last updated at 31.08.2017

Clinical Elective in Pittsburgh

University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute

If you are a medical student of the Universities of Cologne or Bonn and interested in a two month clinical elective in Pittsburgh, check the options below to learn more about the joint elective programme of the CIO Cologne Bonn and the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI).

Frequently asked Questions

Why should I have a medical elective at UPMC?
There are five good reasons why you should apply for a medical elective at UPMC:

  1. A unique opportunity to take advantage of the US system which provides well organized and cutting edge graduate and postgraduate medical training.
  2. Work in small medical teams where you can benefit from an intense and supportive learning atmosphere. Perfect for your CV! As you can intensify your English and intercultural skills.
  3. Save $2100 tuition fees! The program is based on a well established cooperation between UPMC and the CIO Cologne Bonn and recommended students only need to pay $50 application fees.
  4. Benefit from a big hospital network! UPMC is a network of 19 hospitals and 40 day care units that provide the western part of the US state of Pennsylvania. Elective students usually get to know two different hospitals.
  5. Study a broad spectrum of diseases. Cancer affects any organ system. Thus, every specialist will treat cancer patients at some point. Take this chance to learn more about general oncology issues: treatment options for different neoplasias, application and side-effects of chemotherapy, infectious disease management in cancer patients, palliative care, and many more!

Who is allowed to apply?
Every medical student, who is currently registered and in good academic standing, is allowed to apply for a 2 month elective at UPMC.The applicant should be a final year student at the time of his/her planned participation in the United States.

When is the deadline for applications?
Applications for all 3 trimesters should be submitted to Dr. Cornelia v. Levetzow by mid June of the 5th medical year.

Which documents are needed for the application?
You will need to submit your CV, a motivation letter and an official school transcript of the Medical Faculty.

Which documents do I need to submit to the University of Pittsburgh?

  • Letter of credentials from the director of the Center for Integrated Oncology
  • Filled out application form for an International Medical Clinical Elective Clerkship
  • Official academic records, academic transcript, or certification of grades; both in original language and English translation
  • Official TOEFL score report showing a minimum score of 600 on the paper test or 250 on the computer based tests. IBT score of at least 100. IELTS score of 7.0 (scores must be within the past 2 years)
  • Evidence of sufficient financial support for living expenses (estimated expenses for 8 weeks are 2250 US dollars; form is included in the application form)
  • Evidence of adequate personal health insurance to include coverage for both well-care and hospitalization as necessary while in the United States as well as professional and personal liability insurance.
  • Evidence of required immunization status (included in the application form).
  • $50.00 non-refundable application fee in U.S. dollars payable at time of application request.
  • Clearances

    • Pennsylvania State Child Abuse Clearance also called ACT 33 (current fee $ 10.00, payable via Moneyorder)
    • Pennsylvania State Criminal Background Check also called ACT 34 (current fee $ 10.00, payable via Moneyorder)
    • FBI Fingerprinting Clearance also called ACT 73 (only obtainable upon arrival in the State of Pennsylvania; current fee  36.00)

Do I need a TOEFL test to be able to apply?
You will need an official TOEFL score report showing a minimum score of 600 on the paper test or 250 on the computer based tests. Alternatively, you can show an IBT score of at least 100 or an IELTS score of 7.0 (scores must be within the past 2 years).

Do I need a J1 visa or is a B1 visa sufficient?
You can go to Pittsburgh with a B1 visa.

Do I need to pay tuitions?
According to the cooperation between the CIO Cologne Bonn and UPMC elective students from Germany do not need to pay tuitions. They will only pay application fees ($ 50).

Where can I stay in Pittsburgh?
You can book the guest house of UPMC. This costs $ 1.000 per month.

How much money do I have to plan for the elective?
Depending on the type of accommodation you chose and excluding the flight ticket, the monthly expenses are estimated to be around $ 2.250.

Do I need to read any literature before going to the USA?

  • Medical English literature (see English for Medical Purposes Website)
  • First Aid for the USMLE Step 2 CS
  • a handy pocket medicine book
  • Reference book to learn the American names of medications

Is there a dress code?
Yes! Students should wear a shirt and tie (blouse for female students) underneath a short white coat, long dress trousers (no miniskirts) and leathern shoes (no sneakers).In general, students are supposed to wear short coats. Discuss with your attending whether you can use your long German coat for the 8 weeks and save some money!

Do I have to do night shifts?
Visiting students do not have night shifts.

