Sponsored Clinical Observers
Clinical Sponsored Observing Experience
This program is for a student that already has the sponsorship a physician that agrees to allow the student to observe their clinical practice in the hospital (Erlanger). The Office of Graduate and Medical Student Education cannot find a physician to supervise an observing student. It is the responsibility of the individual observer to find a physician willing to permit the observing experience. At the discretion of the supervising physician, this could include time in the physician's private office.
Remember, observing means that the individual cannot actually be involved in giving patient care, conducting a history or physical, or assisting with a procedure. The individual can only observe. Malpractice insurance is not provided by the institution for observing students nor is it available. Observing students have requested these brief experiences and are volunteering to participate, so in no way is there a real or implied employer/employee relationship between the University or Erlanger with the individual observing. The physician agreeing to supervise the student's observation assumes responsibility for the actions of the observer.
Also, due to state regulations, no one under age 18 can go into operating rooms or Emergency Departments.
Medical students who have already graduated (individuals who are already physicians) are not permitted to participate in clinical sponsored observing experiences.
Observing experiences with UT faculty must be approved by the department in which the physician holds a faculty appointment. UTCOMC and Erlanger Health System provide the needed regulatory education and documentation so that the student (and physician) can remain HIPAA-compliant.
Typically, the University of Tennessee and Erlanger do not offer a formal observing experience for students wanting to observe physicians within the hospital. At this time, Erlanger is not offering job shadowing experiences for students with nurses or other allied health professions. Erlanger has requested that the University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga handle requests to observe physicians who hold faculty appointments and/or are members of the Erlanger Medical Staff. Physicians and our UTCOMC department may consider an application from a high school or college student for a limited time, usuall one half-day up to a two-day observing experience, but some physicians may be willing for a student to observe for longer periods. That is up to the physician and the UT Department (if the individual is a faculty member). The Department of Medicine permits only one half-day up to one full-day observership. The Department of Radiology suggests at least three days for an optimal experience. Approval and availability of any observership are subject to the individual department. Physicians and our Departments may deny requests due to other medical student and resident demands as well as individual physician schedules.
At this time, the UT College of Medicine Chattanooga does not have nurse practitioners or physician assistants on staff and cannot accommodate nurse practitioners or PA students needing clinical rotations.
If a student is able to identify a physician who agrees to permit the student to observe within the hospital, in addition to submitting the online application, Erlanger requires that the UT College of Medicine Chattanooga Office of Graduate and Medical Student Education receive copies of an immunization record that includes proof of MMR and Chickenpox immunity as well as a negative TB skin test within the last 12 months.
Erlanger also requires observers to complete an online HIPAA course prior to final approval for the observing experience. Once an application has been received, a supervising physician has agreed to the observing experience, and immunization records have been received, the GME Coordinator will set up the observer for online HIPAA training with a link to the course, user name and password, and will send instructions to the observer. Once the observer has completed HIPAA training, The GME Coordinator will authorize Erlanger HR to create a photo ID badge with the FUTURE DOCS logo, indicating the inclusive start and end dates for the experience. The individual will report to Erlanger HR to have a photo taken on the first day of the observing experience and will need to give the badge back to the supervising physician at the end of the experience.
Once the student has been been approved by the supervising physician and department, credentialed through the Erlanger process, and has completed the required online HIPAA orientation course, he/she will be free to observe the sponsoring physician on a mutually agreeable schedule.
Please note: If you do not have a specific physician in mind, please click on the Medical Explorations link to the left and complete that application for the program for high school seniors or first year college students during June of each year. Dr. Kent Hutson or his designee will be in touch regarding possible placement. The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society has a similar program called Youth Leadership Forum. Click on the link the left for more information. You may also contact the Medical Society (Kevin Lusk) at 423-622-2872 for other possible observing experiences with area physicians.
Click on the link to the left to view and submit and online application for a Sponsored Clinical Observer.