Originally Posted by dvpouldar26
I somewhat agree and disagree with shadowing getting boring very fast. It may, but be sure to choose a field that you'd really enjoy, or else the hours and hours in clinic, ER, or OR can get boring. Most of my shadowing (3.5 years +) was all done in Orthopedic surgery and I still enjoy it to this day.
As for working with med students and residents, I highly recommend it. They can give you recent insight that perhaps older physicians cannot provide. Also, they are making a lot of publications while in residency or med school, many of which are clinical studies. Most are always glad to have an undergrad help them out and I have found that to be one of the quickest, and easiest ways to get some research experience and get a publication under your name. As for the higher ranking academic institutions, publications certainly do help, and might even be necessary for admission. I also agree with sending out your AMCAS information early. Letter writers lag with writing letters of rec, transcripts take forever to send (send them out months in advance), and writing a good application take some time. I submitted a few days after the app opened and it worked greatly to my advantage in terms of getting secondarys.
Well, you have more patience than I did, to shadow someone for more than 3 years. I found shadowing, after the first few days, to be a total waste of time and just another useless hoop to jump through.