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Important Information for Applicants Accepted into the Observership Program

Important Information for Applicants Accepted into the Observership Program

Prior to Traveling:

  1. Applicants are requested not to make any travel arrangements until all procedures are complete and a formal letter of acceptance is offered.
  2. Applicants are personally responsible for all financial obligations, including travel, lodging, meals, health insurance, etc., incurred during their visit. The CCM department will not provide any stipend, tuition fee, health insurance, accommodation, or other forms of payment to an observer during their stay.
  3. The CCM department will not sponsor any type of visa for the applicant. If accepted into the program, the CCM department will only provide a letter of acceptance to the applicant, which can be used to apply for visa, if needed.
  4. Often an observership is a prelude to seeking future training in the U.S. However, being invited as a clinical observer with CCM department does not guarantee a training or employment position with the department.
  5. Applicants coming for clinical observership will not be able to do research observership. If an applicant is interested in doing a combined clinical and research observership, they need to apply separately for the clinical and research observership programs and pay the appropriate fee before coming to Pittsburgh. Requests to do research observership after starting the clinical observership will not be entertained.

After Arriving at UPMC:

  1. The observer will meet with Dr. Murugan (Program Director) and Ms. Bonacci (Project Analyst) on the first day of the observership to get an orientation.
  1. An orientation manual with a brief description of various departmental activities will be provided.
  1. The applicant must have a valid UPMC ID badge before being admitted to any of the ICUs.
  1. The applicant must sign a UPMC confidentiality and EMTALA agreement before starting the program.
  1. The applicant must undergo a drug screen test before starting the program.
  1. The applicant must provide their contact information in the US (e.g. cell phone number and place of stay).
  1. It is expected that all accepted applicants would spend the entire duration of rotation in the department. Failure to report to the assigned ICU for two consecutive days without permission will result in termination of visit.
  1. No clinical duties are allowed as US law prohibits foreigners lacking valid medical license to practice medicine in the US from participation in direct patient care. All observer agreements state clearly that observers cannot provide direct patient care or conduct research.
  1. During observation in the ICU, any type of interaction with a patient is strictly prohibited, as the US law does not allow examining or directly interacting with patients without a valid medical license. Any violation will immediately terminate the observership.
  1. All patient related information is highly confidential. The applicant must follow all UPMC policies and procedures including HIPAA, infection control, safety, ethics etc.
  1. All observers must behave in a collegial manner during their stay.
  1. All applicants must immediately contact Dr. Murugan/Ms. Bonacci if any problems or issues arise during the observership.
  1.  The following are strictly prohibited in all of the UPMC ICUs by observers:

    -The observer must not have any form of direct patient contact. Contact is defined as physically touching, performing a medical history and/or examination, counseling (patient or patient’s family/friends), assisting in surgery or any other procedure, or otherwise interacting with patients, either individually or in the presence of others.

    -Touching or tampering with any ICU devices (e.g., ventilator, infusion pumps) that are located inside the patient’s room.

    -Discussing about patients with anyone other than the ICU team providing care.

    -Discussing about patients or patient-related information in public areas such as hospital corridors, elevators, cafeteria, lounges, or outside the hospital.

    -Carrying any form of printed patient medical records (e.g., printed patient reports from PowerChart/Cerner). In particular, the observer is not allowed to take any patient related material outside of the ICU.

    -Taking any pictures of patients, medical records, radiology images using cell phones, ipads, or other portable electronic devices.

    -Asking for access (User ID or Password) to electronic medical records from any other care provider.

    -Entering written orders into any electronic medical records or providing verbal orders to nurses on behalf of other care providers.

    -The applicant is not allowed to make any hard or electronic copies or transfer any patient related material from UPMC computers to other portable electronic devices (e.g. downloading radiology images into a USB flash drive are strictly prohibited).

    -The observers should not render any form of treatment or services to patients.

    -The observers should not be involved in obtaining patient consent for any encounter or procedure including research.

  1. All applicants are encouraged to do the following during their visit:

    -Dress Code: Business or business casual attire (dress pants, dress shirt and tie, close-toed shoes). Jeans and/or T-shirts are not acceptable.

    -Clinical observers are required to wear white lab coats (issued by their home institution) along with their UPMC ID badges.

    -Actively discuss about medical care provided to patients during rounds with the ICU team (i.e. ICU Attending and the Fellows)

    -Applicants are allowed to see electronic medical records and radiology images under the supervision of the Attending or Fellows during rounds.

    -Applicants are allowed to watch procedures being performed in the ICUs

    -Applicants are allowed to watch patients being examined by the medical team in the ICU.

    -Applicants are allowed to enquire about specific ICU protocols and other reading materials that are available.

    -All applicants will be provided access to the CCM Evidence-Based Medicine library articles.

    -All applicants will be provided access to select mini-lectures and podcasts that are relevant to the ICU in which they will be doing the observership.

    -All applicants are advised to attend grand rounds, journal clubs, and other research conferences presented in the department.

    -The observer will be able to use the CCM study lounge and computer for Internet access, literature search, and other educational activities.

    Before leaving UPMC:

    21.Upon completion of the program, an exit interview will be offered to obtain feedback from observers.

    22.A letter indicating dates of visit and educational activities participated in will be provided. Recommendation letters for ACGME application or other reference letters will not be provided.