Offering U.S. Clinical & Research Experiences Remotely

The COVID-19 Pandemic has energized the AmeriClerkships physician community to share their medical knowledge and practice in new ways with the world, remotely via Live Online Clinical Experiences (LOCE) and Live Online Research Experiences (LORE). Similar to virtual clerkships being recently offered by US medical schools, LOCE & LORE provide medical students and graduates (‘Learners‘) from across the world the opportunity to experience U.S. healthcare and research during this once-in-a-lifetime global pandemic, all while staying on track for applying to U.S. medical residencies during the 2021 Main Match.

LOCE are hosted and supervised by U.S. licensed physicians (MD or DO); LORE may be hosted by U.S. licensed physicians, or non-physician Primary Investigators (typically PhD), alL referred to as ‘Hosts‘.

  1. No risk of exposure to COVID-19;
  2. Save money and time by not needing to travel (all you need is access to a computer and high-speed internet);
  3. Gain insured U.S. clinical experience in the specialty of your choice, from the comfort of your home,
  4. Learn how U.S. physicians provide care during a pandemic both in-person and online and be prepared to do the same yourself during residency;
  5. Protect private health information while communicating with patients remotely;
  6. Learn how your supervising attending physician diagnoses and treats without physically examining patients, and know when an in-person examination is required;
  7. When ready, take student-type patient histories and SOAP notes, then present them to your supervising attending physician via video conference;
  8. Cooperate with other care providers and office staff (scribes, nurses) who may log into the same online sessions;
  9. Earn a residency-relevant letter of recommendation the same as if they’d completed an in-person rotation with you.
  1. A great learning experience for anyone who has an interest in clinical research;
  2. Most research sites will allow AmeriClerkships Member to select a topic which relates to the specialty they are applying to, or a specific topic such as COVID-19;
  3. Learn the basics of clinical research with an excellent introduction into the field;
  4. Become confident in your research skills and ability to produce a paper, regardless of your research experience;
  5. Perform systematic reviews of literature and complete assignments to hone in your research skills;
  6. Gain constructive feedback on your research presentation;
  7. Opportunity for poster presentations and publications;
  8. Secure a performance-based U.S. letter of recommendation, some on hospital letterheads.
  1. Play a pivotal role in ensuring that U.S. clinical healthcare is experienced by those who need it most, especially those living outside of the United States;
  2. Open up an entirely new avenue to complete clinical rotations, and gain research experience;
  3. Provide a new source of revenue for doing what you already do;
  4. Help slow the spread of COVID-19 by not requiring learners to travel to and from clinics and hospitals;
  5. Do what you love by teaching clinical medicine online, un-phased by the COVID-19 pandemic;
  6. Exchange information by working first-hand with physicians from all across the world who are also treating COVID-19 in their own countries, while obtaining U.S. clinical experience from you.

It is good practice to always use HIPAA compliant telecommunication when treating patients and having learners or any other participants log in remotely, however, for the time being, HIPAA rules have relaxed. According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. government office responsible for enforcing certain regulations issued under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA):

During the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • A covered health care provider that wants to use audio or video communication technology to provide telehealth to patients during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency can use any non-public facing remote communication product that is available to communicate with patients. OCR is exercising its enforcement discretion to not impose penalties for non-compliance with the HIPAA Rules in connection with the good faith provision of telehealth using such non-public facing audio or video communication products during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency. This exercise of discretion applies to telehealth provided for any reason, regardless of whether the telehealth service is related to the diagnosis and treatment of health conditions related to COVID-19.
  • Under this Notice, covered health care providers may use popular applications that allow for video chats, including Apple FaceTime, Facebook Messenger video chat, Google Hangouts video, Zoom, or Skype, to provide telehealth without the risk that OCR might seek to impose a penalty for non-compliance with the HIPAA Rules related to the good faith provision of telehealth during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency.

After the COVID-19 Pandemic

The list below includes some vendors that represent that they provide HIPAA-compliant video communication products and that they will enter into a HIPAA Business Associates Agreement:

  • Skype for Business / Microsoft Teams
  • Updox
  • VSee
  • Zoom for Healthcare
  • Doxy.me
  • Google G Suite Hangouts Meet
  • Cisco Webex Meetings / Webex Teams
  • Amazon Chime
  • GoToMeeting
  • Spruce Health Care Messenger

Note: AmeriClerkships has not reviewed the BAAs offered by these vendors, and this list does not constitute an endorsement, certification, or recommendation of specific technology, software, applications, or products. There may be other technology vendors that offer HIPAA-compliant video communication products that will enter into a HIPAA BAA with a covered entity. Further, AmeriClerkships does not endorse any of the applications that allow for video chats listed above.

Click here to read more.

AmeriClerkships will credential medical student & graduate (“Learners” or “Members”) prior to starting any LOCE or LORE with our hosts. Each fully credentialed Learner will be covered by the AmeriClerkships $1/3 million Professional Liability Insurance coverage at any clinical site sanctioned by AmeriClerkships for that Learner to begin. Learners will treat LOCE & LORE with the same level of professionalism as they would in an in-person clinical rotation.

Click here to learn more about the components of AmeriClerkships credentialing.

Affiliated Attending Physicians and/or Research Primary Investigators have complete freedom in designing the LOCE or LORE they plan to host, using their daily clinic or research practice as the curriculum. All that AmeriClerkships expects is for hosts to provide online experiences which will be as beneficial as in-person clinical rotations.  Minimum expectations are for the hosts to:

  1. Include & engage our Learners in telemedicine sessions, or carry a laptop or tablet from room to room with our Learners logged in and observing as they treat patients in-person, AND
  2. Provide a minimum of 24 hours/week of supervised clinical experience, OR combined research methodology instructions and data collection, AND
  3. Challenge our Learners through creative patient visits exposures, and require them to do interact with patients taking student-type histories, assist with virtual exams, write SOAP notes and get feedback on their performance, AND
  4. Discuss cases and other learning opportunities with supervisors, AND
  5. Provide limited Electronic Medical Records (EMR) access so Learners to familiarize themselves prior to each case and to document notes for the supervisor to review, AND
  6. Consider writing a performance-based Letter of Recommendation (LOR); to save time and avoid offering generic LORs, AmeriClerkships recommends Hosts to read our Physician Guideline for Writing Effective LORs or encourage the Learners to utilize our LOR Drafting Service.

Once enrolled, Hosts will work directly with the AmeriClerkships Physician Support Team to get set up to offer LOCE or LORE, and ways to optimize the online rotation experience.

I WANT TO HOST

For U.S. Licensed Physicians or Researchers

I Want to ‘Host’ LORE or LOCE at My Clinic or Research Facility

For U.S. Licensed Physicians or Researchers

I WANT TO ENROLL

For Medical Students & Graduates, and Pre-Meds

I Want to ‘Enroll in’ LORE or LOCE at a Clinic or Research Facility

For Medical Students & Graduates, and Pre-Meds