Visitor Programs Suspended

Due to COVID-19, all visitor programs are suspended until further notice. Please visit us again for updates.

The Global Surgical Observer Program is exclusively designed and open only to international medical graduates who have applied or intend to apply for residency or fellowship in the United States. Highly qualified participants visit Cleveland Clinic for a four-week shadowing experience and spend one-two weeks with specialists in each of the following surgical specialties:

  • General Surgery
  • Colorectal Surgery
  • Transplant Surgery

A total of 12 candidates are accepted every year.

Who is Eligible?

Foreign Medical Graduates who have applied or intend to apply for residency or fellowship in the United States and are ECFMG-certified.

ECFMG certification is a requirement, and candidates must be able to submit proof of certification as part of their application material. Candidates who are in process of completing USMLE steps, are encouraged to apply once they are ECFMG-certified.

Fees & Tuition

Fees & Tuition

The tuition for the program is $1,500.

A $500 non-refundable processing fee, which will be applied toward the tuition, will be charged for all applications. Upon acceptance to the program, the non-refundable tuition balance of $1,000 will be due to hold your place.



How to Apply to the Global Surgical Observer Program

  1. Refer to the schedule below and select an application period most appropriate for you.
  2. Create an account. [All visitor programs are suspended until further notice due to COVID-19]
  3. Complete the application form and submit all required documents before the close date of the period you are applying to.
  4. Pay the fee.
Application periods 2020 Online application open date Online application close date Expected notification of final decision
Period 1: January to June 2020 Canceled Canceled Canceled
Period 2: August to November 2020 Canceled Canceled Canceled

Please email cime@ccf.org when you submit an application under this program.

Application Policies

  • Each applicant is responsible for ensuring their application is complete.
  • The Review Committee will not consider any additional changes once an application has been submitted for review.
  • Applicants are responsible for ensuring that all information and supporting documents provided are authentic and accurate.
  • We reserve the right to request additional information or verification of information and documents submitted. If an applicant is unable to do so, we reserve the right to withdraw consideration of the application.
  • Applicants assume all costs associated with authenticating, retrieving and submitting documents and material in support of their application and fulfillment of observership.
  • Due to the large volume of applications we receive, we are unable to provide feedback to candidates who are not accepted into the program.
Documents Required to Apply

Documents Required to Apply

  • Up-to-date CV/Resume.
  • Personal Statement – one page addressing your interest in the program.
  • Certified Copy of Medical Diploma.
  • Medical School Transcript.
  • USMLE Scores (all scores to date compiled into one file).
  • ECFMG Certificate.
  • Two Letters of Recommendation.
    • One from the dean of your medical school addressed to Cleveland Clinic confirming completion of medical school and attesting to academic and other relevant accomplishments.
    • One from a physician who can attest to academic and other relevant accomplishments.
  • NOTE: ERAS applications as supporting documents are NOT accepted. Candidates that submit ERAS applications will automatically be disqualified.

All documents submitted must be in:

  • English
  • PDF, DOC or DOCX format