PAID CLINICAL OBSERVERSHIP PROGRAM FOR FMGs

CLINICAL OBSERVERSHIP PROGRAM

RAVI KOLLI, MD

PRESIDENT, AAPI

ARUNABH TALWAR, MD

CHAIR

Associate Professor, Institute of Health Innovations & Outcomes Research, Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research

Director and Investigator, Pulmonary Function Laboratory and Rehabilitation, North Shore University Hospital

Professor, Medicine, Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell

VANDANA AGARWAL, MD

CO-CHAIR

Accomplished Board Certified Internist, Medical Oncologist and Hematologist in Private practice since 1989 with deep commitment to providing highest level of care to patients in office setting. She did her Fellowship at prestigious Kenneth Norris Jr. Cancer Research Institute and has enjoyed teaching medical students, Interns, Residents since 1989.She also serves as a Mentor to Medical students at UC Riverside, and serves as a faculty at Western University of Medical Science.

HIMANSHU PANDYA, MD

CO-CHAIR

Dr. Himanshu Pandya, MD specializes in internal medicine in Floral Park, NY and has over 23 years of experience in the field of medicine. He graduated from his medical school with his medical degree in 1997. He is affiliated with numerous hospitals in New York and more, including Mount Sinai Hospital. Dr. Himanshu Pandya is licensed to practice by the state board in New York

SHARMA PRABHAKAR, MD

CO-CHAIR

.

PARAG MEHTA, MD

MEMBER

Dr. Parag Mehta, MD FACP is the Senior Vice Chairman of the Department of Medicine at New York Methodist Hospital. He is also the Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO) and a Clinical Assistant Professor at Weil Medical College, a Cornell University affiliate. He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Hospital Medicine, as well as Hospice & Palliative Care Medicine. He is also

certified in Health Information Technology.

VIRENDRA JOSHI, MD

MEMBER

Dr. Joshi Virendra completed Internal Medicine Residency, at the University of Illinois Chicago Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago, Illinois in 1995. In 1996 he was Physician-Scientist at the Institute of Molecular Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Medical college of Georgia, Augusta, Georgia. Dr. Virendra completed his Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Fellowship, Department at the  Medical College of Georgia, Georgia Health Sciences University, Augusta Georgia in 1998

NAGESWARA MANDAVA, MD

MEMBER

Chairman & Program Director

Flushing Hospital Medical Center

SUDHIR SRIRAM, MD

MEMBER

Sudhir Sriram, MD, specializes in neonatology, working with a multidisciplinary team of experts to provide care for critically ill infants. He also is actively involved in the field of perinatal epidemiology, studying the impact of environmental and genetic factors on the incidence of disease during pregnancy and infancy.

A dedicated educator, Dr. Sriram teaches medical students, residents and fellows about various aspects of neonatology — both in the classroom and at the bedside. In addition to giving lectures on topics such as respiratory, renal and gastrointestinal physiology, Dr. Sriram emphasizes the importance of establishing strong doctor-patient relationships.

MURALI ANKEM, MD

MEMBER

AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF PHYSICIANS OF INDIAN ORIGIN (AAPI)

OBSERVERSHIP PROGRAM


American Association of Physicians of Indian origin (AAPI) Clinical Observership Program aims to acculturate International Medical Graduates to American medical practices and help prepare them for Residency. The program follows the American Medical Association International Medical Graduates (AMA-IMG) section observership guidelines.


Definitions:

Mentor: AAPI members who are willing to act as mentors

Preceptor: Observer: Foreign Medical Graduates of Indian decent or Indian heritage


Application Instructions:

Interested candidates can apply by filling out the AAPI Observership Application and providing the necessary documentation. Applications will be reviewed by the AAPI Observership Committee and applicants will be accepted for 4-weeks rotation upon approval. By the end of the observership, both preceptors and observers are required to submit an evaluation form to the observership committee.


