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Hi there,
Somebody has told me that there's no benefit at all from doing observerships for IMGs. The LORs that we'll get is not useful at all. I was even told that observership may in fact hurt the application sometimes!

Is that true, what do you think about? I want applicant guide opinion also.
 

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When you apply to ERAS you need at least 3 LORs. These letters of recommendations should preferably come from US based physicians. Doing those observerships will get you these LORs.

Definitely, a hands-on clinical externship weighs much more than observership but that does not mean that observership does not count or hurt your application.

Examples ranked from the best to a least:
1- two months externship + two months observership
2- two months externship
3- two months observership

Of course every applicant is unique. There are several other factors that judge your score in the eyes of the program director.
 

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Another observership benefit

Another great potential of observerships is that it get you connections.

If you happen to do observership in a residency program and seen frequently by the program director or other influential people and if he/they liked you enough. They can easily send you an interview when you later apply and they may even prematch you.

Everything is up to the program director and his associates. They can get you in even if you have low scores, or many years since graduation. There's no rule that says old IMGs with low scores are not allowed here and there.
 

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US LORs are one of the major factors in getting interviews especially those you get through hands-on experience (eg prelim surgery or medicine) or through observerships. If you went to any interview without having USCE in your application you will be asked why you didn't did observership. It is becoming a part of the tradition having US LORs and maybe in the future they will become a very essential part of your application as the number of applicants is increasing each year. if you need a list of hospitals offering observerships don't hesitate to email me.
 

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IMG Observership

I have completed all 3 steps with passing scores, attended pgy-1 family medicine in 2009 @ a community facility in wisconsin. I had a car crash that nearly handicap me for life putting me outta work. I got a masters in public health while out recouping in 2010, I have recently completed a 3 month observship in peds locally and will be @ cleveland clinic peds in ohio for an addittional month. Usmle 1=79, 2=82, 3=79 and have ecfmg certificate. should i look forward to a program 2012 or kiss my career good bye.
 

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But...

From doctors I've met in Chicago, even hands-on experience in a hospital that's not teaching is not considered USCE! So if you get an externship in a private clinic like the services online companies offer, it's of very low value. It's just the companies want to make money. At the same time, it's almost impossible to get an externship in a teaching hospital or even any big hospital. The LoRs also have to be signed by a teaching attending to have enough weight.
 

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then what should we do?

From doctors I've met in Chicago, even hands-on experience in a hospital that's not teaching is not considered USCE! So if you get an externship in a private clinic like the services online companies offer, it's of very low value. It's just the companies want to make money. At the same time, it's almost impossible to get an externship in a teaching hospital or even any big hospital. The LoRs also have to be signed by a teaching attending to have enough weight.
externships in clinics of doctors who are affiliated with big hospitals arranged by these money making companies is the only thing i could figure out yet, they charge like 500 $/ week plus all living expenses, now im an IMG and wt u r saying is really disturbing, kindly tell me what else we can do? i have an uncle in US in whoz clinic i can do obsevership, now tell me is it a good idea at all?
 

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I disagree. Observership makes you understand the US Medical System better. So when you start residency, you have a better understanding of the situation.
 

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I agree with some of the above replies that observerships are definitely not as useful as hands-on clinical experience (some would argue that they are useless). But I think it's hard to generalize how useful or useless it is. The usefulness of the experience would depend on where and with whom you do the observership.

For example, I decided to do find my own observership by emailing a lot of different people and I eventually got an observership for several weeks at a private hospital. I was able to shadow a physician with some good connections. My purpose was not to get LORs as they would have been very weak from a hands-off experience. It was simply to get some exposure to the U.S. medical system and being able to put down that I spent some time at a U.S. hospital observing physicians. As it happened, through my physician's connections, I was able to meet with a program director from a nearby residency program who happened to have connections with the residency program where I most wanted to go to. He emailed the PD from my most-desired program to let him know about me. This probably didn't mean much, but I was happy for anything to increase my chances. I think that it's important to try and make as many connections as you can during your experience.

I also think that the value of observership vs externship depends on which country you are from and how senior a physician you are in your home country. I was a more senior physician in my own country with ER and psych experience and I got all of my LORs from the physicians in my own country. Risky, I know, but I got a good number of interviews and matched at my top choice residency program.

If you are from a country with a somewhat comparable medical system (eg. UK, Australia) and you have strong LORs from your home country, you may perhaps get away with an observership. I'm an Australian IMG. But if you're from a different system or you can't get compelling LORs from your home country, then I would think that hands-on clinical experience + excellent U.S. LORs are crucial to have.

Cost is also a consideration. My observership was free (although I spent a ton of time emailing). Externships cost money. In general you should go for whatever level of U.S. clinical experience you need to make yourself stand out as a residency applicant!
 

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Hello

I know this is an old post.
But i'd just like to say that i have just finished a 2 weeks observership at the
Cleveland Clinic .
And it's unbelievably useless and a waste of time.

Anyone wants to know more information, am more than ready to answer :)
 

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Hello

I know this is an old post.
But i'd just like to say that i have just finished a 2 weeks observership at the
Cleveland Clinic .
And it's unbelievably useless and a waste of time.

Anyone wants to know more information, am more than ready to answer :)
Hii I am going for an Observership there.Can you tell me why is it useless and what is it deficient in??
 

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observership

hi if observership is not useful then wat shud be done and where i want to have sm hands on clinical exp... any help is appreciated..
 

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you can go the route I did and join externship programs

pm me and I can send you the contact info of two docs that helped me a ton
 

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Hello

I know this is an old post.
But i'd just like to say that i have just finished a 2 weeks observership at the
Cleveland Clinic .
And it's unbelievably useless and a waste of time.

Anyone wants to know more information, am more than ready to answer :)
hey
i am thinking of doing observership there... could you tell me a little more about it why did u find it useless
 

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Hello

I know this is an old post.
But i'd just like to say that i have just finished a 2 weeks observership at the
Cleveland Clinic .
And it's unbelievably useless and a waste of time.

Anyone wants to know more information, am more than ready to answer :)
hey
i am thinking of doing observership there... could you tell me a little more about it why did u find it useless
 

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Hello

I know this is an old post.
But i'd just like to say that i have just finished a 2 weeks observership at the
Cleveland Clinic .
And it's unbelievably useless and a waste of time.

Anyone wants to know more information, am more than ready to answer :)
dear omar,

am going to cleveland clinic for a 4 weeks observership
please i want to know more information

best regards,
mohamad
[email protected]
 
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