University Hospitals, Community Hospitals and Clinics: Relative Value of U.S. Clinical Experience

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The importance of US clinical experience (USCE) among international medical students and graduates are greatly recognized. Clinical experiences will involve direct care and treatment to patients and observing interaction between physicians and patients. The length of time which should be spent during clinical experience are determined by medical schools or programs, at least with a minimum of one year. Through clinical experience that graduates and students will improve their understanding on the practice of medicine as well as the realities that is running through the medical field. Likewise, you can gain the value of being people-oriented while boosting you to be a service-oriented professional.

Where Can One Practice the US Clinical Experience?

There are various settings from which a medical student or graduate can secure a clinical experience. Oftentimes, this should be approved by the medical school from where you are attending or in medical facilities that provide these type of programs.

Below are settings where medical students and graduates can earn their clinical experience:


Practice the US Clinical Experience



University Hospitals – Basically students and graduates are enrolled in universities which has their own university hospitals or its affiliates. Oftentimes, they gain their clinical experience such as medical observership and clerkship from university hospitals or its affiliates. University hospitals can provide a concrete setting of clinical experience in the US. You will gain great exposure in the medical system from observing to hands-on patient care and treatment. Because university hospitals are equipped with complete equipment and facilities, international medical graduates and students can improve their knowledge and skills on how medicine is truly practiced. Likewise, since they are pooled with great number of physicians in various specialties, a lot of knowledge can be gained from them.

Community Hospitals – This venue can also provide medical students and graduates with additional knowledge and skills but not as much as university hospitals can. Normally, community hospitals has smaller patients catered and with less facilities. Students and graduates can learn various medical procedures along with increasing their knowledge on how community hospitals are being run.

Clinics – smaller in size than university or community hospitals, this setting likewise offers limited scope for clinical experience. One can gain insights about physician-patient interaction along with various protocols and procedures on health care but not as huge as university hospitals can provide.

Importance of These Venues to Clinical Experience

The value that medical facilities such as university hospitals, community hospitals or clinics should not be underestimated. Students and graduates have earned tons of knowledge from attending medical schools but clinical experience still plays a crucial role in preparing them on the realities and better understanding of the US medical system. This is the reason why they are sent outside the medical schools in order for them to witness, observe and gain practical skills and knowledge on how medical practice should be.

Medical facilities are very important for students and graduates to secure their clinical experience. There are numerous actual procedures that can be acquired especially from university hospitals including how to respond accordingly to patient care and treatment. You will gain insights on various procedures as well getting along with other medical staff and patients.

Everyday, different knowledge is being acquired, thus improving one’s capability to handle the medical practice. University hospitals provide a greater opportunity to earn more medical knowledge and skills compared to community hospitals or clinics. Nonetheless community hospitals are much better than clinics are. Choosing university hospitals for USCE would be the best choice but being able to gain clinical experiences in community hospitals and clinics are another additional points. Remember that different experiences in various settings can render different results and decision!