Medical Observations and Job Shadowing

Shadowing a provider, dietitian, etc., is a great way to find out if a career in healthcare might be right for you. It will give you a better understanding of what their typical day is like, and give you good experience to talk about in your applications and interviews. It’s also a great way to gain familiarity with different specialties and medical environments.

Seattle Children's offers medical observations, an educational opportunity to shadow experts at our world-class hospital.

Medical observerations are intended for:

  • Individuals who are 18 years of age or older and out of high school.
  • Individuals who are interested in the medical field.
  • Individuals who work in healthcare and are interested in different aspects of a pediatric hospital setting and not seeking or being granted medical education credit. This includes all University of Washington medical students.

Those eligible to apply for observations:

  • Undergraduates/post-bacs/pre-medical observers
  • External medical students
  • Licensed and/or credentialed individuals (MD, DO, DDS, ARNP and PAs) are processed by Medical Staff Services. Please contact them directly at for specific application details.
  • If you are in a current U.S. residency or fellowship training program, you must be processed through the Office of Graduate Medical Education at Seattle Children's as a visiting resident. Please contact them directly for specific application details at
  • Seattle Children’s employees: If you are currently employed by or affiliated with Seattle Children’s, please see our internal application on CHILD. Search for "Medical Observerships."

Groups currently ineligible to observe:

  • High school students, under age 18 
    • Medical observations do not fulfill requirements for high school senior projects. Those who are still in high school are not allowed to observe. See a description of our opportunities for high school and youth service projects.
  • International observations are currently paused.

COVID-19 Vaccination Required

If requested, all observers must provide proof of the COVID-19 vaccination series with the second dose occurring at least two-weeks prior to the first date of observation. Observers will enter the date of their vaccination.

Requesting an Observation

If you are interested in observing at Seattle Children's, you must complete the observation request form, which includes a HIPAA/compliance attestation and immunization details (COVID-19 and flu vaccinations are required). Influenza: Flu vaccine for current season (only required from October 1–April 30).

We encourage you to reach out and connect with a provider before you submit this form to help expedite your request. Visit our directory and return to this form at a later time to complete. If you chose to submit without identifying a provider, it may delay your request – processing time will increase to six weeks or longer depending on department availability.

Submit your request

Due to the high volume of requests we receive, we cannot accommodate all requests – they are subject to availability and department discretion. Please note that not all departments are able to accept observation requests. A description of our departments can be found in the Clinics section of our website.

For more information, please see the FAQs for medical observations at Seattle Children’s.

Important Program Information

    • COVID-19: Record of two doses of Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or one dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Observation cannot begin until two weeks after second dose of Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or single dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
    • Influenza: Flu vaccine for current season (only required from October 1–April 30).
  • The placement process can take six weeks or more, dependent on the department and time of year. You can help expedite your request by reaching out directly to the provider or department you are interested in observing and including their contact information in your application. See our directory.

  • Due to the high volume of requests we receive, we are limiting observations to one per student per six-month period, up to two in a 12-month window. All requests are subject to availability and each department will approve or deny the request.

  • Observations are generally a 1- to 2-day experience not to exceed 39 hours.

  • Observers are required to check in daily with Security and will receive a visitor badge while on site. It is expected that they will be escorted while visiting any Seattle Children’s location.

  • Observers are not provided any network or Seattle Children’s email access.

  • Observers will not receive any academic credit for this experience and will not be classified as an official student, resident or medical staff member of Seattle Children’s.

    • Observers will not provide medical care during this experience. As an observer, your role is “visitor” and is totally hands-off.

    • If approved, the applicant will receive an approval email indicating they can now coordinate directly with the provider or point of contact that was provided. The observing team does not schedule or approve requests; our team helps to ensure compliance with all Seattle Children’s HIPAA and privacy policies for observations.  All further communication will be directly from the provider or the point of contact provided.

    • If the observer has any symptoms including but not limited to fever, chills, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle/body aches, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose the observer should not come to any Seattle Children’s locations. The observation must be rescheduled once they are cleared by their primary care provider.