  • An observer who is looking for a clinical observership will contact AAPI for this opportunity.
  • AAPI will arrange clinical observership for the observer through its members who are willing to act as mentors.
  • The observer will sign a contract with AAPI.
  • The observer will pay a fee of $1,500 for the observership program to AAPI of which $1,000 will be paid to the institution.
  • Depending on the performance of the observer, he/she might obtain a Letter of Recommendation from the preceptor.
  • All observers will be awarded a Certificate upon successful completion of the observership program. 
  • Observe how the preceptor physician interacts with patients, takes history, performs the physical examination, orders labs and imaging, reaches a diagnosis, and finalizing the management plan.
  • Learn new bedside history taking and physical examination skills by shadowing U.S. trained graduates and board certified staff with different specialties.
  • Study professional communication and interaction between the physician and all members of the health care delivery team and hospital administration.
  • Understand and use American colloquialisms (slang, euphemisms, medical jargon, etc.).
  • Observe the delivery of health care in a private practice, hospital or clinical setting.
  • Introduction to and cultivation of the six competencies recommended by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Residents in residency training are evaluated based on these competences.

1. Patient Care

2. Medical Knowledge

3. Practice Based Learning and Improvement

4. Systems Based Practice

5. Professionalism

6. Interpersonal Skills and Communication


Requirements:

  • Must be a graduate of an international medical school.
  • Must Hold a valid U.S. visa, green card, temporary protection status (TPS) or be an American citizen.
  • Passing at least one of the United States Medical Licensing Examinations (USMLE) Step 1, Step 2 CK or Step 2 CS. However, few programs might require ECFMG certificate at the
  • time of application. (I.e. completed step 1, 2CK, and Step 2CS).
  • Send at least 1 reference letter by a physician practicing in the U.S. This can be a resident physician.
  • Be proficient in English.

Fees:

There are no fees for AAPI Observership applications; however, some institutions require fees for the observership. The applicant will be responsible for these fees and has to pay

them after acceptance into an observership position.


Required documents:

  • Completed AAPI observership application form
  • Copy of a valid U.S. visa
  • Copy of medical school diploma and medical school transcript
  • USMLE scores and ECFMG certificate if available.


AAPI’s Role:

  • Establish the Observership Program guidelines and selection criteria.
  • Promote the program to interested observers and preceptors.
  • Review observer and preceptor applications.
  • Match observers and preceptors based on established criteria and prerequisite items. (Complete application, hospital/department chair approval, current visa, passing a certain USMLE test, etc.).
  • Review preceptors and observers evaluation forms.
  • Issue a certificate of successful completion to the observer.
  • Support the application with institutional fees (if applicable).


Responsibilities of Physician Preceptors:

  • Effectively communicate with observers about their roles and responsibilities while in the program.
  • Assure that the observer adheres to the requirements of the program.
  • Introduce the observer to the patient and obtain the patient’s verbal consent to allow observation of clinical interaction.
  • Document in the patient’s medical record that an observer is present during the patient encounter after retrieving permission from the patient.
  • Obtain prior approval from appropriate authority for the observation of surgery or other procedures (if applicable).
  • Provide feedback and complete a formal evaluation of the observer.


Physician Preceptors must be:

  • Licensed, preferably board-certified physicians who volunteer for a specified period of time. 
  • Licensed physicians with current hospital privileges and permission from his/her
  • hospital, office manager, or GME office to host an observer.


Responsibilities of Observers:

  • Must show interest in the program and professionalism in their conduct and assigned tasks.
  • Accept no compensation.
  • Follow the rules and the regulations of the hospital, clinic, or private practice and follow the instructions of the preceptor physician at all times.
  • Adhere to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) regulations.
  • Participate in any prerequisite training (e.g., HIPAA) at the hospital, clinic, or private practice.
  • Pay for actual costs of administrative or prerequisite items (ECFMG certification, passport, immunizations, etc.).
  • Participate in the educational activities such as clinical tutorials, ward rounds, morning reports, and multi-disciplinary conferences.
  • Observe the use of electronic medical information systems, health records, laboratory, and radiology reports, etc.
  • Review clinical articles, posters, and publications per the discretion of preceptor.
  • Arrange for transportation, meals, and lodging.
  • Record observership hours and confirm your schedule and responsibilities with preceptor regularly.


