This site is intended for healthcare professionals


Medicine in the USA Series

  1. Overview of the process, pros and cons of healthcare in the USA and ECFMG Registration
  2. USMLE Step 1 and 2
  3. Electives in the USA, Letters of Recommendation and Visas
  4. USMLE Step 3, Applying for Residency and the Match
  • Access to 4 online sessions and recordings
  • Access to guidebook
  • Option to be added to a Whatsapp group with other medical students/doctors planning to move to the USA
  • Discount codes


Related content

Similar communities

View all

Similar events and on demand videos


Computer generated transcript

The following transcript was generated automatically from the content and has not been checked or corrected manually.

Perfect. Ok. Um So welcome back everyone. Um I know some people will probably still be joining and so I just wanted to welcome Ellie. Um Ellie is gonna be sharing about her elective, um how to organize electives, how to get letters of recommendations um faces. Um I'll let introduce herself as well. Thank you, Ellie. Yeah. Um I'm lie, I'm a failure at George's London. Um And I'm just gonna tell you a little bit more about electives in the States. Um how to get this very important letter of recommendations for application and then visas and so on. Um Most of my experience is based off the elective I've done in Hopkins in Baltimore. So obviously there's like a bunch more than you can do um which I'll, I'll talk about later, but like this specific elective um is based on, on Hopkins. So let me know if you have any questions. Um and also I'll put my email at the end. So if you have anything that you didn't think about right now, then you can ask about it later and just email me. I'm happy to go ahead. Yeah, go for it. Sure. So electives So, um they're super important for your residence Aviation because it basically sort of like demonstrates um the panel that you're familiar with the US healthcare system and also kind of shows you like commitment to a specialty. Um They said if you're doing elective and like a specialty and then you apply for something else, it doesn't mean that like, it's all wasted, like, it's still very important because it shows that, you know, you've, you've been to the States and you know what it looks like, but ideally it is a bit better if you do um be elective in the specialty you're interested um in for obligation. So there's a few options. If you've taken the and past the US only step one, then um Mayo Clinic offers really good elective for IM GS. Um And if you've not done it, um those are the two that I highly recommend. So Hawkins is why I went and then Yale, um which is also a really good option. They both use those platform that I've listed and like the billings as well. So you can see the requirements. Um The only thing with Yale is the V SL O platform, which is a little weird to navigate your uni has to be registered with them. So that's something that you can just check with your academically. Whoever is in charge of you. Yeah, and just email them and say, are you registered with them if they are? That's grand. If not, then unfortunately it won't be a possibility. It's not the on, like, those are the only one that I MG can apply to. And I've, I've put later on like a link to like all the ones that are available. But like, those are the two that like, are really, really good and also look really, really good on TV. Um, so those two websites are really good for additional info. So either you can organize your electing on your own, which is a lot cheaper, but also takes so much time. Um if not the website, the Ama Observer program and so on and so on has basically a list of like organization that basically organize the elective for you uh is really good in terms of like time because then, you know, they, they deal with everything. They organize the whole rotation. I think there's a little bit more choice in terms of like specialty and where you can go. Um downside is it is quite expensive. Um But they do have quite a good list. The only thing that I would say and I, I'll write it down in a chat later. There is one organization on there um called Ace. So a ce that has not got good review. I have a friend who used them for elective last year and they did not go well at all. So I do not recommend them. But apart from them, they've got like a really good list of reliable organization if you don't want to go through the f for organizing the whole thing yourself. And then the other length, the match guy is just sort of like a like summary of the electives available to I MG. So more like the like universities. So like Hopkins Mayo Yale and there are quite a few and it goes through like the list of like, do they accept IM GS, do they accept you if you don't have step one and so on? So it's quite good if like, you know, obviously you wanna go back to it and you're not gonna remember everything I say today, which is grand, but it is a really good website in general for Hopkins specifically. And I believe it's kind of like standard for most of your elective, the admin part. Those are the stuff they ask. So they're always gonna ask you for immunization. Um