6 Physician Shadowing Opportunities In Philadelphia! (2021)

Shadowing is crucial if you’re planning on a career in healthcare. It’s also very hard to get!

If you live in Philadelphia and the surrounding area, these physician shadowing opportunities could be a good match.

Before we get started; if you’re looking for further shadowing opportunities, hospital volunteering can be the way to go. Check out our Philadelphia hospital volunteering guide here.

List Of Physician Shadowing Programs In Philadelphia

Abingdon Memorial Pre-Med Program

Abington Jefferson Health has offered shadowing opportunities for its Pre-Med Program since 1959. Their program runs over 8 weeks of the summer (June to July), allowing students to gain first-hand experience in the health care field.

Abingdon offers exposure across the following wards and centers:

To qualify, students should have completed a sophomore year/four semesters in college by the start of the program (June). Application deadlines are in December.

See the website for more information about the program.


Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) Shadowing

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has a strong reputation as an amazing hospital full of patient physicians, nurses, and other healthcare workers. They run several shadowing programs throughout the year and are famed for being open and responsive to requests.

CHOP’s Neurology High School Scholars Project is one such shadowing/internship program, offering the opportunity for three high school students to complete a five-week paid internship ($1,000 stipend). Successful applicants get to work closely with a neurologist on a basic science or clinical research project, and shadow physicians in clinic.

Another such program is CHOP’s Orthopedic Surgery International Visiting Scholar Program, open to international fellows, doctors or healthcare providers (with equivalent training) to visit and shadow orthopedic physicians.


Magee Rehabilitation Hospital Shadowing

Magee Rehabilitation Clinic through Jefferson Health has numerous opportunities for members of the general public interested in shadowing physicians in occupational and physical therapy.

Although Magee doesn’t offer shadowing opportunities over 60 hours, or any evening or weekend spots, the program is still a great insight into rehab medicine.

Magee Hospital performs background checks on all shadowing students once you have been accepted into the program. You must also attend an orientation session at the hospital prior to placement.

See the website for more details.


Fox Chase Cancer Center Temple Health

Job shadowing or observation at Fox Chase is provided to students on a pre-med academic track and offers individuals the opportunity to gain a realistic insight into healthcare careers. 

Anyone interested in shadowing must obtain their own point of contact.

Here’s the general eligibility:

  • Minimum 18 years of age.
  • Background check
  • Health screenings

Fox Chases’ shadow/observation applications are processed through their volunteer office.

At the time of writing the program is temporarily suspended, check the website to see its current status.


Premed Volunteer Program at Pennsylvania Hospital

Pennsylvania Hospital can be a good port of call for anyone interested in shadowing. Pre-med volunteers must be at least 18 years of age and able to commit a minimum of 50 hours of service (typically three to four months).

The hospital’s Nursing Unit Volunteer Program, allows people to assist clinical staff in caring for patients and the opportunity to interact with nurses and physicians, visitors, patients and families.

The Student Ambassador Program for students (ages 14-17) is another shadowing opportunity. Teens can receive a behind-the-scenes look at health care careers as part of a summer program running from June to August.


Perelman School of Medicine Shadowing Opportunities

Philadelphia’s University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine has a ton of shadowing opportunities for its students, across various specialty’s including:

  • Family Medicine
  • Pediatrics
  • Orthopedic Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
  • Surgery
  • Oncology
  • Opthalmology

See the website for individual contact info. It may well be worth reaching out if you’re non-affiliated with the school to see if there are opportunities available.


Other Opportunities For Hospital-Based Shadowing In Philadelphia

Official shadowing programs aside, it’s worth spending some time reading about possible hospital volunteering programs in Philadelphia and the surrounding area.

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

Check out our list of opportunities for hospital volunteering in Philly in the link at the top of this article.

What About Private Shadowing?

Setting up your own physician shadowing program is another option.

You can reach out to Philly-based physicians independently and politely request opportunities for shadowing/observerships.

The best way to do this could be via LinkedIn or contacting hospital/physician pages directly via email or phone.

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

If you’re looking to learn more about the various medical specialty’s then shadowing is a great idea.

Landing opportunities is broadly the same across all areas of medicine and health. You’ll want to contact departments directly and see if they can put you in contact with specialist healthcare workers.

For students looking for specific shadowing guides after they’ve landed opportunities, make sure you check out our articles on anesthetics and psychiatry shadowing.


Physician or hospital-based shadowing is important for students looking to apply and learn more about various healthcare education programs.

Hopefully, the programs above can help people local to Philadelphia achieve exactly that!

Check out our other physician shadowing guides. We cover all major U.S. cities!

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