American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin

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AAPI Clinical Observership Program (AAPI-COP)

Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to AAPI Clinical Observership Program (AAPI-COP).  Today the competition for residency program in US is increasing than ever before and almost every residency program is expecting some kind of US clinical experience in their IMG applicants.  Unfortunately, there are no good opportunities for those young IMGs to obtain that kind of experience.  To serve the very purpose, AAPI has launched this exciting program a few years ago. It was designed based on Oklahoma State Medical Association’s IMG Observership model and follows American Medical Association- International Medical Graduates (AMA-IMG) section observership guidelines (Click here to view guidelines) . AAPI runs this program in various regions through its local chapters.  Precepting physicians, members of AAPI, are senior well experienced practicing physicians supporting this program by volunteering their time and expertise to help IMGs.

Application and Program Outline:

The primary purpose of this observership program will be to introduce new IMGs to the style of practice of American Medicine (the methodology, language and phrases commonly used; the method of dealing with patients, nurses, physicians & hospitals; ordering lab, X-rays, other tests, etc.).

Interested candidates can apply by using 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 practicing physician in US.  There will be a nominal processing fee, and once selected candidates will be scheduled to rotate with 4 different preceptors, 3weeks each, for total 12weeks period.  Upon successful completion of the program, AAPI and local chapter will obtain the evaluation forms from the precepting physicians and candidates will be awarded ‘Certificate of Completion’ (Click here view sample certificate).

• AAPI or local chapter will not pay any salary or stipend to the observers*
• Lodging, Boarding and transportation will be the responsibility of the Candidate*

Learning Objectives of the Observership Program:
  • Observation of physician interactions with patients (history, examination, diagnosis, treatment, coding, writing prescriptions, and entering information on the patient’s written or electronic chart, etc.)
  • Observation of professional communication and interaction between the physician and all members of the health care delivery team and hospital administration
  • Exposure to American colloquialisms (slang, euphemisms, etc.)

  • Observation of the delivery of health care in a private practice, hospital or clinic setting

  • Exposure to electronic medical records and observation of access and entry of 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

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

Responsibilities of Observers:
  • Must be genuinely interested in the program and show professionalism in their conduct and assigned tasks
  • Will not conduct physical examinations, treatments, or diagnoses of any patient

  • Accept no compensation
  • Follow the rules and regulations of the hospital, clinic or private practice at all time

  • Adhere to HIPAA (health insurance portability and accountability act) regulations

  • Participate in any prerequisite training (i.e. HIPAA) at the hospital, clinic or private practice

  • Participate in activities under the supervision of the preceptor (clinical tutorials, ward rounds, clinics visits, procedures, operations, etc.) and participate in a research project or independent study

  • Observe the use of electronic health records, if available, and be familiar with patient data entry and access

  • Observe the general structure and organization of U.S. healthcare system as well as private sector and government payers

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

  • Provide your own transportation, meals and lodging

  • Keep track of your observership hours and confirm your schedule and responsibilities with your physician preceptor regularly.

Application Fee: $100 non-refundable - The application fee will be collected AFTER the application has been accepted by AAPI and not before.

Click Here To Download Application

Click Here to View Frequently Asked Questions

AAPI COP Feedback Form

AAPI COP Evaluation Forms

To submit application and documentation please email the application and required documents in PDF form to with the subject line "observership application enclosed for: First Name, Last Name" The application and/or required documents may be faxed to the AAPI Headquarters at 630-990-2281, please note that faxed applications will take longer to process.

* Application does not guarantee acceptance *

Best wishes,

Bhoja Reddy Katipally MD MPH
Chair, AAPI Clinical Observership Committee 2010-11

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