How to get Observerships in US

by Zohaib Aftab
I got observer-ships in temple (Pulmonology), Mount Sinai (Rheumatology, cardiology department also give observer-ship) , Lankenau, Albert Einstein Phili (IM) and Thomas Jefferson (Endocrinology).
But i am not going to do them since I have matched this year.
Here are some tips on getting Observerships:
1- Try to find email ID's of Faculty members from websites and look for the ID of Program coordinator Program director.
2- Make a template of your CV. Especially focusing on your clinical experience. (Positive things in my CV was ECFMG certification, and prior US clinic experience).
3- Do mention your Visa Status, And it's even better if you mention you live in the same city.

4- Put every email ID, in BCC and send. I sent emails to more than 4000 ID's. In fact, yahoo blocked me for 4 hours .
5- If you get any response, Follow it.
a- By visiting program coordinator if you are in the same city. (I visited Lankenau Program coordinator) I am a lazy careless person,otherwise if you visit a program there is a very good chance they will give you observer-ship if they can.
b- or By calling program coordinator (I got Temple observer-ship on phone call)
Another and even better way to get observer-ship.
1- Get volunteer research in a hospital. (Only big names provide research opportunity.)
2- Do research for a month, then talk to your mentor and she/he will recommend you for observer-ship.
(Lankenau doesn't give observer-ships to IMGs but i got it because my research mentor recommended me)
Few things.
1- It's more difficult to get observer-ship in IM than Endocrinology. but obviously prior is better.
2- Try to schedule your observer-ship in June/July/August. So you can get your LORs in time.
3- Getting Observer-ship is a very slow process. be patient and be lucky. (It took me 6 months to get these observer-ships)
4- Contact your seniors and ask them how did they get their clinical experience.
5- Try to go for anything you get, but it isn't worth to spend $500 or more for them, I also got positive responses from Cleveland clinic and SUNY upstate but why to spend $$$ when you can get free ones.
6- Try to find observer-ships in PHILADELPHIA or NY. Because they have good number of institutes and it's cheaper to live here. If anyone tells me he is not able to find volunteer research in these cities. he is lying..
7- Try to do research or observer-ship with a GORA. Try to avoid desi's especially when it comes to research.
And mark this line, ' USA is a bigger Pakistan, they call sifarish as Letter of Recommendation.'
So connection is the hidden truth.
Although i tried to be as shamelessly generous as possible, but still if you are left with any question, please post it here.
Thanks to Atiq ur Rehman from SIMS for his guidance regarding observer-ship.


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