General Policies & Procedures: Observer Policy
University of Minnesota Medical School (UMMS)
Graduate Medical Education
Policy: Graduate Medical Education Observers
Original Approval: 8.23.2002
Approved by GMEC:
Revision Date: 3.30.2010
Distribution: R/F; PD; PC; CSC; ACD Institution Policy Manual; GME website
Policy Owner: GME Administration
Graduate Medical Education (GME) observership opportunities are available for individuals who meet the definition of a GME Observer (see below).
A GME Observer is an LCME-accredited Medical School graduate or international equivalent who wishes to gain medical knowledge and exposure to certain patient-care protocols through observing a residency or fellowship program for 6-months or less in duration. This includes individuals who are currently enrolled in an international residency program.
- All interested applicants should be directed to the department or division in which the observership will take place.
- A faculty member of the department/division must be appointed as the observer's sponsor. It is highly recommended that the same faculty oversee any and all observers rotating through a department.
- Prior to the observership beginning, the sponsoring department must have on file all items listed on the GME Observer Checklist which include, but are not limited to:
- Completed GME Observer Application (Word document--fillable form)
- Two letters of recommendation from persons familiar with their performance
- Medical School transcripts/Diploma
- Up-to-date curriculum vitae
- Copy/Proof of ECFMG Certificate (if International Medical Graduate)
- Documentation that observer is in this country on a valid, current visa (if applicable)
- Completed immunization forms
- Documentation of health insurance, valid in the U.S.
- A signed Students and Other Non-Faculty Observers Agreement (The sponsoring department must send a copy of the signed Students and Other Non-Faculty Observers Agreement to the UMMC Fairview Medical Staff Office)
- Upon starting observership: The observer must go to the UMMC Fairview Parking Office and obtain a photo ID badge. The badge must indicate they are an observer and also state their name. Upon completion of the observation experience, the ID badge should be returned to the Parking Office.
- Upon completion of observersion: an exit interview with the observer should be completed (faculty sponsor should conduct an exit interview).
GME Administration Responsibility
Maintenance of the GME Observers Policy and Webpage.
- Approval for an observership is at the discretion of the University of Minnesota Medical School (UMMS) department or division. The UMMS department/division is responsible for documentation and tracking of all observerships. The sponsoring department's Human Resources office will retain all observer files.
- Observers must be directly supervised at all times by their sponsoring faculty physician.
- Observers are not covered under the University of Minnesota's Professional Liability Insurance.
- Observers may not see or interact with patients individually. They must inform all patients that they are an observer and ask permission to observe. If permission is refused, they will leave the area.
- Observers may not provide medical care, take a medical history, examine a patient, provide medical advice to a patient, or assist in surgery or other procedures.
- Observers may not make entries into patient charts. They may not make copies of any patient chart or other materials identified with patient's names or other identifying information.
- Observers may not write orders for patients or make verbal orders for patients.
- Observers may not have independent access to patient information (electronic or written) or restricted areas of the UMMS or any of its affiliates.
- Observers may not bill for any service.
- Observers may not wear a white coat as not to be confused with a Resident/Fellow, Medical Student or Staff Physician.
- Observers receive no benefits, including health insurance. They MUST provide proof of their own health insurance, valid in the U.S. They are NOT covered under the University's Workers Compensation policy. The University of Minnesota will not be liable for any injury the observer obtains while on this observership.
- Observers receive no financial support from the University. Observers are responsible for their own expenses, including meals and parking fees.
- Observers will follow all applicable University Policies.