Expert Tips on How to Get Observership in US Hospitals

Are you feeling stuck in your medical career and looking to gain more exposure and experience in US hospitals? Observerships can provide you with an opportunity to learn directly from experienced physicians and build a strong foundation for your future career.

But how do you go about getting an observership in a US hospital? This is a question that many aspiring doctors from around the world struggle to answer. Whether you’re an international medical graduate or a US medical student, the process of securing an observership can seem daunting.

But don’t worry, there’s help out there! With a little guidance and persistence, you can secure an observership and gain valuable skills and knowledge in your field of interest. In this article, we will provide you with tips on how to get a medical observership in US hospitals, including examples of successful applications that you can edit and modify to fit your specific needs.

So, don’t let the fear of not knowing the process hold you back—read on to learn more about how to get an observership in a US hospital and take the first step towards success in your medical career.

The Ultimate Guide to Structuring your Observership Application for US Hospitals

If you’re an international medical graduate (IMG) seeking to undertake an observership in the United States, you’re probably well aware of the competition for limited spots in American hospitals. Getting your foot in the door can be challenging, but a well-structured application can give you a competitive edge. Here are our top tips for creating a strong observership application that is sure to impress program directors and increase your chances of success.

Step 1: Research the Programs You’re Interested In

Before you start crafting your application, it’s essential to research the hospitals or programs you’re interested in. Look for institutions that are likely to be receptive to IMGs and that have a program or department relevant to your area of interest. Review program requirements, application deadlines, and details like start dates and duration. Pay attention to factors like location, cost of living, and housing options, which may impact your ability to undertake an observership.

Step 2: Tailor Your CV and Personal Statement

Your curriculum vitae (CV) and personal statement are critical components of your observership application. Your CV should highlight your relevant clinical experience and education, academic achievements, and research experience. Be sure to emphasize any publications, presentations, or awards that demonstrate your passion for the field. Your personal statement should be a unique, compelling narrative that demonstrates your knowledge of the hospital or program and articulates why you’re interested in the observership. Be sure to tailor your CV and personal statement to each institution you apply to.

Step 3: Secure Strong Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation are a crucial part of your observership application. Aim to secure at least three letters of recommendation from professionals who are familiar with your clinical skills, work ethic, and potential. This may include former supervisors, attending physicians, or professors. Each letter should highlight specific aspects of your clinical performance and character, with specific examples of your abilities and experience. Be sure to provide letter writers with all relevant details about the program, and be sure to follow up with them throughout the process.

Step 4: Be Prepared for Interviews

Many programs require interviews as part of the application process. Be sure to prepare by researching the hospital and program, practicing your answers to common interview questions, and dressing professionally. Be prepared to answer specific questions about your previous clinical experience, your interests, and your future career plans. Don’t hesitate to ask questions of your interviewer, too, as this demonstrates your enthusiasm for the position and your interest in the hospital or program.

Step 5: Follow Up and Stay Connected

After applying, be sure to follow up with the program to confirm receipt of your application materials and to inquire about the status of your application. Once you’ve secured an observership, be sure to make the most of your time by building relationships with your supervisors and colleagues. Stay connected by attending seminars and lectures, networking with professionals in your field, and conducting research or clinical work that demonstrates your value to the program.

By following these steps and crafting a well-structured observership application, you’ll give yourself the best possible chance of realizing your dreams and securing a position in a US hospital. Good luck!

7 Sample Requests for Observership in US Hospitals

Sample request for observership for medical and surgical experience

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to request for an observership in your hospital to gain further medical and surgical experience. I am currently a medical student and wish to get hands-on experience in a diverse range of cases to further enhance my knowledge and skills.

During my time in medical school, I have had the opportunity to work with some top surgeons and physicians. However, I am keen to observe professionals in real-life situations, particularly in areas such as general surgery, neurosurgery, cardiology and oncology.

I am confident that your hospital will offer me the opportunity to learn, observe and participate in the treatment of a range of patients. I believe that this experience will prove valuable as I continue on my path to becoming a skilled and knowledgeable physician.

Thank you for considering my request. I look forward to hearing from you soon.


