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Clerkship for an IMG

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

Clerkship for an IMG

Postby MedamineG » Wed Dec 03, 2014 4:42 am

Hello everyone,

I am currently a 5th year student in Casablanca, Morocco. I am very eager to start a specialty program in the US and I therefore need to have at least one US clinical experience (and get a letter of recommendation from a US doctor).

From what I have read on the Internet, the best for me would be to integrate a clerkship program that is accredited by the ACGME.

I would like to know if there is a list of the Hospitals accredited by the ACGME so I can send my application (and is there any of these institutions that are more likely to accept international students?). I would also like to know the procedure for the application to such programs (Is there a formal application? Or should I contact them directly by email or phone).

I would be very grateful for any information that would help me in this process.

Thank you in advance for you help!

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Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2014 9:21 am

Re: Clerkship for an IMG

Postby Julia IMG Residency » Fri Dec 05, 2014 11:46 am

Clerkship is medical student clinical rotation at a teaching institution, typically ACGME accredited residency program alongside with residents. The key term here is medical student. A graduate cannot get a clerkship. Most IMGs have already graduated, so cannot get a clerkship.

Please clarify if you are looking for clerkship or observership/ externship clinical experience.

Externship is a clinical rotation. There is no formal definition of an externship and technically rotation in an outpatient practice can also be considered a clerkship as long as your MS preceptor agrees that you got adequate exposure to the clinical side of the practice. Externship is also characterized as hands-on experience. You should see patients, work with charts, order labs, etc.

Observership is a clinical observation where observer is not allowed to interact with patients

Naturally, Clerkships carry the most weight because they are formalized and always equate to hands on clinical experience in a teaching hospital. Externships leave more for interpretation and not all externships are performed in a teaching institution. And finally Observership is defined as no hands-on, so it is difficult to expect your preceptor to have an opportunity to observe you in action.

"U.S. Clinical Experience" or USCE cause a lot of confusion. Different programs use different criteria for determining whether one's clinical experience qualifies for USCE. First of all, all clerkships qualify. This does make much difference of IMGs because you have already graduated and clerkship is not something you can get. Observership typically does not qualify, just because it is not hands-on. Externship qualification varies. Some programs require clerkships to be at an ACGME accredited residency program. Unfortunately getting an externship at ACGME accredited residency program is more difficult than actually getting residency spot. Each program may offer just one two-month externship slot, which translates to 6 externs/year. Most programs consider externships as USCE regardless of location.
Julia IMG Residency
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