6 Physician Shadowing Programs in Seattle

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 Seattle, WA, or the surrounding metro area, these physician shadowing programs could be a great fit for you.

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

List Of Physician Shadowing Programs In Seattle

Swedish Medical Center Seattle

Swedish Health Services/Swedish Medical Center has two teams dedicated to helping people interested in shadowing.

The Graduate Medical Education (GME) team offers Observerships with physicians (MD/DO), physician assistants (PA-C), podiatrists (DPM), dentists, and nurse practitioners.

You’ll have to search for providers through their listings first and you’ll also have to be over the age of 18 (those under 18 may want to contact Volunteer Services).

Observerships are ideally completed within 30 days of a start date. Check out the following for more info,


COPE Health Scholars

Running at various health care sites throughout Washington (including sites in Seattle), California, and Hawaii, COPE Health Scholars is a year-round program taking enrollment every quarter.

Offering 250 hours of field experience with weekly commitments of 4-8 hours, the program is separated into 9-month and 3-month options.

Designed as a program to help individuals decide if a career in helath care is right, COPE boasts 34,000 alumni who’ve all received completion certificates from the initiative via Keck Graduate Institute.

Applicants must be 18 or over and have completed GED or high school by the deadline for the cohort they wish to enroll in. Interviews take place via Skype and applications can be made online via their website.

The cost of the program runs between $232-$509 depending on the length of months you wish to complete it.


Seattle Children’s Hospital

Seattle Children’s Hospital offers medical observerships and a chance to shadow health experts.

To qualify you’ll need to be 18 and over, be able to show a dedicated interest in healthcare, and/or be an individual already working in healthcare but interested in different aspects of pediatric care.

These observerships do not fulfil high school senior projects, there’s also a dedicated page for those interested in high school and youth service projects.

Like most shadowing opps, you’re expected to complete an observership request form first. You’ll also need to show vaccination proof.

Applications are processed in approx 3 weeks. Observerships typically run 1-3 days.


UW Medical Center Observations

UW Medical Center presents opportunities to shadow medical staff including physicians, dentists, pscyhologists, microbiologists, pharmacists, and more.

Observerships are mandated by the school’s compliance regulations meaning no patient care or hands-on medical training is conducted.

You’ll need to be over 18 to be allowed in operating rooms but anyone over 16 is eligible to apply. You’ll also need to find providers to observe first.


Swedish First Hill Family Medicine Shadowing

Swedish First Hill Family Medicine offers a limited number of shadowing opportunities for pe-med students (high school and undergrad) ans also has spots for LCME or osteopathic med students.

Shadowing is offered up in outpatient or inpatient clinics and can be scheduled for up to four half-days.

Graduates of US or International medical schools are ineligible for this opportunity.


Sea Mar Shadowing

High school through to graduate school individuals are welcome to apply to Sea Mar to shadow medical providers.

Opportunities exist in Western Washington State for individuals willing to apply to via the link.

You’ll need to apply with a CV, your proposed shadowing hours and the name and contact of a preceptor.


Other Opportunities For Clinical Shadowing In Seattle

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

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 Seattles’ major medical schools (UWB Bothell is a good place to start)
  • 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.

Looking for tips on shadowing specific specialty doctors? Check out our guides here.

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 to what life in healthcare is all about.