Surgery Shadowing Program

The AED surgery shadowing program is an exclusive partnership between AED and UW Hospital which allows active AED members (50 points) to connect with and shadow surgeons in the operating rooms of UW Hospital, a privilege only given to AED members.

The program began in September 2013 through the efforts of Dr. Michael Garren, Patrick Carney, and Kayla Leibl, and has expanded since then.

1) To get started with the program, first confirm you are an active member. The program is open to all AED members who have achieved active status (50 points) for two semesters previous, or have achieved Gold Member status (60 points) one semester previous. The program can only be done for one three month period, so we recommend participating during your sophomore or junior year.

2) Once you have confirmed your active status, email Morgan Blaseer at He will connect you with relevant personnel, who will send you a list of surgeons to shadow.

3) Pick ONE SURGEON to email about shadowing. Only email one surgeon at a time, and give them ample time to respond. Don’t be afraid to send a reminder email after 4-5 days.

4) Once you have filled out the appropriate paperwork, you can shadow your surgeon as much as they will allow for a 6-month period! Always be in communication with your surgeon, and remember to be respectful of their wishes. Remember, this program is a unique privilege, so represent AED well!

5) Once your 3-month window has ended, stay in contact with your surgeon! While the program is currently limited to one 6-month period, the doctors may allow you to shadow them in clinic and may agree to write you a letter of recommendation.


Reviews by other members:

“I shadowed a trauma night shift in the ER, during which an individual who attempted suicide was brought in. Although [the doctor] did not perform any procedures, this was the coolest experience to see how a plethora of medical professionals worked together to maintain this individual’s health.

This was probably the neatest experience and most applicable opportunity I have had to get a better understanding of medicine and surgery. During some surgeries, the surgeon may allow you to be just outside the sterile field, while other times, you will need to stay out of the way. Both situations allow for a great amount of learning and interaction with the surgeon and other medical professionals in the OR. Not only did [the doctor] let me observe surgeries, he also allowed me to shadow him in his outpatient clinic and during his trauma night shifts.

My biggest recommendation is to schedule your 6-month shadowing period during a time when you know you will have large chunks of time available.” – Jared Muench


“I thought it was one of the best experiences I have had so far during my undergraduate; I only wish I was able to go more often, but my schedule was pretty tight! It is such a unique experience to be able to sit in the OR and interact with the surgeons, PAs, nurses and anesthetists.” – Chloe Farber


“I  would recommend any pre-med to do this experience. It may seem daunting to get started and it may be hard to find a doctor, but IT IS SO WORTH IT. It is so cool to actually see what being a surgeon is all about before even being in medical school. It is nearly impossible to get into an Operating Room to shadow so definitely jump on this experience.” -Morgan Blaser