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Foreign Medical School - Clerkships In Florida

The Following Are Requirements For Students Of Foreign Medical Schools To Do Elective Clinical Clerkships In Florida:

Core (required) clerkships are not permitted in Florida Hospitals or clinics unless the foreign medical school is licensed for that purpose by the Commission for Independent Education. There must be a specific written agreement between the medical school and the accredited hospital for the specific core clerkship, in addition to many other standards that must be met.

Current rules permit students of foreign medical schools, not licensed by the Commission, to participate in an occasional (“occasional” means no more than 3 students from any one unlicensed foreign medical school in any calendar year, with each of the 3 students doing no more than 3 elective clerkships in Florida in any calendar year) elective clinical clerkship (not core subjects). The elective Clerkship site will notify you of the Commission's decision. The following conditions must be documented and forwarded to the Commission's Office for review.

  1. Graduates of the foreign medical school are permitted to take professional licensing examinations and to practice medicine in Florida. The student has obtained a passing score on Step 2 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination.
  2. The elective clerkships are offered in hospitals which have accredited residency programs and an affiliation with an accredited U.S. medical school;
  3. The elective clerkships are the same ones offered to students of the affiliated accredited U.S. medical school, and are under the same supervision and controls;
  4. Students of foreign medical schools must meet the same standards for participation in the elective clerkship as those required of students of the affiliated accredited U.S. medical school.
Prior licensure of the foreign medical school, by this Commission, would still be required for any core clerkships or an ongoing, formalized program of elective clinical clerkships.

The Approval Process

Whether requesting licensure or individual approval for an occasional elective, the process must be initiated by the medical school, not by the student. The Dean of Clinical Studies, or similar official, of the medical school should contact this office in writing, either by e-mail, fax 850-245-3233, or letter, to request the proper forms. The forms will then be sent to the medical school, along with an explanation of the required approval procedure.

The time frame differs in each case, depending on the level of approval requested, the ability of the foreign medical school to meet the necessary standards, and similar issues. If a foreign medical school has been through the individual approval process in Florida previously, and we are familiar with its quality, the process may take as little as three weeks. If it is an unfamiliar one, or it is applying for licensure, it could take several months.

What Should A Student Do?

If you are a fourth-year medical student of a foreign medical school, and you want to do an elective clerkship in Florida, please ask your medical school to contact us directly. We cannot send the forms to a student.

Why Is Florida So Strict About Clerkships?

Florida is strict about clerkships in order to ensure that:
  • students are protected;
  • students will be under proper supervision;
  • the responsibilities of the hospital and the medical school are properly spelled out;
  • the hospital is appropriately qualified to supervise the desired clerkship;
  • and students will receive the maximum benefit from the clerkship experience.
We also want to protect Florida citizens by ensuring that students whom they may encounter in a hospital setting have received a medical education comparable in quality and content to that provided by an accredited U.S. medical school.