International Observer Program

The International Observer Program offers eligible international colleagues the opportunity to observe patient care in a healthcare setting, without patient contact, for the specific purpose of gaining professional skills, knowledge and attitudes. CHOP international observerships are customized to meet the needs and requests of the applicant, and last from two to eight weeks. Longer observerships are accommodated on a case-by-case basis.

Tuition fees are typically $1,500/month plus a one-time administrative fee and background screening fee. Fees will be more clearly outlined following the receipt of your application.

Subjects span the breadth of children's health, including:

  • Anesthesiology and critical care medicine
  • Cardiac anesthesiology
    • Critical care medicine
    • General anesthesiology
  • Child and adolescent psychiatry, behavioral sciences
  • Pathology and laboratory medicine
    • Laboratory medicine
    • Anatomic pathology
    • Neuropathology
  • Pediatrics
    • Adolescent medicine
    • Allergy and immunology
    • Cardiology
    • Child development and metabolic disease
    • Clinical pharmacology and therapeutics
    • Emergency medicine
    • Endocrinology
    • Gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition
    • General pediatrics
    • Hematology
    • Human genetics
    • Infectious diseases
    • Neonatology
    • Nephrology
    • Neurology
    • Oncology
    • Pulmonology
    • Rehabilitation medicine
    • Rheumatology
  • Radiology
    • Body imaging
    • Interventional radiology
    • Neuroradiology
    • Nuclear medicine
  • Surgery
    • Cardiothoracic surgery
    • Dentistry
    • General, thoracic and fetal surgery
    • Neurosurgery
    • Obstetrics and gynecology
    • Ophthalmology
    • Orthopedics
    • Otolaryngology
    • Plastic and reconstructive surgery
    • Urology


To be eligible for observership, applicants must be fluent in English and be one of the following:

  1. A fully trained healthcare professional currently working abroad, intending to return to his/her position abroad.
  2. An international medical fellow or resident currently enrolled in a fellowship/residency program at a foreign institution, intending to return to that institution for graduation.

Medical school students are not eligible for this program and should explore opportunities through Penn Global Health Programs.

CHOP observerships should not be used as a means to obtain US-based experience for the purpose of seeking graduate medical training in the United States.

Application requirements

Those interested in applying for the International Observer Program must first fill out the Medical Education Interest Form, and then submit:

  1. Medical Education Request Form (PDF)
  2. Resume or curriculum vitae (CV)
  3. Two professional letters of recommendation

Next steps

A CHOP representative will follow up with you after receiving your form. Global Medicine will forward your application to the medical director of Global Pediatric Education, who will review your eligibility. If eligible, Global Medicine will contact the applicable CHOP department/division to evaluate if your request can be accommodated. Global Medicine will contact you about the status of your application.

If accepted, Global Medicine will provide an acceptance letter and all necessary onboarding paperwork. You will need the acceptance letter to obtain a visitor’s visa to come to the United States for medical education. 

A tourist or B1 visa is all that is required for an observer coming to CHOP. CHOP will provide you with a letter of participation, which will help you obtain a visa. However, CHOP does not assist directly in obtaining visas or visa forms.

Living arrangements are the responsibility of accepted applicants. Global Medicine can provide a list of hotels in the area that have negotiated rates with CHOP; however, accepted applicants are responsible for the costs of all travel and living expenses. Learn where to stay, eat and more while in Philadelphia.