I'd personally do a combination of both, but strategically. So do an observership at a place that has a residency and is IMG friendly. Because it doesn't really matter if you're not hands-on, your attitude and work ethic might impress the right people and get you an interview (this is exactly how I got one of my interviews). Then do an externship for the exposure and LOR.Hi guys,
I didn't match this year. My scores were okay, I think the main thing missing from my application was USCE. I am working to build up my application by doing step 3 and getting USCE.
Since I already graduated from med school, I can only do observerships or externships.
My question is, which one is more valuable USCE: observerships at inpatient units of hospitals that have a residency program OR externships with companies that charge money (e.g. Americlerkships)?
Pros of doing observerships:
- you get to work with inpatient teams at places where you can potentially apply for residency in the future
Cons of doing observerships:
- getting an LoR can be a challenge since the attending cannot evaluate your clinical skills...most of it is simply observing the team as they manage patients. There is a risk you end up with no LoR
- Some residency programs specifically state on their requirements that "We do not accept observerships as USCE"
Pros of doing externships with companies:
- LoR is guaranteed unless you do something stupid
- They are easier to arrange
Cons of doing externships with companies:
- More expensive
- you are often put in places that have no hospital or residency program affiliation, and most of it is outpatient
- Their LoR may be very generic or be written by doctors that have no residency program or hospital affiliation
Please let me know, which approach is best?