So, you’re befuddled and puzzled by medical jargon? Well, have no fear, for the RM wizards have the magic to simplify these terms for you. Here at Residents Medical (RM), we love to keep our students, clients, and staff informed on the technical terms when it comes to the US clinical experience for our IMGs (International Medical Graduates).
So what’s the difference between an observership versus an externship you ask? In the US medical experience, residents will apply for externships which are hands-on clinical experiences. Residents Medical for example provides for both medical students and graduate medical students actual hands-on externship that are in university-based or community-based residency programs. With this opportunity IMGs have a hands-on experience with patients along with practical examinations of these patients while applying a treatment plan. Externships are vital to the residency program application form because students receive LORs aka “Letters of Recommendation” which paint your application to be part of the top barrel.
Observerships on the other hand, allow you to shadow a doctor at a US medical hospital to gain insight in the clinical world. Applicants who participate in this experience don’t have clearance for hands-on clinicals and this is key. LORs from observerships don’t make much of an impression compared to externship LORS but observerships allow IMGs to acclimate to the new and unfamiliar US medical setting.
But which “ship” steers the course better for IMGs? Externships are what keeps IMGs more afloat, especially in the eyes of Program Directors who are always looking for a well-rounded candidate to bring on to the team. Observerships can fill in the gaps for residents but comparatively an externship gives a solid foundation for residents to find their true treasure of practice and passion in medicine. Ask any Program Director and they will tell you externships count more toward your experience and Residents Medical is an excellent resource for these valuable externships.