General Terms:

  • ACGME: The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) is the body responsible for accrediting the majority of graduate medical training program. Essentially, most of the hospitals we deal with have residency training programs and are ACGME accredited. This accreditation essentially tells the eventual application reviewer that this student gained training via a teaching hospital and gives it more weight.
  • “Teaching” hospital: any hospital that trains medical students and/or residents. This may or may not be ACGME accredited. A hospital can be a teaching hospital and not ACGME accredited.
  • “University” hospital: any hospital that is affiliated to a US Medical School. These are typically attached to the medical school, ie: SUNY Downstate Medical Center is affiliated with the State University of NY (SUNY) Downstate Medical School.
  • Preceptor: a practicing physician giving practical training to a medical student. Essentially just means “teacher” or “instructor,” which our physicians are to our students.
  • Residency Relevant: This term is applied to clinical experience, if your experience was done on a site with a residency program in that field, it is known as residency relevant experience, and therefore much more valuable to a medical student.
  • R3: Registry, Ranking, Results. This is a system within the Match program.
  • ERAS: Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS®) is a service that transmits the MyERAS application and supporting documentation from applicants and their Designated Dean’s Office to program directors. This service is what our students use to submit their residency program applications. This service is also where they upload the LORs provided to them by our preceptors.
  • USMLE: there are a couple of things that you need to do before you can be considered eligible to apply for a residency in any specialty in USA. The minimum requirements of which are to pass a series of exams called United States Medical Licensing Exams (USMLE). These are often referred to as “Steps” because of the exam structure, ie: USMLE Step 1, USMLE Step 2CK, USMLE Step 2CS, USMLE Step 3.
  • ECFMG: If you are a foreign medical student, the organization that conducts these USMLEs is Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates or ECFMG, this organization does not conduct USMLE for US medical students.
  • Board-Certified Physician: Certification by an ABMS Member Board involves a rigorous process of testing and peer evaluation that is designed and administered by specialists in the specifi c area of medicine. Not all physicians are board-certified and thus, a recommendation from a board-certified physician, especially one certified in the specific field a student wishes to pursue, is valued much more highly.
  •  USCE: US Clinical Experience – this is what our programs qualify as: “Hands-on US clinical experience” and can be submitted as such on their residency applications.
  •  IMG: International Medical Graduate – even though they are medical school graduates, they are still considered students in the eyes of the US medical system. You may refer to them as students as well because they technically are in this country.
  • Basic Sciences: 1st & 2nd year of medical school, completely class-room based, no clinicals allowed.
  • 3rd and 4th year of medical school: students are required to complete clinical rotations as part of their medical education curriculum rotating through core and elective rotations.
  • MBBS: Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery –> many Indian, Pakistani, and other Asian/Eastern European schools provide MBBS programs. They are essentially equivalent to MDs and still call them Doctor. The clinicals portion in an MBBS is completed in their home country, which is why they come to us for USCE.
  • Intern Year: many programs abroad require their students to complete an intern year of rotations outside of their home country. The students that want to come to the US to eventually practice medicine here opt to gain their USCE during their intern year.
  • HIPAA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) is a one-day course in which students examine HIPAA from the perspective of end users, such as nurses and administrators, who are responsible for delivering and supporting health-care related services.


Required Certifications:


  • OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Standards) Blood Borne Pathogens: this certification applies to all occupational exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials
  • Infection Control (as required by NY State education department only): The Infection Control and Barrier Precaution law applies to the following professions: dental hygienists, dentists, licensed practical nurses, optometrists, physicians, physician assistants, podiatrists, registered professional nurses and specialist assistants. As of November 3, 2008, the requirement for training will also include medical students, medical residents, and physician assistant students.
  • Proof of Medical School Graduation:


1) Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE, or “Dean’s letter”): is one component of a student’s application to residency programs. The MSPE is an objective letter of evaluation that summarizes a student’s academic record at HMS in a narrative format.


2) Letter of Good Standing (sometimes called “Certification of Enrollment and Good Standing”): states that a student is currently enrolled in their medical school. The letter should give the current year (i.e. MS1, MS2, etc) and conclude by showing that a student is in good standing at the institution (i.e. no academic sanctions, poor behavior, etc). Also note: year of graduation (yog) is typically included only upon request, so be sure to ask for that if your program requires it.


2) Basic Sciences Transcripts : which is the full list of classes enrolled and passed during the 1st & 2nd year of medical school.

  • Valid Government-Issued ID: The following are ACCEPTED forms of ID:


▪       Driver’s licenses or other state photo identity cards issued by Department of Motor Vehicles (or equivalent)

▪       U.S. Passport

▪       U.S. passport card

▪       DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)

▪       U.S. military ID (active duty or retired military and their dependents, and DoD civilians)

▪       Permanent resident card

▪       Border crossing card

▪       DHS-designated enhanced driver’s license

▪       Airline or airport-issued ID (if issued under a TSA-approved security plan)

▪       Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID

▪       HSPD-12 PIV card

▪       Foreign government-issued passport

▪       Canadian provincial driver’s license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card

▪       Transportation worker identification credential

▪       Immigration and Naturalization Service Employment Authorization Card (I-766)


Types of US Clinical Experience:

a) Observerships – only refers to shadowing a physician, no hands-on experience, lowest form of USCE.

b) Clerkships – refers to clinical experience for current students. These typically satisfy the requirements of their medical education for medical school credit. These are either core or elective courses.

CORE Clerkships:

– Family Medicine
– Internal Medicine
– Surgery
– Pediatrics
– Psychiatry
ELECTIVE Clerkships:

– Dermatology
– Neurology
– Pain Management
– Primary Care
– Perinatology
– Endocrinology
– Pulmonary
– Nephrology
– Hematology
– ENT, Surgery
– Plastics, Surgery
– Emergency Medicine
– Gastroenterology
– Radiology
– Cardiology
– Infectious Disease
– Rheumatology

c) Externships – refers to clinical experience for graduates. The hands-on clinical experience is essentially the same, however, these “students” are not attempting to gain medical school credit as they have already graduates.

d) Research Electives: It is a research experience that medical students can undertake for academic, publishing, and/or authorship credit. They have no comparison to a Clinical Elective because its not USCE. We offer these programs as well, solo or combined with USCE, as an additional benefit students can use for the CV/resume.


  • WHO database – World Health Organization Database – all accredited international hospitals will show up on this list



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