Health Professions Advisory Office

Vanderbilt Resources

Shadowing (Current Vanderbilt Undergraduates Only)

If you are NOT a current Vanderbilt undergraduate, please visit the VUMC Observational Experience website (CLICK HERE)

There are two ways for CURRENT VANDERBILT UNDERGRADUATES to shadow at VUMC. One is through the AED Pre-health Society formal Shadowing Registration. It is offered at the beginning of each fall and spring semester. AED maintains a list of many physicians who have agreed to be shadowed during the semester. Our office works with AED to ensure that students meet all of the requirements in order to be assigned a physician to shadow. Announcements about the Shadowing Registration dates will be sent to the ListServ. (Contact the HPAO if you need to be added.)

The second way to shadow is for VU undergrads to locate physicians on their own.

Either way, please follow the below steps and provide the required documents to the HPAO:

*** NOTE: It may take several days for immunization information to be processed by the health care provider. DO NOT WAIT until a couple of days prior to registration! ***




(He/she can review your health records, then complete and sign the Health Screening Form.)

VUMC requires that you provide the following proof of immunizations:

    • Proof that you are immune to the varicella virus (chicken pox). Even if you have had chicken pox, you will still need to submit proof that you are immune.
    • Proof that you have either started or completed the Hepatitis-B vaccine, or, that you have declined it.
    • Proof of a negative TB skin test dated within the past 12 mths or a clear chest x-ray dated within the past 6 mths.
    • Proof that you have had the MMR vaccine and/or are immune.
    For more information about these requirement, click here.

2) Bring this completed SHADOWING INFORMATION FORM.

3) Provide a photocopy of your HEALTH INSURANCE CARD (front AND back) for our files.

4) Review this SAFETY AND CONFIDENTIALITY PRESENTATION and complete the Safety Orientation quiz below:




      If you are a Senior or Junior, and you have been approved to OBSERVE IN THE ADULT OPERATING ROOM, you must obtain permission and approval from your OR Sponsor (Adult OR Permission Form).

      You must also view the Perioperative "Visitor Guide to the OR" presentation. (Click here to access the presentation.)

      If you are a Senior or Junior, and you have been approved to OBSERVE IN THE CHILDRENS HOSPITAL OR,you must obtain permission and approval from your OR Sponsor (Childrens Hospital OR Permission Form)


6) If you are participating in the official Shadowing Program coordinated thrugh AED, please bring your completed paperwork to the sign-up meeting. If you are shadowing independently, please bring it to the HPAO office.


7) Once you have submitted this information and your paperwork has been approved, you will be given a form that you will take to the VUMC card office to have a Student Observational ID card made. The card office is in the Medical Center North. (The hospital entrance is across from the biomed library. Turn left and it's just past the ATM machines.) The ID office is closed from 1-2 for lunch. Full hours are posted HERE.


8) You will then contact your assigned physician and set up a shadowing schedule.


Please note that these requirements / documents must be completed even if you've volunteered at the hospital before. You MUST receive a new hospital ID EACH SEMESTER in order to shadow. Badges are to be returned to the HPAO office at the end of each semester of shadowing.

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