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During the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic, The University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga suspended all clinical observing experiences for students 18 years and older. We will update this page when the suspension is lifted.

Erlanger Health System has opened its Job Shadowing Program on a limited basis. You can check on the status of Erlanger's program here:  Undergraduate students over 18 years of age who wish to observe a physician who holds medical staff privileges at Erlanger can complete the online application on the Erlanger Job Shadowing page at the link on the line above and submit all required documentation.  Observing experiences cannot be approved for a medical student in the last two years of medical school.  Physicians cannot be approved to observe physicians either.

Below is information about our UT College of Medicine Chattanooga Observing Programs that we hope to resume after the pandemic is under more control.  Please understand that these programs below are not currently operating.


The University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine Chattanooga offers two paths for observing for students age 18 and over who are interested in careers as physicians but are not yet in their clinical years of medical school:

  • Sponsored Clinical Observer Program - observers must be non-medical students, at least 18 years old, who want to observe or shadow a physician.  These experiences are limited to one or two days with Faculty Physicians within in our major affiliated partner and primary clinical training site, Erlanger Health System.  Erlanger has requested the UT College of Medicine Chattanooga to oversee this program, whereby these students may observe Faculty Physicians who also hold Medical Staff appointments within Erlanger.  This experience is for clinical observation only and cannot involve any hands-on clinical patient care (including physical exams, procedures, etc.) nor direct access to the hospital electronic health record.  The University is not responsible for requests for students asking to observe Erlanger physicians who do not hold UT Faculty appointments.
  • UTC Pre-Med Program -- In conjunction with the local University of Tennessee Chattanooga (UTC) Pre-Med Program, our campus also sponsors a longitudinal two-semester Pre-Med Elective with a curriculum that provides one elective credit hour at in the UTC undergraduate program.  Six students are selected each year through a stringent application and review process by UTC Pre-Med Advisors and our Associate Dean/DIO, Dr. Robert Fore. Students apply through Dr. Manuel (Manny) Santiago at UTC ( Students are interviewed in May of the academic year and, if accepted, must agree to register in the elective for two Semesters (Fall and Spring).  The course and program are limited to six students in their Junior Year.

Future Docs

In addition, the local Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society sponsors two programs under the label of Future Docs. These are programs that provide information and individual clinical observing experience for students age 18 and over who are interested in physician careers -- the Youth Leadership Forum and the Medical Explorations Program:

  • Youth Leadership Forum: a one-week informational and observer program conducted in early summer each year and involve observing at several area hospitals (Erlanger Health System, Memorial Hospital, and HCA Parkridge Health System). Questions can be addressed to the Medical Society at 423.622.2872 or via email to Applications should also be emailed to To view information about YLF, go to the Medical Society's website at: Scroll to the bottom of the page to download an application or to view the brochure.  The application deadline for the 2019 YLF was April 12, 2019.  
  • Medical Explorations Program: a structured programmed of didactics and clinical observation (2 weeks) also sponsored by the Medical Society.  Dr. Mukta Panda, Assistant Dean for Medical Student Education, is the contact. Participants must be at least 18 years old at the time of the actual program. To ask questions about the program or to request an application, please email Applications are open from May 6 through June 17, 2019.

Additional Information

  • Other than the programs detailed above, the University of Tennessee and Erlanger do not offer formal observing experiences for students or physicians requesting to observe physicians within the hospital.  
  • Erlanger offers job shadowing with Erlanger employees (non-physicians). To email the office to request a job shadowing experience with a non-physician Erlanger employee, visit
  • The University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga does not offer opportunities for physicians to observe our faculty, residents, and fellow physicians.  
  • At this time, the UTHSC College of Medicine Chattanooga does not have nurse practitioners or physician assistants on staff and cannot accommodate nurse practitioners students or PA students from other universities requesting clinical rotations beyond the five UTHSC Memphis PA students assigned to our campus for their year-long clinical rotations (January through November each year).  
  • Nursing Students, Nurse Practitioner Students, or PA Students who wish to request clinical rotations at Erlanger, must coordinate requests through the Erlanger Job Shadowing Program by visiting Erlanger requires a clinical agreement between each university and program and Erlanger. These would not go through the UT College of Medicine Chattanooga.
  • The Sponsored Clinical Observing Experiences of students with Faculty Physicians (described above) do not involve hands-on clinical care. These are for observing/shadowing only.  
Sep 16, 2022