How To Get Started

If you are interested in participating in one of the Medi-Gators or Medi-Futures programs, please go to website for the Medi-Gators Shadowing Program, Medi-Futures Shadowing Program, or the Medi-Gators Mentorship Program

If you are seeking a shadowing, volunteering, or research scholar opportunity, the first step is to identify a faculty member with whom you are interested in working, and then ask them to sponsor you. Importantly, someone needs to say they will be responsible for you at all times you are present in any clinical or research environment.  

Every department at UF (and most institutions) has a faculty directory that gives you the opportunity to find someone who might be doing something that sparks your interest, including UF neurology. Typically, the only way to find out what opportunities are available is to find people with whom you are interested in working (website profiles list ongoing projects/interests) and email them. A particular faculty member may be able to accept only observers or only volunteers depending on what they have going on at that time (yes, it changes), and usually the only way to find out is to reach out and ask. However, the UF Department of Neurology, in an effort to streamline our process, has created a website of opportunities that is constantly updated as our needs change. For opportunities with UF Neurology, please first refer to ***this website*** before emailing faculty! 

When you have found a faculty member with whom you are interested in working, you should contact them. You may have to contact multiple faculty before finding one who is able to sponsor you, however it is not wise to mass email numerous faculty members at once as it can make you look insincere and inconsiderate. Once you have a faculty member who has agreed to sponsor you, then you need to complete the required training and paperwork to get started. In the Department of Neurology at UF, this process is overseen by Kelly Martin, who will help you meet all the requirements needed to shadow or volunteer at UF and UF Health. The specific requirements for volunteering and shadowing are listed in the table below. 

How to Approach Finding a Shadowing, Volunteering or Research Position: 

  1. Review the Faculty Directory of the department to find someone who does the type of work you want to learn more about (read faculty profiles, publications, etc. to help make your decision) 
  1. Contact the specific faculty member(s) with whom you want to work and ask if they would be willing to sponsor you to observe or do research with them (whatever you’re looking to do). PLEASE DO NOT blindly contact a long list of faculty – this is unlikely to be successful. For UF Neurology, our opportunities website lists all the active opportunities in our department. 
  1. Once a faculty member has agreed to sponsor you, complete all the credentialing paperwork. You will receive notification when you have been approved to begin your experience with us. 
  1. Contact the faculty member to inform them you have completed credentialing and you would like to schedule a time to start. Please DO NOT show up to clinical or lab without permission! 

For students shadowing or volunteering with multiple faculty members, the training and credentialing paperwork need to be completed separately for each department in which you shadow or volunteer. It is common to shadow with multiple people, but rare to volunteer with multiple people as volunteering is more of a time commitment.  

Of note, for faculty who have clinical or research duties housed at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Hospital/Clinic, there is currently no formal policy. However, the VA leadership has decided that students: 

  • Should not have computer access 
  • Should obtain permission from each and every patient they observe 
  • Should never spend any time alone with any patient 
  • Should never have any physical contact with a patient 
  • Must provide a written statement (i.e., email) that they have reviewed the VA Privacy and HIPAA guidelines, and that they understand all the above rules. 

Additional details about how to shadow or volunteer with someone who works at the VA should be obtained by contacting the person who you are interested in shadowing. For more information on the requirements to shadow or volunteer at UF, see the table below. 

Of note, UF health professional students should already be credentialed through their colleges and therefore only need to find faculty able to accommodate them. 

Due to high demand, the UF Department of Neurology is only allows each shadowing student to be credentialed for 120 days – please use that time wisely! Because the UF training modules are good for 1 year, you can approach other departments for shadowing opportunities after your time with UF Neurology has ended – you will need to complete the department-specific credentialing, but will not have to repeat the UF training modules until 1 year has passed. Keep your training certificates for the online courses (i.e., PRV 800) to provide to all departments in which you are seeking a shadowing experience. Importantly, even if your credentialing is complete, please DO NOT show up to clinic without first scheduling your experience with that faculty member! 

For further questions or concerns, please contact: 

Kelly Martin: 


Pouya Alexander Ameli, MD MS: