As you continue your process of choosing a medical school, it’s important to consider each choice from all angles. You may be drawn in by some of the benefits of attending an international medical school, for example. But not all programs overseas will provide you with the same opportunities when it’s time to complete clinical rotations and apply for residency positions.
When it comes to clinical rotations and clerkship for international medical students, here’s what you need to know.
US clerkships for international medical students
Regardless of where you study, all medical students will be expected to complete clinical rotations during the third and fourth years of medical school. This time is when you’ll begin receiving critical, firsthand experience working with patients under the direct supervision of a faculty member, fellow, or resident.
US medical students will typically complete clinicals at their medical school’s partner hospital or its local affiliates. For international students interested in eventually practicing in the US, it’s also advantageous to pursue US clinical training opportunities.
That’s why some international medical schools provide students with an option to complete their clinical rotations—also known as their clerkship—in the US. During these rotations, a medical student spends time completing clinical rotations at a facility outside their home institution. This most commonly takes place during their fourth and final year in an MD program.
Which international medical schools offer US clerkships?
Different international medical institutions will offer varying opportunities for their students when it comes to participating in clinical rotations in the US. Details related to where students can apply and the subsequent approval process are also institution-specific.
Pre-med students considering international medical schools would be well-served to complete some research with this in mind before selecting an MD program.
At St. George’s University (SGU), for example, a great majority of students complete their clinical training in the US. SGU’s School of Medicine has more than 70 different affiliate sites throughout the country and in the United Kingdom. And SGU students don’t have to select just one—they have the unique opportunity to rotate among different clinical sites if they choose, adding to the breadth of hands-on experience they compile before graduation.
The institution also just received renewed approval from the New York State Department of Education (NYSED) for long-term clinical clerkships at affiliated hospitals and health systems in the state. Previously approved in 2015, the new approval covers a full period of seven years, through 2029. This renewed approval ensures that SGU medical students will continue to pursue clerkship placements at some of the top teaching hospitals in the region.
“The experience, skills, and professional relationships students build during these clinical experiences are invaluable to their futures as practicing physicians,” notes Dr. Marios Loukas, dean of the School of Medicine at SGU. “We are honored by this recognition of our commitment to training future generations of doctors licensed to practice in the United States.”
Prepare for your future as a physician
By taking a holistic, well-rounded approach to your search for a medical school, you’ll have a better chance at ensuring your success as a physician-in-training. A critical component in that process is confirming that your institution of choice will offer you the right opportunities when it comes time to complete your clerkship.
For eight years running, St. George’s University has been the number one provider of new doctors to the US healthcare system.* The well-respected institution provides unique opportunities for medical education at its main campus on the island of Grenada, with an extensive list of affiliate locations in the US where students can continue their clinical training.
Learn more about clerkship opportunities in our article “Answering 8 Common Questions About SGU Clinical Rotations.”
*As the medical school graduating the largest number of students annually, SGU places the largest number of graduates into residency programs each year, based on internal SGU graduate and residency placement data as of May 2022.