5 Physician Shadowing Programs in San Jose!

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

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

List Of Physician Shadowing Programs In San Jose

Stanford Rehabilitation Student Program

The Rehabilitation Services Department at Stanford Health Cafe has a program for students interested in outpatient orthopedic surgery, acute care, and hand therapy. The program runs out of the group’s Boswell Building.

To be eligible, you’ll need to be able to prove you’re enrolled in accredited university programs in either occupational therapy, physical therapy, or speech therapy.

Students in acute care will be assigned to a service (orthopedics, oncology, neurology, psychiatry, etc), while in the outpatient setting physical therapy students will find themselves in the sports and orthopedic clinic. As a participant in the program, you’ll be able to observe/shadow in other units and sit in on education programs across all services. There’s also the chance to take part in medical rounds.

You’ll need to check with your college’s academic coordinator of clinical education (ACCE) to see if they’re affiliated. Anyone outside of this criteria may be interested in their Adult Volunteer Program.

Check out the video below for more info on what to expect working with the group…

DETAILS


Stanford Immersion in Medicine Series (SIMS)

SIMS is targeted at undergraduate students with an interest in medicine, providing the opportunity to shadow physicians at Stanford Hospital, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, and the Palo Alto VA Hospital.

To be eligible you’ll need to be a sophomore, junior, or senior, in good academic standing with the college/university itself (only for those matriculated at Stanford).

Participants will be paired up with a physician mentor and have the chance to shadow them on rounds and in the clinic, the operating room, and other areas.

Successful applicants should expect to under a mandatory orientation (including HIPAA training), reviewing the program’s Code of Conduct and showing proof of immunizations, etc.

The program takes applications every Autumn.

DETAILS


Student Clinical Opportunities for Premedical Experience (SCOPE)

SCOPE is a group of volunteers and interpreters made up of both undergrad and graduate students from across the San Jose State and the broader bay area.

They offer members physician mentorship, premed resources, leadership opportunities, and a supportive pre-med community.

To get involved, SCOPE asks for a minimum full year of commitment (with the first two quarters needing to be continuous) with a 10-15 hour approximate weekly involvement. You don’t have to be a current student, SCOPE accepts anyone aged 18 and over local to the area.

Typically the program involves direct participation in hospital volunteering and project teamwork, leading the way to shadowing/observerships and other integral experiences further down the line.

To become part of the organization, you’ll need to submit an application before the Fall deadline. Any questions can be sent to beagooddoctor@gmail.com.

DETAILS


Good Samaritan Student Shadowing Program

The Good Samaritan’s Shadowing Program is an observation-only experience for students aged 16 and over.

The program provides an opportunity to learn about specific health occupations in a real health care setting and gives participants time to watch processes and procedures and ask questions of physicians and other healthcare workers.

Participants may find themselves involved in shadowing across any of the following departments:

  • Biomedicine
  • Physical Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Pharmacy
  • Radiology
  • Dietetics

There’s also a separate Student Nurse Extern Program and a Medical Laboratory Science Program for those interested.

DETAILS

  • Name: Good Samaritan Hospital
  • Location: 2425 Samaritan Dr, San Jose, CA 95124
  • Phone: 408-559-2011
  • Website: goodsamsanjose.com

Kaiser Permanente – Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

The Kaiser Permanente Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine facility in San Jose was actively looking for shadowing/observership participants in the times before the pandemic.

Offering the chance to work alongside physicians, physician assistants (PAs), and other health workers seeing on average up to 150 patients a day, the experience with Kaiser Permanente is designed to expose you to individuals who’ve sustained injuries such as bone fractures and more.

Their programs usually call for morning shifts and require participants to dress in business casual attire (with comfortable shoes).

You can see more on their previous shadowing program advertisement here.

DETAILS

  • Name: Kaiser Permanente
  • Location: 260 International Circle, One North 2, San Jose, CA 95119

Other Opportunities For Clinical Shadowing In San Jose

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

Check out the article linked in the introduction for more info on hospital volunteering programs in the city.

What About Private Shadowing?

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

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 San Jose’s major medical schools (Berkeley’s Tang center is known to accept shadowing)
  • 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 in other parts of California? Check out or other physician shadowing guides. We cover all major U.S. cities!