ShadowDoc is the new go-to resource for anyone remotely interested in the medical field. The founders behind this venture, Nitin Tiwari and Benjamin Tran, may appear to be dermatologists but are truly entrepreneurs. The two met while at the University of Virginia; Nitin was completing his residency and Benjamin was going through a dermatology rotation as a medical student. They quickly bonded over their love of entrepreneurship and met outside of school to discuss and brainstorm their venture ideas.
The staff at the dermatology library soon recognized Nitin and Benjamin as the two entrepreneurs always “nerding out” as Benjamin puts it. With so many routes to take, Nitin and Benjamin entered two different businesses, ShadowDoc and PulseStent, into UVA’s Entrepreneurship Cup and won in both the health care services and consumer categories. Ultimately deciding to only pursue one, they focused on ShadowDoc.
Shadowing is essential for the education of any student pursuing the medical field. Typically, a minimum number of shadowing hours are required for medical school applicants, and the actual experience gives students an opportunity to determine if medicine or discipline of medicine is right for them.
The issue is shadowing opportunities are challenging to get for students unless they personally know a doctor or get lucky and receive a response from a cold email. However, ShadowDoc is now making shadowing opportunities more easily attainable. The company is forming a community of physicians, medical students, pre-med college students, and high school students interested in medicine. Through their network, physicians can provide their availability for shadowers and their expectations and then be matched with a student that is a good fit.
Furthermore, ShadowDoc prepares students for their shadowing experience by providing short courses that teach a specialty within medicine. This gives the students confidence when going into shadowing so they feel more comfortable, ask questions wisely, and make the most of their own and the physician’s experience.
The courses originally ideated due to the COVID-19 pandemic when in-person shadowing became nearly impossible. The educational courses include basic information surrounding a specific medical specialty, what students should expect when shadowing, interactive quizzes, and example cases in addition to professionals’ perspectives about their respective fields. Students can even earn points for completing courses and case simulations to rank on the site’s leader board.
Alongside a fun way to learn, students gain a support system by connecting with others also embarking on the medical journey and having access to recent graduates of medical school. ShadowDoc wants to provide a safe space for students and a holistic resource for them to discover what working in the medical field is like and if it is a fit for them.
Although Nitin is currently practicing dermatology and Benjamin is in his intern year before residency, the two still make time to pursue this venture. They look forward to the part of their day where they’re working on ShadowDoc. These founders are passionate about making ShadowDoc the best and most trusted resource for students pursuing (or thinking about) medicine.
There is no limit to what this platform will provide. Soon ShadowDoc will have a forum space where students can ask questions to medical students and learn more about their experiences. They’ll be able to get advice on the medical school admission process from people who have worked in an admissions department. ShadowDoc is also finding a way to provide virtual shadowing. With COVID-19 cases not seeming to slow, it will be even harder for students to gain the shadowing hours they need.
This week ShadowDoc launched its Emergency Medicine course. After completing the course, students will have the opportunity to meet virtually to discuss what they learned and ask any lingering questions. The course also incorporates the effect COVID-19 has had on the Emergency Department.
Whether you are in high school considering becoming a physician or in college already on the pre-med track, ShadowDoc is the go-to resource for you.
Try ShadowDoc's new Emergency Medicine course
This is a tremendous concept. Congratulations.