International Observership Program

The International Observership 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 two to eight weeks. Longer observerships are accommodated on a case-by-case basis.

There is a one-time $750 administrative fee and background screening fee which varies depending on the country of origin. A tuition fee may also apply. Fees will be more clearly outlined following acceptance into the observership program in an invoice.

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
  • Developmental-behavioral pediatrics
  • 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
    • Non-Malignant 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, reconstructive and oral 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.
  3. An international student studying a health-related field who has not yet received his/her terminal degree, intending to return to a country outside the United States to practice his/her healthcare field.

Medical students seeking hands-on clinical electives for credit are not eligible for this program and should explore opportunities through Penn Global Health Programs. The Office of Global Pediatric Education cannot facilitate hands-on clinical rotations for medical students.

CHOP observerships must not be used to obtain US-based experience for the purpose of seeking graduate medical training (residency and fellowship) in the United States.

Given the observational nature of this experience, where participants cannot perform hands-on clinical care, CHOP faculty cannot provide letters of recommendation or complete evaluation forms for participants. However, observers will receive a certificate of attendance for the dates of the observership.

Application requirements

All applicants applying for an International Observership Program must first fill out the Medical Education Request Form, and then submit:

  1. Resume or curriculum vitae (CV)
  2. Two professional letters of recommendation

Next steps

Global Pediatric Education will review your application for eligibility, then forward your application to the appropriate clinical division. The clinical division will evaluate whether they can work with you to meet your goals and objectives, and if your requested timeframe works well with their schedule.

If accepted, Global Pediatric Education will provide an acceptance letter and all necessary onboarding paperwork. The acceptance letter may be helpful in obtaining a visitor (B1/B2) visa to come to the United States for medical education. CHOP does not assist directly in obtaining visas or visa forms for visitors or observers.

Living arrangements are the responsibility of accepted applicants. Global Pediatric Education will provide a Welcome Packet that contains some options for living arrangements and useful information about CHOP and Philadelphia. Click here to Learn more about CHOP's campus.