For foreign medical students or graduates, the word observership is already a familiar term. This is a clinical experience which all of them, local or international graduates, should undertake. This shadowing experience does not allow direct patient care or interaction. They are only allowed to observe or watch preceptor physicians on various procedures in the medical profession.
Finding observership opportunities in the US nowadays is becoming more competitive as thousands and thousands of International Medical Graduates (IMGs) are applying for residency spots every year. Though your success hinges on a great transcript and high USMLE scores as well as higher scores during interviews, most of the programs are still giving a considerable weight on the applicant’s clinical experience.
Given the stiff competition in taking a spot in medical observership, what is your chance of getting one? Before you get out in the wider space to venture and explore, consider the following tips below that might be of great help during your hunting:
Connect with Contacts
Approaching your friends or relatives to inquire regarding observership opportunity is not a bad thing to do. Your contact may have ideas or information about this opportunity or maybe an access to physicians who are working in hospitals that offer observership program. They can introduce you to their friends whom later can recommend you for an available observership program.
If you are someone who doesn’t know any contact, finding an observership slot in the US may require a lot of hard work. One way of to assist your job much easier is through sending emails. Create a list of email addresses of persons who are in-charge of observership program in a hospital from where you are interested to. Send as many emails as you can manage expressing your interest on their offered observership program. From out of a hundred tries, taking back a reply of at least 5 or 10 wouldn’t be that bad anymore. Out from those replies, you might be lucky enough to get one positive opportunity.
Making Phone calls
One way of taking chances is through making phone calls to all possible medical institutions. Inquire the person in-charged whether they allow the shadowing of their physicians. Remember to have patience and politely make phone calls as many as you can. Out of 100 or more, it is possible that you can receive back a positive response.
Personally Set a Meeting
You can visit a few hospitals and try to set a schedule with the department head. This way, you can personally talk with the persons in-charged and express your intention and request for shadowing their physicians to gain more experience.
It takes effort and perseverance to take a slot for medical observership in the US. Opportunity will never come to those who doesn’t move their muscles. The more you take chances, the higher your opportunities are. Once you have entered one observership program, better chances of having more observership opportunities will open up for you.