Click here to download the application form for observers


Click here to download the application form for preceptors


To apply to the observership program, please fill the completed application form along with the required documents in PDF form to observership@aapiusa.org. Please put “Observership application enclosed for: First Name, Last Name” in the subject line. If you

have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at observership@aapiusa.org


* Application submission does not guarantee acceptance.


Observership:

Why?

  1. Letters of recommendation in the specialty
  2. Perceived commitment to specialty
  3. Personal prior knowledge of the applicant
  4. Evidence of professionalism and ethics
  5. Leadership qualities.


Benefits:

  1. Observe everything in the program·
  2. Know attending physicians and residents well
  3. Obtain excellent letters of recommendation or interview.


Risk:

Being observed.


Do’s:

  1. Follow rules (volunteer department)
  2. Introduce yourself
  3. Ask for permission
  4. Be professional
  5. Wear proper attire.
  6. Talk to every attending, befriend with every resident.
  7. Ask/Answer questions at the right time.
  8. Be appreciate


Don’t:

  1. Brag or show off
  2. Criticize
  3. Complain
  4. Being late or absent.


Observership when?

After step 2 CK


Preparation:

Are you ready?

Conversations

Clinical management and procedures: Watch video

Academic activities: Listen to medicine lectures

CV

Personal statement


How to apply:

  1. Open application: Volunteer, house staff office.
  2. Personal connection
  3. Commercial observership.
  4. AAPI.


What can you do during?

  1. Sign out overnight.
  2. Present a case.
  3. Write a case report/ publish it.
  4. Write a debriefing about the observation.


Requirements:

  1. Flu shot (During flu season)·        
  2. PPD
  3. MMR antibody titer.
  4. Proof of Indian decent or Indian Heritage.


References:

https://www.ama-assn.org/education/international-medical-education/observership-program-listings-international-medical


https://my.clevelandclinic.org/departments/international-medical-education/physician-programs/physician-observer


https://www.aafp.org/membership/involve/constituency/img.html

AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF PHYSICIANS OF INDIAN ORIGIN (AAPI) CLINICAL OBSERVERSHIP


1. INTRODUCTION:

The process of getting a residency spot in USA is becoming competitive for IMGs and as such, “United States Clinical Experience” is very important to distinguish your application between other applicants. Searching to participate in right observership program is important. Thirty-seven percent of individuals entering the Residency Match in 2018 were International Medical Graduates (IMGs). Data from the Educational Commission of Foreign Medical Graduates show that more than 90% of IMGs report some type of U.S.-based clinical experience before successfully matching—the most common experience was a clinical observership conducted either at a hospital (40%) or a private physician practice (25%). Observerships should be regulated as a component of graduate medical education (GME). Currently, clinical observerships remain completely unregulated. Although the American Medical Association IMG Section has published guidelines on observerships and offers a voluntary listing of programs on their Web site, there is no direct oversight. An Internet-based search showed that academic centers, community hospitals, private practices, and medical associations all offer observerships. There are also several for-profit broker services. The range of advertised experiences and costs are highly variable.


Some programs cost $1,000 to observers while others charge $5,000 per month. The length of these experiences varies from a few days to several months. AAPI venturing into this new area to help medical students and graduates regardless of IMG’S or local medical students shall be a great step forward. These future physicians will patronize AAPI in the future services and strong relationship and bonding is formed at the initial level of observership.


2. DEFINITION

Clinical Observership Experience: Structured and supervised Clinical rotations administered by U.S licensed physicians and institutions. During the Clinical Experience, physician sponsors may employ licensed Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants, or other licensed professionals who participate in licensed care of their patients. Visitors may be assigned to these professionals for a partial duration of their rotation, while still remaining under the direct supervision of a U.S physician.


3. OBSERVERSHIP ONLY

An observership shall be strictly an observational tutorial program. Accordingly, each Participant shall only be permitted to observe the activities and to discuss his/her observations with applicable designated mentor. A Participant shall not have access to hands-on patient care or contact, examination, research or other work during his/her observership. A Participant shall at all times be treated by the entity as a visitor and any Department or physician that allows a Participant to do more than observe may be denied the privilege of having observership Participants in the future.


