Observership for IMG is the position of observing patient care in a healthcare setting, without patient contact with a goal of gaining medical knowledge. It is a vital aspect of gaining exposure to the U.S. medical system and will increase the quality of one’s application for a residency program.
Observership IMG friendly hospitals are designed to help international medical graduates (IMGs) adapt to the practice of medicine in the United States. It may be established by a medical association or interested group of physicians to assist IMGs who wish to observe clinical practice in a U.S. setting.
Observership IMG programs are not intended to be organized for the sake of profit. It is meant to be voluntary for interested IMGs and physicians in each specialty should volunteer time and efforts. Clinical clerkship for IMG programs should not be considered a mandatory step before starting a residency program.
Programs typically last from 2-4 weeks per rotation or specialty. Observers can rotate among several specialties to create a longer experience.
Clinical Observership for IMG
As an IMG, it may sometimes feel like you are between a rock and a hard place. You know you need USCE, but those positions can be hard to find or get into. But with persistence and ingenuity, there are several ways to find opportunities for a clinical clerkship like using trusted online resources to find clinical experience, going to the direct route with direct placement clinics and never leave a stone unturned.
Observerships at hospitals with general surgery programs that have taken a large % of IMGs
- Cleveland Clinic Florida
- Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia
- Mount Sinai, New York
Application Process for Observership for IMG
In order to apply for participation in the Clinical Observership for IMG program, you have to abide by the following observership rules for IMG :
Importance of Observership for IMG Programs Before Residence/Further Medical Career
Below are the benefits of observership programs for IMGs :
- Experience the United States healthcare systems
- Receive clinical performance evaluations
- It is often a requirement for an IMG’s residency program
- You can form contacts. Contacts can be a very important factor in helping you get residency interviews and then match. The more familiarity that the program director has with you, the better your chances
- Earn letters of recommendation from United States physicians
- Learn how to communicate with other medical staff, other physicians, patients and their families
- Learn how to prepare and present patient cases, medical presentations, PowerPoint Presentations
- Learn examination room etiquette
- Learn SOAP note format
- Learn how to write admitting and discharge orders
- Learn how to write daily in-patient notes/charting
Additional services made available during your observership program (additional fee will apply):
- Learn how to create an effective application for residency
- Learn how to develop a personal statement
- Learn how to develop a curriculum vitae
- Learn how to be effective at interviewing skills
Examples of Observership for IMG Programs Offered:
Here are some of the best observership in USA for IMG programs for you to apply to:
Observerships at hospitals with internal medicine programs that have taken a large % of IMGs
Information about Observership for IMG You Want to Know
- Advertised observership at a top US hospital with no promise of a letter of recommendation:
The world-renown Cleveland Clinic has a Global Clinical Observer Program for IMGs. They only accept 12 IMGs each year. You must already be ECFMG certified to apply. It is a 4-week shadowing experience. Participants will spend one week with specialists in each of the clinical cardiology, gastroenterology, infectious diseases, and pulmonary medicine.
- Advertised observership at a university-affiliated observership with definite LoR:
Drexel University College of Medicine has an IMG observership program in internal medicine, pediatrics, Ob-GYN, surgery, and anesthesia. The rotations are in 6-week blocks.
Unlike the Cleveland Clinic experience, you will get a LoR at the end of this observership. They will gather feedback from various faculty members who you worked with and put together a letter with their opinions and be stating your accomplishments. They state that previous participants have often used these LoRs and several past participants successfully matched.
- Non-advertised, privately arranged observership:
There are 2 ways to find non-advertised observerships:
- You can go through contacts you already have in the U.S.
- You can directly contact a hospital and hope for the best.
- Observerships through medical associations
There are dozens of medical associations such as the American Association of Physicians from India (AAPI) and the Russian American Medical Association (RAMA) that offer a network of physicians as a resource as well as some associations that explicitly offer observerships.
- Documents needed from IMGs for observership:
Here are some of the documents needed for observership
- Proof of up-to-date immunization
- A valid B-1, B-2, J-1,H-1B, 0-1 or visitor’s visa
- Current curriculum vitae
- Two (2) current photographs (preferably passport size)
- Medical school diploma (English Translation)
- Valid U.S. or Traveler’s Health insurance
- Two (2) family/friend recommendation letter
- Official transcripts from ECFMG
- Medical career jobs for foreign medical graduates
Here are some great medical career opportunities for students:
- Student trainee (Biology)
- Health technician (Optometry)
- Student trainee (Hydrology)
- Biological science laboratory technician
- Health technician (Medication technician)
- Medical assistant
- Clinical documentation specialist
- Health system specialist
- Clinical document improvement specialist
- Medical receptionist