Shadowing & Volunteering

The Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Florida (UF) seeks to provide an environment that teaches the reward of caring for patients in an emergency department setting, an area unique in our hospital. Our priority is first to medical trainees within UF, including all UF College of Medicine (COM) students, house staff, fellows and those in other health-care units within the COM. We also recognize we can provide meaningful opportunities to learn and experience the depth and breadth of emergency medicine to UF undergraduates.

Medical students attending other colleges of medicine should be referred to: Visiting Student Elective via the UF COM Office of Student Affairs and Registration.

Shadowing is a voluntary experience with a practicing physician in the Emergency Department. Those approved are permitted to shadow a physician for a 2-4 hour block beginning at the start of the physicians’s shifts over the course of a 21-day period. Dress is business casual, and the shadower is not permitted to wear scrubs or a lab coat. Note: We do not offer any academic credit or medical certification for shadowing in the Emergency Department. Shadowing does not constitute medical education, graduate medical education, continuing medical education, or training leading to licensure or board certification. The shadower is not a student, resident, medical staff member, or employee of UF COM and must not represent him/herself as such. Shadowers are not allowed to provide patient care, even under supervision.

The Department of Emergency Medicine will not accept shadowers for the months of September-December. Shadowing will resume in January.

Typical activities for shadowing include:

  • Observing patient-physician interactions in the Emergency Department
  • Discussion of patient interactions with faculty and other members of the medical team including residents, nurses, and medical students
  • Participation in didactic activities
  • Observing medical resuscitations

To begin the process, please submit the forms below:

Please allow 10-14 days for application processing and approval once the application packet is received in full. The existence of this document creates no obligation for our department to provide on a shadowing experience. For more information or if you have any questions, please contact us.


Volunteering is a voluntary experience within the emergency department.  The volunteering experience does not constitute medical education, graduate medical education, continuing medical education, or training leading to licensure or board certification. The volunteer receives no academic credit. The volunteer is not a resident, medical staff member or UF COM employee and must not represent him/herself as such. Volunteers are not allowed to provide patient care, even under supervision but are allowed to provide support services to the division or department with which they work.

Permissible activities for an observer include:

  • Observing Patient-Physician interactions in an emergency department setting
  • Discussion of patient interactions with the faculty or residents
  • Provide basic support services such as answering phones, restocking patient rooms, special projects, and other administrative services as requested by departments staff and are performed under supervision

To begin the process, the requesting volunteer must first attain a faculty sponsor. Requests for a faculty sponsor should be submitted through the contact form. Once attained, it is the responsibility of the requesting volunteer to complete all forms listed within the Volunteer Request Form and submit below no later than two months before the requested start date. International students or foreign medical graduates must complete all forms no later than sixth months before the requested start date. The application checklist refers to the following requirements:

Notes about Volunteering Application:

  • In general, no volunteer will be allowed access to restricted data including but not limited to: Personal Health Information, Financial Information, Student Records or Human Resource Information. (Access will be allowed in limited cases with signed approval from the Privacy Office)
  • If your volunteer is going to have patient contact or animal contact, a Health Assessment is required. It will be volunteer’s or the sponsoring division’s responsibility to pay the related charges for the health assessment and required vaccines. The division sponsoring may decide to have the individual be responsible for the costs.
  • Volunteers must complete either “HIPAA & Privacy – General Awareness” or “HIPAA for Researchers” (if they will be involved in research activities) and sign UF’s Confidentiality Statement, registering with the Privacy Office so that they are included in the Privacy Office database, prior to visiting. Visit the UF Privacy Office for training instructions.
  • For clinical experiences (such as attending patient rounds or shadowing in clinic), the volunteer must attend a Mandatory Compliance training session, unless exempted by General Counsel, usually held at 11am on Thursdays in Room 4223 of the 1329 Building. If the volunteer is unable to make that training session, he/she should call 265-8359 to schedule a one-on-one session. He/she will be required to renew training online each subsequent year.
  • The individual may not receive any monetary or material compensation from any source for his or her volunteer service.
  • While the individual is providing volunteer services, he or she will be covered by the University’s worker compensation policy or state liability protection as appropriate.
  • Both the volunteer and the supervisor should sign the form obtained from the above mentioned websites. If the volunteer is a non-resident alien, the sponsor must attach a copy of their I-94 card.
  • Each Division should maintain auditable records of the number, location, and duties of volunteers, along with the number of hours of service provided to the Department.
  • Background checks may be required of non-UF students and others.

For more information, or if you have any questions, please contact us.