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SAMS Clinical Observership Program


Welcome to SAMS Clinical Observership Program.  SAMS has lunched it is Clinical Observership Program to acculturate IMGs 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 (Click here to view guidelines).  This program was designed based on Oklahoma State Medical Association’s IMG observership and the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin observership program. SAMS offers this non-for profit program in many states.

Application and Program Outline:

The main purpose of this program is to introduce new graduates to the US health system including the language, routine, medical records, nursing, obtain history and physical, etc. Interested candidates can apply by using the below listed application along with the necessary documentation, giving details of the educational background, visa status, details of USMLEs, areas of interest, preferred geographic location, and 1-3 letters of reference by a physician in the US (this can be a resident physician).  Applications will be reviewed by SAMS observership program committee and upon approval applicants will be accepted for a 1-2 months period. SAMS will obtain the evaluation forms from the precepting physicians and candidates will be awarded ‘Certificate of Completion’

- SAMS or local chapter will not pay any salary or stipend to the observers

- Lodging, boarding and transportation will be the responsibility of the Candidate

- Participation in this program does not guarantee that you will get a letter of recommendation

Learning Objectives of the Observership Program:

- Monitor how a physician interacts with patients, noting how to take a history, perform an examination and diagnosis, recommend a treatment, code, write prescriptions and enter information on the patient’s chart, etc.

- 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

- Gain exposure to electronic medical records, and learn how to access and enter data

- Introduction to and cultivation of six competencies recommended by Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Residents in residency training are evaluated based on these competences. (Click here to view details)

- Patient Care

- Medical Knowledge

- Practice Based Learning and Improvement

- Systems Based Practice

- Professionalism

- Interpersonal Skills and Communication

Program Requirements:

- Be a graduates of an international medical school

- Hold a current US visa, green card or American citizenship

- Passing score on one or more United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) examination (Step 1, Step 2 CS, Step 2 CK and/or Step 3

- Send 1-3 recommendations by a physician practicing in the US, this can be a resident physician

- Submit the following: completed SAMS observership application form (listed below), copy of a valid US visa, copy of medical school diploma, medial school transcript, USMLE scores and ECFMG certificate if available.

- Be proficient in English

SAMS 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 preceptor evaluations and issue a certificate of completion to the observer

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 the clinical interaction

- Enter in the patient’s medical record that there was an observer present and that the patient gave permission for the observer to remain in the room

- Obtain prior approval from appropriate authority for the observation of surgery or other procedures

- Provide feedback and complete a formal evaluation for your observer

Eligibility of Physician Preceptors:

- A licensed, preferably board-certified physician who volunteers to be a preceptor for an agreed upon period of time

- A licensed physician with current hospital privileges and permission from his/her hospital and department chair

Responsibilities of Observers:

- Must be genuinely interested in the program and show professionalism in their conduct and assigned tasks

- Follow the instructions of the physician preceptor and don’t spend time in the clinic, hospital or private practice unless scheduled and approved by the preceptor

- Accept no compensation

- Follow the rules and regulations of the hospital, clinic or private practice 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 activities (clinical tutorials, ward rounds and clinic visits), and observe procedures and operations under the supervision of the preceptor

- Observe the use of electronic medical information systems, health records, laboratory and  radiology reports, etc., if available, and familiarize yourself with patient data entry and access

- Research the general structure and organization of the U.S. health care system, as well as private sector and government payers

- Review clinical articles, posters and publications per the discretion of your preceptor

- Arrange your own transportation, meals and lodging

- Record observership hours and confirm your schedule and responsibilities with your physician preceptor regularly

- Provide his/her own transportation, meals and lodging

Click Here to Download Observerhip Application

Click Here to Download Precepter Application

Click Here to View Frequently Asked Questions

To submit application and documentation please email the application and required documents in PDF form to observership@sams-usa.net with the subject line “observership application enclosed for: First Name, Last Name”

If you have any questions, please make sure you read the program description and the frequently asked questions carefully before you contact this email. If the information you need are not mentioned, please email us at to observership@sams-usa.net

Please do not call or email the SAMS offices, or board members. This will delay your application process.

* Application does not guarantee acceptance

Best wishes,

Shadi Latta, M.D.

Chair, SAMS New Graduates and Residents Committee



















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