Skip to main content
Sign In

International Trainee Observership Program

As part of our educational outreach mission, the University of Colorado Department of Pediatrics and Children’s Hospital Colorado have established an International Trainee Observership Program aimed at medical students or pediatric trainees from abroad, who are seeking an opportunity to learn and gain experiences in pediatric specialties with the intent to give back to their institution and community in their home country.

Our international trainee observer program provides a shadowing experience that allows participants to attend patient rounds, teaching conferences and to interact with faculty, residents and medical students. It also gives observers an opportunity to learn about the United States medical system in a world-class freestanding children’s hospital. The clinical experiences of this educational program do not include direct patient care.


Disclaimer: Being accepted for an observership rotation with our institution does not constitute or imply an endorsement by our residency or fellowship programs and their participating faculty. Application approval and participation in a rotation does not guarantee an invitation to interview for a residency or fellowship position. In addition, availability for a preferred subspecialty is at the discretion of each division that must take into consideration the division’s resources and the needs of learners already involved in the department.


How to Apply For an Observership

  1. Make sure you qualify as international observer:
    • Medical student from abroad
    • Pediatric or family medicine physician in training
    • International Physician or Researcher
  1. Please refer to the schedule below and identify a rotation period that is most appropriate for you.
  2. Complete the online application and submit all required documents before the application close date, May 15, 2016
  3. In the online application, you can choose up to three rotations in order of priority within a rotation period.
  4. Rotations are one month in duration and you may submit only one application during a 12-month period.
  5. Any observer who is approved for a rotation will receive an email with instructions.  It is extremely important to read the expectations and FAQs section of the website if you are approved. 
  6. There is a one hundred dollar ($100.00) registration fee that needs to be paid in the form of a check or money order by the first day of the observership.

**Open Enrollment is now closed**

We are only accepting applications for the remainder of the 2016-2017 academic year through faculty consideration.
Due Date for ALL Applicants 1st Rotation Period 2nd Rotation Period 3rd Rotation Period
May 15, 2016 September, October, November 2016 January, February, March 2017 April, May, June 2017
Deadline to complete
paperwork >>>>
For 1st rotation period
July 1, 2016
For 2nd rotation period
November 1, 2016
For 3rd rotation period
February 1, 2017

*Applicants should carefully review their schedules before applying.  No changes are allowed once the application is submitted.


Application Process

Before you complete the online application form, please gather all the required documents listed below and submit them along with the application before the close of the application due date, May 15, 2016.

To be Submitted with Application:

  1. If you are considering applying for residency we need a copy of your USMLE transcript.  If you have not completed the Step 1 and Step 2 examination, please do not apply until you have completed them.
  2. A faculty letter indicating your class ranking and whether or not you were an honor student
  3. Copy of your medical school transcript that gauges clinical performance
  4. Copy of your CV
  5. Processing of application includes a $100.00 fee.  Payable by check or certified funds


Please Follow These Steps:

Step 1



Step 2


Expectations and Guidelines:

  1. All observers must wear a Children's Hospital Colorado photo ID at all times while on site. The badge must be returned at the end of the rotation. There is an assessment of a fee for unreturned or damaged ID badges.
  2. Observers must be supervised at all times by an attending faculty physician, fellow, or supervising resident physician.  Observers should never be in the presence of a patient by themselves.
  3. Observers may participate in lunch conferences and other didactic activities as appropriate.
  4. Observers must not provide medical care, conduct patient interviews, take a medical history, examine a patient, provide medical advice to a patient, or assist in any procedure.
  5. Observers must not make entries into patient medical records.
  6. Observers should never make copies of any patient medical records or other materials identified with patient names or other patient information.
  7. Observers must not write orders for patients or make verbal orders for patients.




  • Can you tell me what electives have seats available? The roster is constantly changing; therefore, we cannot determine what seats are available. We encourage you to apply for the electives you plan to specialize.
  • Are there any periods for which you are not accepting international observers? Yes, the months of July and December.
  • A faculty member has already told me that I may attend their elective. Is this allowed? In order to ensure fairness to all observers, we do not allow observers to make their own arrangements for observerships directly with individual faculty members and course directors. All scheduling is done on a space-available basis through an application process. 
  • How long until I receive information regarding whether or not my application was approved? June 24, 2016, which is six weeks after the application due date.
  • Supplemental Information - Submit after receipt of acceptance (The supplemental information must be submitted a minimum of 60 days prior to the start of the rotation.)
    • Proof of health insurance coverage
    • Copy of your international criminal background check
    • Proof that you passed a drug screen, requirements on application
    • Proof of immunizations, requirements on application
    • Copy of HIPAA training certificate 
    • $100.00 dollar registration fee.  Please pay by U.S. check or money order upon arrival
  • Where should I send my additional supplemental application paperwork? Once an applicant has been approved for an observership, all supplemental paperwork should be emailed exactly 2 months prior to the start of the rotation and sent to the following email address:
  • What if I am a medical student and I'm looking for credit towards graduation from my medical school?  If you are a medical student from outside of the United States and you are looking for credit towards graduation, please read the instructions to apply for a rotation through the University of Colorado School Medicine by clicking on the link below.
  • Here is the link:  Instructions for Medical Students



  • Where can I find more information on housing during my rotation? Contact for a list of current housing options.
  • Are meals provided? No, meals are each individual’s responsibility.
  • What is the hospital’s dress code?  You are required to dress professionally and wear a short white lab coat at all times during your stay at the hospital.
  • Can I take a day off during my observership and/or change my observership?  No, time off and changes are not permitted.  All assignments are final.