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USCE & Clinical Rotations IMG discussions of United States Clinical Experience (USCE), clinical rotations, clerkships, externships, observerships, electives, and internships.


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Old 10-26-2014
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Default Does working in a local small family medicine clinic count as USCE?

Hi I'm an IMG from China and I'm working as a doctor's assistant in a local clinic. I work as the assistant of the Internal Medicine doctor and get first hand experience (I can also examine the patients, take history, etc). My question is, does this count towards USCE that residency programs look for? How do I make sure it's valid USCE? Is it that all I need when applying for residency in the future is just a letter of recommendation from the doctor I work under?

Also will it help if I get LORs from the other doctors that work there? Even if I don't directly work under them, I think they may write one for me because they are very nice.

What I really wanna know is what exactly do residency programs look for when they ask for USCE. Thanks.
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Old 10-26-2014
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Originally Posted by hraza2222 View Post
Hi I'm an IMG from China and I'm working as a doctor's assistant in a local clinic. I work as the assistant of the Internal Medicine doctor and get first hand experience (I can also examine the patients, take history, etc). My question is, does this count towards USCE that residency programs look for? How do I make sure it's valid USCE? Is it that all I need when applying for residency in the future is just a letter of recommendation from the doctor I work under?

Also will it help if I get LORs from the other doctors that work there? Even if I don't directly work under them, I think they may write one for me because they are very nice.

What I really wanna know is what exactly do residency programs look for when they ask for USCE. Thanks.
Most residency programs look for hands on clinical experience or electives when they ask for USCE. Few programs also consider observerships or externships as USCE as well. I think your experience was more along the lines of observership. Strictly speaking one is not allowed to interact with a patient during an observership or shadowing. The LoRs would definitely help you when you apply for residency.
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Old 10-26-2014
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Originally Posted by Durisetister View Post
Most residency programs look for hands on clinical experience or electives when they ask for USCE. Few programs also consider observerships or externships as USCE as well. I think your experience was more along the lines of observership. Strictly speaking one is not allowed to interact with a patient during an observership or shadowing. The LoRs would definitely help you when you apply for residency.
But how is it an observership if my doctor permits me to examine patients? What I usually do is go in an start up a patient's chart before the doctor comes in. I ask the chief complaint, get history, (I can examine if I want), come up w/ my impressions and the plan. She just comes and reviews what I've done and orders more work if I've missed any. Or she could also do a PE to confirm my findings. Kind of like a PA actually.

I don't know how legal it is but in the end I am getting hands-on clinical experience. It's just not something advertised online and I signed up. I was only able to get in due to a connection I have.
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Even though it was a hands on experience for you, residency programs do not take that into account. If such an experience was acquired by directly applying to a university and the university placed you under an attending to mentor you for the experience, then it could have been considered 'hands on'. But if you acquired such an experience by a personal contact, strictly speaking all you were legally allowed to do was observe.
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Originally Posted by Durisetister View Post
Even though it was a hands on experience for you, residency programs do not take that into account. If such an experience was acquired by directly applying to a university and the university placed you under an attending to mentor you for the experience, then it could have been considered 'hands on'. But if you acquired such an experience by a personal contact, strictly speaking all you were legally allowed to do was observe.
I see. Well that's a huge disappointment. Well, I'll probably just continue to do the job anyway for the LOR and my own gain of knowledge. After clearing step 1 I'll consider doing one of the Chicago or NYC Clerkships that're available. Even though they are super expensive.
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