For international medical students and graduates, U.S. clinical training opportunities are invaluable for those pursuing U.S. residency. Over the past 20 years, these opportunities have become increasingly more difficult to find, leading to the rise in clinical training providers. However, as anyone traveling abroad is already extra careful toward their well-being, safety, and (most importantly) their money, those looking for clinical experiences are left asking “can I trust clinical experience providers?”
The short answer is yes, but it is important to check a few boxes first.
The good news is, we dive into some of the most important boxes to check below.
What is a Clinical Experience Provider
For international medical students and graduates, and even some domestic students who have trouble accessing training sites through their school, clinical experience providers offer support in finding and accessing clinical experiences. Traditionally, students were left to find these sites on their own. This meant cold-emailing and cold-calling doctors and hospitals, which was often met with little to no success.
Today, many trainees will still choose to find clinical experience this way, and the only real downside is the time and work it demands from trainees.
However, clinical experience providers are a solution for those seeking a faster, more hands-off approach to finding clinical experiences. Clinical experience providers use their resources and network to identify physicians and teaching sites willing to host medical trainees and develop a network of sites through which students can apply for training.
With a number of clinical training providers on the market, lets look at some factors that make a clinical experience provider trustworthy.
While traditional approaches to finding clinical experiences are free, the downside is the time and effort needed to find a doctor willing to host. Clinical training providers turn this into a quick and easy process, but for a cost.
However, a trustworthy clinical experience provider will be transparent about what costs include beyond access to a clinical training site.
For example, clinical experience provider AMOpportunities folds other benefits into the cost of their clinical experiences. Trainees who use AMO benefit from housing, visa, and travel support. They also receive an orientation for their program, personal LoR support, access to resources like webinars that support their entire medical education journey, and more.
Learn more about the benefits of AMO clinical experiences by clicking here.
Program Details and Affiliations
Beyond location and specialty, the clinical experience provider you choose should be transparent about what you can expect during your experience.
This can include a number of details, but you should at least see:
- Program type (hands-on or observership)
- Information about whether it is an inpatient or outpatient experience
- An estimated daily schedule (number of patients seen, schedule, etc.)
- Types of cases or procedures you can expect to see
You might even expect to see (or if not, you should be able to ask about) hospital or academic affiliations the physician or site has. This can give you more insight into a program’s credibility of the site and the trustworthiness of your clinical experience provider.
Note that some program details may not be available until after you reserve your seat. This helps keep physician and patients safe. These details might include more specific information like site name, address, or physician name.
Testimonials and Student Success Stories
Perhaps the best way to establish trust with a clinical experience provider is through words of past trainees. Any provider worth trusting should at least have easily accessible reviews that are transparent of both praise and criticisms.
However, you might also ask about or look for visitor stories or news articles about the company’s success with supporting trainees.
While AMOpportunities provides reviews for each program directly on the program’s details page, more thorough visitor stories are regularly shared on AMO’s blog. Plus, AMO’s Ambassador program gives future trainees the opportunity to hear directly from past students through webinars and social media.
AMOpportunities: Where Trust Meets Medical Excellence
Since its founding it 2013, AMOpportunities more than 5,500 medical trainees from 100-plus countries have trusted AMO to help their U.S. clinical training site search. However, we go beyond helping trainees access sites and support students throughout their medical education journey.
Since we began tracking Match information in 2021, our 80.8 percent match rate for AMO trainees far exceeds the U.S. Residency Match rate for IMGs.