1. PA Shadow Online
This is a website (click here to visit) where you create your own username and password. After you can search an entire database of PA’s who are willing to have students shadow. I have not personally used this; however, from my understanding you search the location you want to shadow and use the site to contact PA’s.
2. Teaching Institutions
Most major teaching institutions have a designated individual in the education department (title may vary by site) who you can contact in order to ask about shadowing opportunities. For instance if you go onto UPMC’s website and search “physician assistant shadow” results return for their job shadow program and contact information is available.
3. Friend of a friend of a friend.
Squeaky wheel gets the grease. I got a lot of my shadowing hours by asking everyone I knew if they knew a PA and if I could shadow them. Then if I shadowed that PA I would ask kindly if they knew anyone in other specialties who would be willing to have me for a day. If you don’t ask the answer is always no.
4. Cold calling or e-mailing
As lame as it sounds it works. It’s quick and simple. Google search your area and call away.
5. Show up
Walk in to offices and speak with the receptionist. Don’t show up empty handed! Bring your resume with a cover letter stating your intentions. I know personally now, if a student showed up where I was working, professionally dressed resume and cover letter in tow to shadow me I would never say no. If you dress professionally there is a good chance the secretary will comment about it when handing your information to the PA!