Importance of USCE for Residency Applicants

USCE includes clerkship or elective, observerships and externships. Clerkship is a medical school clinical rotation taken during the final year of medical school, prior to graduating. Observership is an experience in a hospital or clinic done after graduation. Begin preparing for a USCE at least one year before your proposed month(s) of experience.
Following is a list of a few of the benefits of a US clinical experience.
  • It is considered hands-on US clinical experience (USCE) in case of clerkship or electives. Observerships (after graduation) usually do not offer hands-on clinical experience but has a good favoring weight on your application.
  • Helps you become familiar with some of the US approaches to healthcare delivery and system functions.
  • Helps you begin to become familiar with working in a US clinical team.
  • If you are interested in a residency position in the same department as your USCE, your experience will boost your application. Both you and the department have more information about whether or not you would potentially be a good fit in the residency program. It will also increase your overall chances of matching to another programs as well.
  • Helps you improve and strengthen your personal statement because you now have experiences more closely related to your preferred medical specialty
  • Helps you meet new people who can help you select other residency programs that may be a good fit for you when you are applying for residencies. Remember, the longer your rank order list (ROL) the better you chance of successfully matching.
  • If you do well, your clerkship faculty instructor/professor may be willing to write a strong and influential letter of reference (LOR) for your residency application file. Other faculty who observe your clerkship work may also be able to write LORs for your application.
  • US clinical experience helps you prepare for USMLE step 2 (CS) because you have a better understanding of the US approaches to different types of patients. You can take step 2(CS) in the US after your clerkships, before you return to your home country to graduate from medical school or finish your internship/residency.
  • Helps you make important and valuable contacts, new friends and acquaintances who have accurate and up-to-date inside information about all matters related to USMLE, ECFMG, NRMP, ERAS and the path to successfully matching into a US residency program.