AAPI’s Role

  • AAPI will arrange clinical observership for Foreign Medical Graduates through its members who are willing to act as mentors.
  • Observers [AAPI MEMBERS] will be compensated for their work. [$1,000 per month]
  • A Foreign Medical Graduate who is looking for a clinical observership will contact AAPI for this opportunity.
  • The Student will sign a contract with AAPI. The Organization will be compensated to the tune of $1,500 per month in order to arrange for this observership


AAPI OBSERVERSHIP

A.  SERVICES PROVIDED


I. Institution/Mentor shall host visitors in their 4-week Hands On Clinical Experience Program, effective from the date of this signing on the condition that AAPI is able to locate and place a Visitor. Further, Institution agrees to provide direct physician supervision of Visitor during the entirety of the Clinical Experience. The clinical experience shall include at least 4 days a week of instruction for the 4-week period.


II. Invitation: If requested, Institution/Mentor shall provide a signed invitation letter to the visitor for the purpose of travel and visa issues. AAPI shall follow all institutional regulations and guidelines regarding hosting a clinical visitor. Physician/Institution shall provide to AAPI a full list of necessary documentation regarding Visitor orientation in their Clinical Experience. If visitor fails to attend for any reason, the agreement shall be null and void for that 4-week period, and Institution shall not be entitled to any compensation for that period.


III. Institutional Mentor: Once Institution/Mentor and AAPI have confirmed a student for a 4-week period and student has paid, the agreement is considered valid for that 4-week period. Once Institution/Mentor has confirmed for the time period, Institution /Mentor shall notify AAPI of physician cancellation at least 60 days in advance of visitor start date. This agreement will renew annually unless either party terminates the agreement with at least 60 days’ notice by written or electronic mail.


IV. Supervision: Institution/mentor shall assign visitor a board licensed


V. Physician supervisor for the entirety of their clinical experience, this supervisor shall provide clinical supervision and oversight of Visitor’s clinical experience. Both parties shall designate a specific liaison to serve as a point of contact between the Parties for the purpose of exchanging paperwork and communications regarding Visitor’s and Institution’s Clinical Experience.


VI. Substitution Policy: Institution/mentor shall, in absolutely no circumstance, substitute visitors for Institution staff for any purpose, function or task while visitor is participating in the clinical Observership experience. Institution staff and supervisors shall, under no circumstances, allow visitor knowledge, opinion, or skill to influence any decision relating to patient care that is the responsibility of Institution staff.


VII. AAPI Responsibility AAPI shall be responsible for collecting and reviewing visitor applications and placing visitors that maintain good standing with their home institution. AAPI shall ensure that all required paperwork, orientation materials, and on-boarding procedures that are required by institution/ Mentor are completed and sent to institution prior to Visitor start date.


VIII. AAPI Housing Service AAPI may provide visitors with housing resources in the area of

Institution. Visitor is solely responsible for choosing and reserving housing that best fits their needs.


4. COMPENSATION

AAPI shall compensate Institution/Mentor the sum one thousand dollars ($1,000) USD per visitor for each four-week Clinical Observership. AAPI shall provide compensation within 5 business days of clinical experience completion.


A. Refund Policy:

Institution/Mentor shall, in the event that if they are unable to provide the full four-week Clinical Experience, refund or relinquish claim to all of the compensation paid for each full week where no instruction was possible. The amount shall be twenty-five percent (25%) for each full week the Clinical Experience was unavailable.


5. CONFIDENTIALITY:

Each physician shall ensure that a Participant maintains the confidentiality of records and files of the University during a Participant’s observership.


6. EVALUATION AND CRITIQUE

In order to ascertain the effectiveness of the program, each party shall evaluate each other prior to issuing any certificate of completion. Process of Evaluation determines whether program activities have been implemented as intended and resulted in certain outputs. Results of a process evaluation will strengthen AAPI’s ability to report on the program and use information to improve future activities.


7. ADDITIONAL FOLLOW UP

AAPI General Counsel is further researching into the issues of liability and insurance coverage for such program and shall update the EC on its findings.