[Your Name]

Complimentary close: Best regards,

Sample request for observership to network with healthcare professionals

Dear [Hospital name],

I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to inquire about an opportunity for observership at your esteemed facility. I am a [insert specialty] physician from [insert country], and I would like to gain firsthand experience observing healthcare delivery systems in the United States.

Furthermore, I am interested in networking with healthcare professionals in the U.S. who I might potentially collaborate with in future research projects. The opportunity to observe standard operating procedures and engage with healthcare professionals at your facility would be a valuable learning experience for me.

I am hoping to secure an observership of at least six weeks between [insert date range]. Please let me know if this would be possible and if there are any criteria I need to meet for selection. I am available to provide any additional information about myself and my credentials.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


[Your Name]

Complimentary close: Sincerely,

Sample request for observership in Pediatrics

To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing to request an observership at [hospital name] to gain more insight into pediatric care. I am currently a medical student interested in pursuing a career as a pediatrician. Observing well-trained physicians would be a priceless experience for me as I seek to develop the skills necessary to provide quality care for children.

During my time in medical school, I have had the opportunity to observe doctors, but I have never witnessed the type of care your hospital provides. Your high reputation in this field makes this a unique opportunity, and I would be absolutely honored to be accepted for an observership.

I am confident that this opportunity will equip me with the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to make an impactful contribution to the healthcare field. Thank you in advance for the consideration.


[Your Name]

Complimentary close: Regards,

Sample request for observership to understand healthcare management and administration

Dear [Hospital name],

I am writing to inquire about the possibility of an observership at your facility. As a healthcare management graduate, I seek to observe hospital operations management, healthcare policy formulation, and the creation of healthcare systems.

I have a strong desire to accrue firsthand experience and exposure to comprehensive healthcare management practices. I am confident that such an opportunity would strengthen my knowledge in healthcare management and facilitate a deeper understanding of the opportunities available in the field.

I am hopeful that you will avail me this chance to observe the operations of your medical facility. Please inform me of the duration and prerequisites of the observership. Thank you for your attention.


[Your Name]

Complimentary close: Gratefully,

Sample request for observership to learn US medical practices

Dear [Hospital name],

I am writing to request for an observership at your facility as part of my effort in developing a better understanding of US medical practices. I am a medical practitioner from [insert country] who has practiced medicine for [insert years]. I hope to learn about medical practices in the US so that I can be at par with global medical practices.

I am keen to observe physicians in various fields such as cardiology, neurosurgery, gastroenterology, and diagnostic radiology. I also hope to interact with healthcare professionals to broaden my perspective about medicine in the U.S.

I am hopeful that you will consider my request for an observership. Please feel free to contact me if you have any further inquiries.

Thank you for your time.

Best Regards,

[Your Name]

Complimentary close: Best,

Sample request for observership to advance research interests

Dear [Hospital name],

With immense pleasure, I am writing to request an observership at your esteemed facility. I am pursuing a PhD in [insert field] and seek to gain clarification about certain research questions relevant to my dissertation.

I am especially interested in observing medical professionals who have experience in [insert specialty] and whose expertise would prove beneficial to my research hypothesis. Your hospital is a well-known leader in this area of medicine, and it would be a significant opportunity for me to observe your procedures and techniques.

In addition to enhancing my knowledge, I am especially interested in engaging with healthcare professionals through discussions to receive advice about my research. It is my hope that the experience obtained from the observership will contribute to furthering my research objectives.

Thank you for considering my request. I look forward to hearing from you soon.


[Your Name]

Complimentary close: Kind regards,

Sample request for observership in Emergency Medicine

To Whom It May Concern:

As a medical student interested in specializing in emergency medicine, I am writing to you to inquire about a potential observership opportunity at your hospital. I intend to gain insight and hands-on experience in treating acutely ill patients in an emergency room setting.

Working with a highly renowned healthcare facility such as yours would provide an incomparable opportunity for me to witness and learn from the foremost experts in emergency medicine.

I’m eager to get experience with medical management like resuscitation procedures, triage protocols, and dealing with certain medical cases in a high-pressure environment during a critical period. I believe with your facility’s state-of-the-art trauma centers, I will have the opportunity to observe a wide range of medical cases and gain the experience necessary to improve patient outcomes.