And there's a specific form that they want signed by your occupational health. So I put the link for the form. It's a PDF. So you can just download it, um print it and then get it signed by 08. Most of it would be, you know, all the vaccine that you would have had checked before you go into uni the only weird thing that they want is the TB blood test. Um and they want it done within six months before your elective starting date. That's something to organize with H as well. They, they do it if you just email them and you say I'm going to the date for an elective, I really need this done. You book an appointment with them. It's just a blood test and they send you an email with the results. Um, I was made aware as well that some program might ask you for proof of negative drug testing. So don't be like, weird out if they do ask you this. I know they, they ask it for sure for residency for their residents, like they have to do drug tests quite regularly, but apparently for some program they do. So just so you're aware, um private health insurance, so you will always need a private health insurance. They, that again, that's for Hopkins the minimum coverage, but they always like give you sort of like a welcome package and they'll tell you exactly what kind of health insurance they want. Um You can definitely find like cheap health insurance that cover to this kind of like minimum amount. Um But that's an additional cost. If you want a more hands on elective, you'll need a malpractice insurance for a final year med student that's covered by the MDU for you registered with them, which is good. Um If not, if you're like 40 or below, um that's something that you have to consider as well as an additional cost. Um But if you want to sort of like be a little bit more hands on and like do something very clinical. You will need a malpractice insurance and then some elected as well. That's why I put it in bracket. Some elected will want, um, a proof of fund. So that's pretty much a, a proof of like, kind of like a proof of income to um, like show them that you're not coming to the States to basically stay in the States and, and not have money to support yourself while you're there. Um I've not come across like any elective that as John Hopkins definitely doesn't as, but I have a friend who did elective somewhere else. They did. So that's also something to be aware of um logistics stuff. It is expensive. Um Unfortunately, the state is expensive to stay there, it's expensive to go there. The elective itself can also be really expensive. So that's something to kind of consider. Um You've got a direct flight to America with Ba A from London. Um I'm sure you've got direct flights from other parts of the, of the UK as well. Um And if you kind of, you know, plan it in advance, uh you can find cheap flights for like $600 round trip to $1000. So the more in advance you plan the better. Um Yeah, and then accommodation wise again, those figures are based of when I was in Baltimore. So it will vary, but housing in the States is super expensive. So you need at least a grand or two per month. So if you do a four weeks vacation, um, are they on airbnb or if you find student from your visiting university? So let's say you're going to, I don't know, Hopkins. So you're going to Yale. Um, usually if you go for your elective over the summer, um medical student from there, we like, we often sublet their, their apartment which can be a really good and cheaper option as well. Um And you can ask your supervisor to kind of like, let you know if they know in the student that does that. Um, it's always really helpful um, telephone. So either you check your travel plan with your provider or par. Currently, Verizon has a really good prepaid sim um are used of like a friend provider. So um not really helpful in that case, but um you can have like a limited data for quite cheap. So which is very important because you'd have wifi in the hospital, but then anywhere else if you wanna like, walk around and stuff. Um And then the elective itself again, really depends on where you go for Hopkins. And I think that for me, that was a really good sort of like selling point is the elective is only $500 and usually the elected in the states are like like $2000. So that was a really like important thing for me. Um But Yeah. So, like, if you, if you take all this cost, it really adds up pretty quickly. So, again, planning in advance and, like, you know, like researching where you wanna go and so on, um, is really important and then most like, as well want you to have a white coat. Um, you can buy it off Amazon or I got mine, um, at the Hopkins, like medical school, um, like student, you know, shop kind of thing. I was never asked to wear it, but then apparently in some places they're like really adamant and you need to have one um something that I'm not put on there in terms of logistic as well, but that's more linked to like application um would be your CV. So every application will require a medical CV. I'm happy to send mine across if that helps. Um the most knowing part is you sort of have to detail all the placement you've done in med school. So, so