July 3, 2018


The US Clinical Experience is a matter that must be faced by all International Medical Graduates, whether you’re just done with school or you’ve had more than 20 years of experience. A lot of factors have to be considered while applying for residency in the US, but among all, the USCE seems to be the most important and the most fruitful. The essence of the US Clinical Experience is to prove that you have knowledge of or can adapt to the US healthcare system.

It could be pretty difficult walking through the ins and outs of the USCE, and you may have many questions about it. Below are the top three questions about the USCE.

What is US Clinical Experience?

The US Clinical Experience is defined as hands-on experience working with patients conducted in a US medical environment. USCE is divided into three:

  • Sub-internships (Sub-1)
  • Externships
  • Clerkships

The following are not considered as part of a USCE:

  • Research Experiences
  • Volunteer Experiences
  • Observerships
  • Experiences in similar medical environments such as England and Canada

How do I get the USCE?

There is no straightforward answer to this question. Candidates have several methods of inquiry about getting a USCE. All the methods have varying levels of efficiency and success rates and require the carefulness of residency candidates as they move forward. These methods include but not limited to:

  • Contacting hospitals for direct placement
  • Getting a paid placement service
  • Frequenting residency forums
  • Private or personal connections

Is USCE required by residency programs?

USCE has limitless benefits. With a USCE in your ERAS application, you will be able to prove to the residency directors that you are familiar with the US healthcare system. It will also help you stay relevant in the medical field and you have the chances of getting new letters of recommendation and connections in the US medical system.

With a USCE, you can apply for a lot more residency programs. Some residency programs do not require any USCE but others may. Some may require it but not compulsory, nevertheless, candidates with the USCE will be preferred above those without it.

Are observerships considered a USCE?

It is rare, but few programs do count observerships as a USCE. For instance, the EMORY University’s J. Willis Hurst Internal Medicine Residency accepts observerships.

There is no way for me to get USCE. What else can I do?

Since it is a bit difficult to secure a USCE, there are other experiences you can complete and include into your ERAS application. Such experiences include volunteer work, Observerships, publications, and research.

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