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 Erlanger Hospital). Observerships are not intended for medical students, particularly those who have already begun formal clinical rotations (i.e., students in the last two years of medical school).
*Note: The Office of Graduate and Medical Student Education is not tasked to 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 via the hospital or the University of Tennessee.
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 the age of 18 can go into hospital operating rooms or emergency departments.
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, usually 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. Approval and availability of any observerships 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.
Erlanger also requires observers to complete an online HIPAA course prior to final approval for the observing experience:
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
Erlanger does have clinical affiliation agreements with other universities for advanced nursing and physician assistant programs; however, the UT College of Medicine Chattanooga Dean's Office must confirm that those clinical experiences within Erlanger do not interfere with our medical student and graduate physician medical education before. Advanced Nurse Practitioner Students and Physician Assistant Students whose schools have clinical affiliations with Erlanger can apply for clinical rotations through Erlanger's Nancy Stevens, DNP, at email@example.com. Once she has reviewed the applications and required documentation, then Dr. Stevens and/or the students requesting rotations will contact Pamela Scott, Director of Graduate and Medical Student Education for UT, to confirm the rotation and authorize an Erlanger ID badge.
The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society has a program usually in May or June each year for high school seniors 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.