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Observership, Externship, Research opportunities. United States Clinical Experience.


Postby anatolyk » Sun Nov 13, 2005 8:46 pm


Try VA hospitals there. All of them offer free externships.

Here is a method that worked for quite a number of doctors I know.

First, what is the goal? You have to have really good LORs and some clinical experience. What you get out of externship is minimal to no clinical experience plus some really below average LORs. This is mostly because LOR writer cannot really evaluate your knowledge in the externship settings.

Here is what helped lots of people.
Go to or any other physician directory and find private practices in your city with doctors from the country where you are from and in the specialty you are going to apply for. Then just call them. Explain that you are a doctor from XYZ, looking for some clinical experience. Most of the guys you call will be sympathetic. They have gone through the same long process. Usually one out of three will be willing to give you a "volunteer trainee" position.

Now just do your best. Everybody who followed this path has gotten excellent LORs.

Neither externship nor this approach gives you a formal US clinical experience, which is a catch 22 thing. You cannot get it without a license. You cannot get the license without residency. But everybody who did that got a very good feedback from the programs. One of the most common comments is "we just could not pass on such a good LOR".

Good luck!
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Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 1:17 pm

It works for me though

Postby tuna » Fri Apr 14, 2006 10:56 am

I don't think my family doctor can help me out with a position of observership or externship, so I didn't dare to ask him, although we came from the same country. However, recently I knew that it was difficult to find a position like this here, so I asked my father- in- law tried to ask him for me. Suprisingly, He congrat for my scores and allowed me to go with him as observership and being my reference for another research position. A couple days later I visit him for PPD test of research volunteer. He said he would talk with the Director to allow me to do externship in that hospital. Such a great news. So you should not stop to hope, try to find a doctor come from the same country like you, he/she may give you a hand

re externship

Postby guest 06 » Tue Apr 18, 2006 2:22 pm

hi,i recently passed my step 1 with score of 83&preparing for step 2,i'm planning to take step 2 in august (last week) ,i did my graduation in dec 2004.whats the best time for me to do externship&u mean virginia(VA)hospitals,actually i live in VA if its so then i can try to get externship in any hospital here.could anyone tell me is it imp to have externship in teaching hospital or we can do it in community hospitals too.
i'll be grateful for ur help
guest 06

Postby anatolyk » Tue Apr 18, 2006 4:01 pm

I am sorry for using an abbreviation, VA used for Veteran Affairs here.
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more about VA hospitals

Postby tannazadib » Mon May 22, 2006 7:42 am

...And what kind of hospitals are VA's??
Do retired physicians/ patients work/hospitalize there?
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun May 21, 2006 6:07 pm
Location: Atlanta

how does webmed work?

Postby tannazadib » Mon May 22, 2006 7:56 am

Dear anatolyk or Bensal,
I tried webmed and typed "private practices in atlanta",in the window with the search botton in the right side of it. By hitting the search button it came up like: We found 11 results(which can not be correct), and still I couldn't find that 11 practices by clicking on it. Am I using this web incorrectly? Please let me know.
lots of thanks
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun May 21, 2006 6:07 pm
Location: Atlanta

Postby anatolyk » Mon May 22, 2006 4:13 pm

Try google and "Family medicine" Atlanta
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Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 1:17 pm


Postby sweetchild » Wed Aug 16, 2006 6:16 am

hey pl tell me how to contact them and how to find out the VA hospitals on net. i tried searching on google. but theres a whole overwhelming volume of results..i need to be more specific i guess. kindly send me links of VA hospitals/ list if anyone has that. and how to go about contacting them for these free observership/externships. i m an img from india. been academically one of the top students of my class thru out med school, sure to get vey good score at step 1(score awaited)
thanks in anticipation
jyoti assudani

kindly reply at or

Postby anatolyk » Wed Aug 16, 2006 4:17 pm

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Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 1:17 pm

LOR-generating externships to get into ER??

Postby celise » Mon Sep 03, 2007 9:50 am

Hi to all!

I read your thread on how to get decent LORs, and I was wondering what you would recommend to someone trying to aim for an ER residency.

I am assuming that your webMD "find a private practician in your field" strategy would not really work in the ER domain as from what i can see there are no private ER practitioners (?, correct me if i am wrong).

So is it still better to try to obtain an externship with a private practician, say in a field related to ER like anaesthesiology or IM?? Or should i go on and try to squeeze half decent letters out of a traditional hospital externship in ER? How?!

Also, are foreign LORs ever accepted??
How long does an externship have to be?? / how long is it usually?

Thanks in advance to all for any tips/info!
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Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 9:04 am

Externship at HCMC

Postby Sumana » Thu Mar 20, 2008 5:48 pm

Hi ,

Is is easy to get externship at the Hennepin county medical center at minneapolis?

Is it paid? How long is required?Is 3 months of externship enough?

Thanks in advance

Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 2:57 pm

Re: Externship

Postby vikr2009 » Thu Feb 12, 2009 8:41 pm

i know of one hospital in framingham, MA, metrowest medical center which interviews FMG's only and will surely give them interview after a few weeks of observership and there is a very good chance of making it into the residency.
I know of IMG's from jamaica who have used this method to get into residency.
There seems to be a network of these IMG's from jamaica who recommend each other for getting into residency and have successfully achieved their objectives.

Hope this helps !
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Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 8:30 pm

Re: Externship

Postby anatolyk » Tue Feb 09, 2010 11:26 am

Observership programs reported by AMA:

Observership Programs
A |A Text size Print Email Share
Observership Programs
Oklahoma State Medical Association
The Oklahoma State Medical Association has created an observership program. The 12-week program will be made up of three to six rotations in various specialties. During the 12-week program, the observer may have the opportunity to participate in the following ways:

•Attending hospital rounds
•Attending office/outpatient clinic
•Attending patient care conferences
•Participating in educational lectures
•Observing procedures
•Reviewing literature and performing literature search
Upon completion of the rotations, the observer will receive a certificate of completion from the OSMA indicating the number of weeks served as well as mentors and their medical specialties. More information can be found on the Oklahoma State Medical Association Web site.

All questions and inquiries will be received and answered by email.

Baylor College of Medicine, Multiple Sclerosis Observership Program
This program takes 4 to 6 observers per year and is offered to International Medical Graduates who have an interest in Multiple Sclerosis (MS). It is located at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. A rotation is a 2-4 week visit and the observer needs to go through the proper channels designed by the International Office of Baylor College of Medicine, registered, produce immunizations record, honor administrative school registration fees, etc.

Contact: Victor Rivera, MD, FAAN
Phone: (713) 798-7707
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Re: Externship

Postby anatolyk » Tue Feb 09, 2010 1:24 pm

Multiple specialties






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Re: Externship

Postby LSMonline » Mon Nov 21, 2011 1:48 am

Hello, I recently passed my step 1 with a score of 83 and preparing for step 2, I intend to take step 2 in August (last week), I got my degree 2004.whats in December the best time for me to do externship & D means Virginia (VA) hospitals, in fact I live in VA so I can try to get externship in any hospital here.could be tell me is it to have imp clerkship at the teaching hospital or we can do in community hospitals.
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Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2011 1:30 am

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