Student Observership Procedures

BUSM does not have an official observership program whereby students are funneled through one office for placement on the wards at Boston Medical Center. The following procedures are in place for BUSM faculty members who wish to individually host student observers in their departments. The hosting department is responsible for all procedures below.

An observer is anyone who is present in a BMC clinical area observing patient care. This person does not assume any patient responsibilities (no patient contact; no writing in charts), and he/she does not receive credit for the experience (via BUSM’s registrar).

An international medical student observer must be in his/her clinical portion of his/her training to undertake an observership at BMC. Typically, the student is in her/her final year of medical school.

Requirements of Observership (to be monitored by hosting dept.)

When hosting an observer, the department and/or faculty person hosting the observer is responsible for ensuring completion of the items below before the observership begins. The hosting department must keep in its possession any documentation related to the observer.

1. Register Observer with BMC Human Resources & Health Screening Compliance Requirements

All visiting personnel who will be on campus for more than three days are required to be registered by the sponsoring department with BMC Human Resources. Visiting observers must meet compliance requirements before receiving a badge from the ID Office (step 2).

To register an observer:

  • A representative from the hosting department must go to BUMC HR: Visiting Personnel Registration and complete the application form. HR will confirm your observer’s registration and provide a badge number.
  • Before receiving a badge, the observer must by cleared by Occupational & Environmental Medicine (OEM) by meeting the health compliance requirements listed at Visiting Personnel Registration.

2. Obtain BUMC ID badge for Visiting Observer

To obtain an ID badge, the hosting department must ensure that HR registration and health screening compliance are met (step 1 above); once met, the observer may obtain his/her badge at the ID Office, 710 Albany St., Boston, MA.

3. Review Patient Confidentiality (HIPAA) Policies

Student must read the following presentation, print the final page, sign it, and return it to the hosting department representative. Patient Confidentiality, Privacy, and Security Awareness.

4. Supply Evidence of Health Insurance

Student must provide evidence of health insurance that covers him/her in the United States for – at minimum – emergency inpatient treatment. An emergency means the onset of an acute illness, which is sudden, unforeseen and requires immediate action (and which prevents the student from returning home to receive treatment).