Visiting Physician Observership

The Division of Gynecologic Oncology offers an observership to physicians from countries outside the United States.


Observers must be clinicians from outside the United States with special interest in gynecologic oncology, usually obstetrician-gynecologists or medical oncologists.

Observers must be proficient in spoken and written English. All aspects of education and patient care are conducted in English. Individuals who arrive without adequate English skills may be encouraged to terminate their observership prematurely.


While objectives can be tailored to observers’ needs, most observers seek in-depth appreciation of state-of-the-art approaches to gynecologic cancers and related conditions.


With our team of expert gynecologic oncologists, observers discover the range of direct patient care required to treat gynecologic cancers. They attend inpatient and outpatient surgeries, private clinics, our resident-staffed Tumor, Colposcopy and LEEP Clinics, and ward rounds. They also attend weekly multidisciplinary conferences on patient management and participate in resident and fellow teaching sessions.

Observers are not active participants in patient care. Individuals who seek training in support of US medical school or residency applications should not apply, as this limitation means that our faculty will not be able to judge your clinical skills sufficiently to write letters of recommendation on your behalf.

Research opportunities are available for some individuals with J-1 visas; content must be negotiated with faculty after arrival, based on availability and individual interest. Individuals with J-2, H4 and certain other visas may not participate in research.

Observerships vary in length but usually last from one week to six months.

Observer’s responsibilities

An non-refundable application fee of $200 will be applied to any observer who decides to complete the formal application process following their initial inquiry. If accepted, a separate program fee will apply. Individuals must assume all costs for transportation, room, board, and incidental expenses. Washington University staff can assist observers in locating housing once the dates of the observership have been finalized. Housing and other costs must be paid in US dollars by the observer. If it is determined that the individual’s level of funding is insufficient, the request for an observership will be denied.

Individuals must obtain their own visas and are responsible for all required documentation for entry into the United States. Washington University staff can assist accepted observers in this process.

Observers can negotiate their schedules and priorities to achieve their objectives. However, observers must attend clinical care and teaching sessions. Observerships may be canceled for individuals whose English is inadequate or who fail to attend core learning sessions.

Observerships are limited to one to two visiting physicians at a time. Applications must be received at least three to six months prior to an anticipated visit. Applications may be denied if someone else has already signed up for an overlapping period or if the desired observership period overlaps with major scientific meetings.

Application information

To be considered, send an email request to The request should include the following:

  • Primary goals and objectives for the observership
  • Requested dates of observership
  • Complete curriculum vitae (in English)
  • Copy of medical school diploma
  • Letter from medical supervisor at the observer’s home institution attesting to the applicant’s credentials and the value expected from the observer’s visit
  • Statement of funding: how the costs associated with the observership will be funded

Applicants will receive a response via email letting them know if their request can be considered and what addition information, if any, is needed. At this time, applicants also will be informed of the program fee, which is set by the length of stay requested. The program fee does not cover the cost of the observer’s VISA, housing, meals, transportation, and other expenses during their time here; it is strictly a fee to participate in the program.

The email will also include a full program application. Should the observer choose to move forward, a $200 non-refundable application fee will be applied. Once all necessary documentation is in place and a language proficiency interview is completed, a formal acceptance notice will be given. If the observer accepts, the $200 application fee will be applied to the program fee. Instructions for payment of these fees will be provided to the observer at appropriate times in the application process.

Documentation of completion

On completion of the observership, participants will receive a letter documenting their attendance. No certificates or course credit will be provided.