they can sort of see what, like which assistanceship you've done, like which specialty and how long and so on. So, um don't worry too much if your CV is two or three pages, there's no way you, you can fit everything in one page. Um But yeah, so a med like a proper medical CV is really important. Um But again, happy to send mine across. If that helps um fundings, there are like so many grams and like bursaries available. Um I've put two here but usually, um, your university should have a page on their website. They like list like all the grants that are available for electives. Um, if not again, happy to send more across. Um, I only put those two because those are the only two I got and I know are really reliable. Um, but yeah, and then again, like the price, like the, the ground that you receive kind of like varies. Um Royal Society of Medicine gives you 500 lbs um which in that case would like cover the whole of the elective, which is really good. Um And then you can always ask your like academic lead or your personal tutor if they know like any funding or ground, but they do, they do have like this quite a few societies and so on. Um who offer grams and prizes for elective um which is really good and then letter of recommendation, super super important, like if you're gonna spend all this money and this time and this energy and mental capacity to go in the States, you at least need a reward and that reward would be your letter recommendation. It used to be a sort of like general consensus that you needed three, at least three letter recommendation from um A US attending. Um And ideally in the specialty, you sort of like want to apply for it. Uh This has changed a little uh when I last checked the match results of them, you know, them, they, they come up once a year when people match into residency and then they have this like huge document that sort of like has all these numbers of like the amount of people who match in the trends and so on. And sometimes they put the amount of like letter recommendation that people who got in had at the time. So it can depend on the specialty. Uh I'd say three is the minimum orthopedic surgery. Has this been realistic expectation of 10 letter recommendations? Um So I wouldn't focus too much on the number. I'd say at least three would be good and quality is always better than quantity. So if you have three strong, like lors from, you know, us attendings in the specialty that you want, this is always gonna be so much better than 10 letter recommendation from like residents or fellows. Um So yeah, I don't focus too much on the number but just more on like who's actually signing this. So like a head of department or uh the director of like it like whatever or like someone who's, you know, someone who has like influence and can get you in because us works a lot with nepotism. So the more people, you know, and the more sort of like ties you have, the better are your chances. Um So when you get to active, uh talk to your supervisor um or like your mentor, so like the person who's in charge over there um or the elective about your goals and your learning objectives. So like, this is more in terms of like on your first day, like, don't be afraid to be like, this is why I wanna get out of my elective and I would really appreciate it if you're look at me and if you're like, if I'd be and you're happy with my work, you're on me like a recommendation. Like just be honest. Um Because otherwise there's just, there's no point like they're not gonna prompt you and they're not gonna be like at the end. Oh, do you want a letter? Like you have to be like, you know, like respectful and polite but firm with the intentions. Um As I said, avoid asking a resident of a, or a fellow because it just doesn't like it, it doesn't really have the same weight as a, as an attending and also a resident and fellow. They, they rotate quite a lot. So if, um if you get a letter from them, uh always better than nothing, but they might, when you apply for a program, the program director will have no idea who they are whereas they usually know like attendings and so on. So if you're, if you have to like, if you leave your elective with one or two letters, try and make sure that from attending, um, something good to do as well is when you sort of like, uh, like a elective, your, um, so like, talk about your goals and so on. Um, you can ask your attending to schedule, um, an appointment at the end of your elective to sort of like, review your work and your performance and then, and then you can sort of like sneak in the, the letter of recommendation. So to kind of like, make it a little more formal, um, don't be freaked out if they take time to write the letter. Um, they, they're not gonna write it, you know, like right here and then, um, so if it takes a couple of months, that's fine. Um, but also if you know, it's been 234 months and you've not heard anything, you can completely like this is so far to like email them and be like, you know, just remind yourself, like, remind them that you exist and um that you need that letter and then super important as well. I feel like everything is important but keep in touch