – DeBakey Summer Surgery

Beginning in the 1960s, DeBakey’s Summer Surgery program has extended from research to include surgery shadowing.

As an 8-week long program, participants are assigned surgery faculty mentors who work closely with the teams at Ben Taub Hospital, Baylor St. Luke’s, and Texas Children’s Hospital.

Student participants are expected to observe surgery, attend didactics, and also have the opportunity to take a night shift.

Open to current undergrads or pre-med students only.

Here’s further insight into what the program offers…


Baylor College of Medicine’s SMART Program

The Summer Undergraduate Research Training (SMART) Program is a 9-week paid biomedical summer research project that offers designated housing near Baylor College of Medicine.

Open to undergraduates in the biomedical sciences, the $5,000 stipend offered with successful placement makes it a competitive one.

Past year’s programs have included some physician shadowing opportunities.


  • Name: Baylor College of Medicine
  • Location: One Baylor Plaza, Houston, Texas 77030
  • Phone: 713-798-4951
  • Website: bcm.edu/smart-program

Houston Methodist Hospital’s Rosenberg Summer Surgical Fellowship

Billed as “surgical shadowing for undergraduates”, the Rosenberg Summer Surgical Fellowship is sponsored by Wade Rosenberg, MD.

Designed as a 10-week program that offers direct mentorship from a surgeon in General Surgery, Neurosurgery, Urology, Plastic Surgery, or Cardiovascular Surgery, the program includes clinic, shadowing, and grand rounds. Summer didactic lectures are also offered.

Related: Best Medical Schools In Houston

The program boasts a near -100% acceptance rate for alumni who later apply to med school.


Texas Tech University’s Premedical Enrichment Program

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine runs an annual Pre-Medical Enrichment Program (PEP) for undergraduates interested in rural health medicine and primary care.

This program is designed to produce well-qualified and competitive medical school applicants. Participants will gain admissions insight and acquire the tools necessary to become a competitive applicant. Opportunities include: 

  • Clinical and shadowing experiences
  • Anatomy
  • MCAT preparation
  • Professional development
  • Mock interviews

Please note, owing to the pandemic, in recent years PEP’s have been virtual only.


UT Health Mary Ann Lunsford Summer Externship

Designed specifically with pre-medical students in mind, this externship provides in-depth exposure to all aspects of cardiovascular disease.

Set up as two six-week periods with a $1000 stipend, a total of 4 students are accepted to the program each summer.

To qualify you must be a junior in college and possess a GPA of at least 3.6 or higher.

The application deadline is the beginning of April.


UT Health McGovern Medical School Pediatrics Shadowing

UT Health’s pediatrics department receives multiple shadowing requests for their physicians each week.

They accept a maximum of 2 days of shadowing and recommend contacting the Child Neurology faculty to arrange placements.

See the website for further details.


UT MD Anderson Cancer Center

The MD Anderson Cancer Center accepts clinical shadowing and research placements from interested undergrads.

Students will be matched with one of the clinical faculty in Houston Area Locations who will then be allowed to shadow for up to five consecutive days.

Possible departments for observation include surgery, radiation oncology, medical oncology, or radiology.

Students should have completed at least one year of undergraduate curriculum to apply. Graduate students are also eligible.


Other Opportunities For Clinical Shadowing In Houston

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

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 Houston’s 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

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 (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 in other areas of the state? Check out or other physician shadowing guides. We cover all major U.S. cities!