International Clinical Observership Program Gastrointestinal Division

The Ruesch Center for the Cure of Gastrointestinal Cancer at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington DC offers a medical observership program, designed for junior to mid-career physicians interested in gaining in depth knowledge of the treatment of gastrointestinal cancer, research, program building and patient care. The observership is a participant-tailored exchange program in which the observer accompanies the medical staff through their daily hospital and academic routines, sharing experiences with doctors, residents, research staff and students. The observership program offers a unique opportunity to expand the experience of members of the medical field in GI Cancer research and care in the United States. This program is not for academic credit.

Program Overview

Participants may tailor their time and experience according to their needs and focus. Typically, participants spend from one week to one month rotating among the various areas of focus. Participants will be able to observe the clinical care of our gastrointestinal cancer patients in all aspects of the multidisciplinary care provided by departments throughout the hospital including surgery, gastroenterology, radiation oncology, pathology, biobanking, molecular profiling, and patient advocacy. While the program focusses on observations in the gastrointestinal field with emphasis on gastrointestinal cancer, we strive to tailor the program to the specific wishes of each participant. Presence and participation in lectures, grand rounds and other related events is expected of all participants. At all times the international visiting physician is under the supervision of the hematology/ oncology director and residents/physicians in the service that is observed. The observership is strictly an observership; no hands on privileges are granted to actively participate in the clinical treatment of patients or to assist in any medical procedures, test or surgeries.

The fee for the observership consists of a $150 application fee (nonrefundable and due at time of application) and a weekly tuition fee which depends on the individualized program (due at the start date of the program). Applications must be submitted at least 3 months to prior of desired start date.

Application process

Our program is designed for international physicians interested in gastrointestinal cancer care who have completed their postgraduate medical training and are currently actively engaged in the practice of medicine.

To apply, please send the following documentations in English; a personal statement emphasizing your interest, your CV, a copy of your graduation certificate, a copy of your license to practice and proof of good standing in your current position, a letter of recommendation, a copy of an up to date immunization record, proof of healthcare insurance and a recent photo for ID. Please indicate in your letter your specific area of interest as well as which month(s) you would like to participate in our program. A skype interview will be part of the application process. Prior to start of the program the participant is required to provide a copy of an updated vaccination record as well as a recent TB test (in the past year) in addition to proof of a physical performed by a US physician.

Submitting an application does not guarantee acceptance into the program nor does acceptance into the program result into placement in our resident/ fellowship program.

Applications are to be directed to Dr. John Marshall but must be sent to Kristin Sneegas.

Please note:
Upon acceptance into the program the applicant will receive a letter of conformation with strict start and end dates. The applicant can use this letter to obtain the required US visa. We do not provide any additional help in obtaining a visa.
In addition, the participant is solely responsible for obtaining housing, meals and transportation for the duration of the program.

It was definitely the most amazing experience that I have ever had. I believe that having another perspective on the management of patient with cancer diagnosis is very important in order to be able to add knowledge and personal experience to medical oncologist training. Another advantage is to expand the network of contacts knowing better other professionals and share opinions with them. In my opinion, this is an activity that every doctor should try, considering the curricular gain that it impacts, as well as the beautiful opportunity to become a better professional.

– Dr. Isabella Tavares, Brazil