Do I get my own patients?
You can ask your attending (Oberarzt) whether you can have your own patients to follow up till the day of their discharge.

What are the daily assignments of an elective student?

  • Patient admission and follow-up
  • Medical history taking
  • Physical exam
  • Diagnosis: lab values, imaging, pathology
  • Suggestion of therapy options
  • Dictation and/or writing notes
    Note: performance of medical procedures like blood drawing, bone marrow biopsies, or writing of consultation enquiries is taught by physician assistants/nurses.

Application Procedure

Applicants are asked to submit their CV attached to a motivation letter and an official school transcript of the Medical Faculty to Dr. Cornelia v. Levetzow.

Note: Applications for all 3 trimesters should be submitted to Dr. Cornelia v. Levetzow by mid June of the 5th medical year.

Successful applicants will be invited to a short interview. Upon acceptance the applicants will receive a letter of credentials from the director of the Center for Integrated Oncology.

Together with the letter of credentials the applicants are asked to send the following documents to the Office of Student Affairs (see University of Pittsburgh, International Students):

  • filled out application form for an International Medical Clinical Elective Clerkship
  • Official academic records, academic transcript, or certification of grades; both in original language and English translation
  • Official TOEFL score report showing a minimum score of 600 on the paper test or 250 on the computer based tests. IBT score of at least 100. IELTS score of 7.0 (scores must be within the past 2 years)
  • Evidence of sufficient financial support for living expenses (estimated expenses for 8 weeks are 2250 US dollars; form is included in the application form)
  • Evidence of adequate personal health insurance to include coverage for both well-care and hospitalization as necessary while in the United States as well as professional and personal liability insurance.
  • Evidence of required immunization status (included in the application form).
  • $50.00 non-refundable application fee in U.S. dollars payable at time of application request.

Further requirements: Clearances

  • Pennsylvania State Child Abuse Clearance also called ACT 33 (current fee $ 10.00, payable via Moneyorder)
  • Pennsylvania State Criminal Background Check also called ACT 34 (current fee $ 10.00, payable via Moneyorder)
  • FBI Fingerprinting Clearance also called ACT 73 (only obtainable upon arrival in the State of Pennsylvania; current fee 36.00)

For further formalities the applicants are asked to contact their local Dean’s office for student affairs (Studiendekanat) in Cologne or Bonn. 

Experience Reports

Skyline Pittburgh
Pittsburgh Skyline und Ohio River

Erfahrungsberichte der Teilnehmer (in Deutsch)

  1. Claus-Jürgen Bauer - Uni Köln - Januar-März 2017
  2. Greta Große - Uni Köln - Juni-August 2016
  3. Jawed Nawabi - Uni Köln - September-November 2015
  4. Hanno Santelmann - Uni Köln - Mai-Juli 2015
  5. Laurent Kintzele - Uni Köln - Januar-März 2015
  6. Julia Stomper - Uni Bonn - Juli-September 2014
  7. Elisabeth Schöll - Uni Köln - Februar-März 2014
  8. Ioannis Ntivis - Uni Bonn - Juni-Juli 2013
  9. Franz Hutzschenreuter - Uni Köln - August-Oktober 2013
  10. Xenia Schleicher - Uni Köln - Januar-März 2013
  11. Hans Jiro Becker - Uni Köln - August-Oktober 2012
  12. David Schwarz - Uni Köln - März-Mai 2012
  13. Samuel Afan - Uni Köln - April-Juni 2011

Contact

For information about the cooperation and the application procedure please contact:

Dr. rer. nat. Cornelia von Levetzow

CIO Project Manangement
Departmant I of Internal Medicine
Kerpener Str. 62, Building 16, 1st floor
50937 Cologne

+49 221 478-87443
+49 221 478-97604 Fax

For information about the requirements of the Dean's office for student affairs in Cologne or Bonn please contact:

Dr. Benjamin Köckemann
Head of the ZiBMed
Joseph-Stelzmann-Str. 20, Building 42     
50931 Cologne
benjamin.koeckemann@uk-koeln.de    
Tel.: +49 221 / 478-6664
Fax: +49 221 / 478-6625

Ingrid Hackenauer
Sigmund-Freud-Straße 25, Building 25, 2nd floor
53127 Bonn
ingrid.hackenauer[at]ukb.uni-bonn.de
Tel.: +49 228 / 287 15301 (9 – 11.30 am)
Fax: +49 228 / 287 15076

 CIO ambulance – Cologne +49 221 / 478-87660 · Bonn +49 228 / 287-17059