like, don't let them forget you, you're gonna go there and you're gonna shine and you're gonna show them that you fit there and you're so deserving of a place. Um And it'd be such a shame if after all this work that you put in and you sacrifice your whole summer to go there if they forget about you. So like little reminder every now and then, you know, like just a little email being, like, just wanted to update you on, you know, how well my year is going or Merry Christmas, like, really, uh, but it sounds really silly but like, just, you know, kind of every now and again, like a little reminder that, like, remind them who you are. And then if you know, you apply for residency, like two year after you've done elected with them, they'll still remember you. So they'll still be able to write you that letter or when a program directory phone them and be like, oh, you know, I have this I MG blah, blah, blah, they'll remember who you are and they'll be able to kind of like push forward with the application. So super important. Um And in terms of visas. So uh if you're UK or EU national, you don't need a visa. You can get an A which is basically an authorization to stay on the US territory. $21 which is good cause it's cheap. Um And you can stay up to 90 days um on your s territory. Uh I don't, I believe you can buy it and it's valid for two years. Um So let's say like you buy it now and then it will be valid for two years until you like actually enter us territory. So you don't have to like buy it like the day your um leave for the States and also allow at least like, I don't know, four days um, to, like, apply for the, er, because it doesn't come, like, it's automatic, it doesn't come straight away. Um, and when you get to the border and you show you a, be really specific, if they ask you, why are you doing, like, why are you coming, like, to the state for? What, what are you gonna do? Make it really clear that you are a student and you come in here for an observer that is not paid and you are not employed. Um My friend who did her elective not last summer, the summer before um got really confused when they asked for this and she said, um elected, they didn't understand. She said internship, they don't understand and then they thought she was trying to enter the US illegally to work and they detained her for six hours. So just to save you the fact of being detained by really scary um US guards just make it really clear that you are not employed, it's not paid. Um Usually the elective will give you a um what's it called? Uh border kind of like a border paper. So just to show like border control and it kind of explains the purpose of like your like visit to the States. Um I think, I think all elected. Do Johns Hopkins definitely does it. You'll have like a proper formal paper that says um that like explain everything. So if they question you can be like here, go my paper. Um, and then for international students, um I looked into a little and I think it's the, it's called the B1 um Visa. Um, it's called a Business Visa because I don't think they have anything for international student that is, it's a bit of a, of a gray line cause it's uh a visa for like, like medical people. You like, go and study, but it's also kind of like, you also like to work a little bit. Yeah, a bit weird. So I put the link there. Um and again, you can check with your elective student coordinator service, what they advise. So like your, when you apply for your, you're elective, you'll have like like an admin kind of like person um in charge of like I MG like international students or like U UK students who come to the state of the elective. So they, they know what you need. So if you're like in doubt, you're not really sure which visa you need, just email them um and ask them what they think. Um And yeah, if you will have to apply for visa, not for the a for the visa uh allow lots of time like at least plan this again like six months in advance getting a visa appointment um is insane. Um The waiting list is, is crazy. So you need to kind of like really, really plan well in advance. Um Yeah, that's pretty much it. Um fire away if you have any question, if I have not covered anything, put my email down, um, if you're, you know, forget anything and you have any questions later on, you can email me. Ok. Thank you so much, Ellie. Thank you. The list of bursaries with deadlines. I kind of liked it because it was all over like five different websites and just put it up and if you're able to fill out that little feedback form as well for, um, tonight session and then we'll try and get the guidebook out to you tonight as well as um, a discount code for mo rotations. I know they're quite expensive. We have $250 off and they're actually gonna offer us more. And so we'll get back to you before and whenever they come back with that, I don't know if there's any questions for a follow, reach out there. Ok? If there's no questions, thank you very much for joining and um, I'll share lie's email address with you guys as well. If there's anything you want to follow up with her. Um um Thank you so much for sharing. Yeah. Thank you. See you soon. Bye bye.