Thank you for considering my request. I look forward to hearing from you soon.


[Your Name]

Complimentary close: Thank you for your consideration,

Tips for obtaining an observership in US hospitals

If you are an international medical graduate (IMG) looking to obtain an observership in a US hospital, here are some tips to increase your chances of success:

Networking is key

Networking with current or former medical professionals who have experience practicing in the US can give you insider information on how to obtain an observership. Reach out to contacts in your network and ask for advice and introductions to individuals who can vouch for your qualifications and character. This can include faculty at your home institution who have partnerships with US medical centers, alumni from your medical school who are practicing in the US, and online forums for IMGs seeking US clinical experience.

Research hospital programs

Do your research and identify hospitals or healthcare organizations that offer observerships in the area you are interested in. Many hospitals have specific programs for IMGs, so make sure to tailor your outreach and application to these programs. Check out their website, speak with their human resources department, and research their program offerings to ensure that the program aligns with your interests and areas of expertise.

Polish your CV and Cover Letter

Your CV and cover letter are your first impression on potential observership programs, so it is crucial to make sure they stand out. Ensure that your CV is concise and organized, highlighting your education, clinical experience, and other relevant information. In your cover letter, explain your interest in the program, why you would be a strong candidate and highlight your relevant experience as an IMG.

Be prepared for the interview process

Once you have reached the interview stage, be prepared to demonstrate your medical knowledge, communication skills, and ability to work in a team setting. Prepare for common interview questions that may arise and be sure to have thoughtful examples of your experience working in clinical settings.

Follow up with program coordinators

After applying for an observership, it is important to follow up with the program coordinators to demonstrate your continued interest in the program. Send a thank-you note after interviews and follow up with any requested materials or additional information. This can help to ensure that you remain a top candidate for the program.

By following these tips, you can increase your chances of obtaining an observership in a US hospital and gain valuable clinical experience in the healthcare industry. Good luck!

FAQs on How to Get Observership in US Hospitals

What is an observership?

An observership is a type of clinical experience in which a medical graduate or international medical graduate observes clinical activities in a hospital setting without direct patient care responsibilities or hands-on involvement.

Who is eligible to apply for an observership in US hospitals?

Medical graduates, current medical students, and international medical graduates who have already completed their medical school degree and have a valid ECFMG certificate are eligible to apply for an observership in US hospitals.

How can I find hospitals or physicians that offer observerships?

You can search for hospitals, medical schools, or physician’s offices that offer observerships online or by contacting the medical institutions directly. There are also websites that list openings for observerships, such as American Medical Association and Visiting Medical Student Application Service.

What are the requirements for applying for an observership in US hospitals?

The requirements for applying for an observership vary depending on the institution. However, common requirements include a letter of recommendation from a professor, a valid ECFMG certificate, a resume or CV, and proof of malpractice insurance. It’s recommended to check with the institution regarding their specific requirements.

Do I need a US visa to participate in an observership in US hospitals?

If you’re an international medical graduate and not a US citizen, you need a visa to participate in an observership in US hospitals. You can apply for a B-1 visa, which is a temporary business visitor visa, or a J-1 visa, which is a non-immigrant visa for exchange visitors.

What is the duration of an observership in US hospitals?

The duration of an observership varies from institution to institution, but it typically ranges from two weeks to three months. Some institutions may allow longer periods of observership depending on the needs of the observer and the availability of resources.

What are the benefits of an observership in US hospitals?

An observership in US hospitals provides an opportunity for medical graduates to gain exposure to the US healthcare system, observe clinical activities, and network with physicians and healthcare professionals. It also helps international medical graduates to gain clinical experience and improve their skills, which can be valuable in pursuing a residency program in the US.

Good luck on your journey to getting an observership!

Thank you for taking the time to read this article and I hope it has provided you with some helpful tips and insights on how to get an observership in US hospitals. Remember to be persistent and to keep reaching out to potential sponsors and programs. Don’t be discouraged if you face some setbacks, just keep on trying! With enough perseverance and dedication, you will be able to secure an observership that will help further your medical career and aspirations. Feel free to visit us again for more useful articles and tips. Best of luck to you and your future endeavors!