International Observer Program

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The Medical Surgical ICU at Boston Children’s Hospital is a state-of-the-art 29-bed PICU with one of the highest volume pediatric ICU’s in the country. With just over 2,000 admissions annually the MSICU provides all critical care services for our very active programs in medicine, general surgery, transplantation, neurosurgery, craniofacial reconstruction, orthopedics, otolaryngology and trauma. The MSICU also houses the first hospital-based Simulation Suite in a Boston Teaching Hospital enhancing the training of critical care physicians and nurses in crisis management. In addition, the unit serves as one of the most experienced and largest extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) programs in the United States with over 1,500 children treated.

The Division of Critical Care Medicine at Boston Children's Hospital welcomes physicians from all nations to apply to observe in the Medical/Surgical Intensive Care Unit (MSICU) for a month-long rotation. In the past ten years, we have had physicians from twenty-one countries observe in our Division and we hope to expand the breadth of observers even further in the upcoming years.


What to expect as an Observer in the MSICU


As an international observer in our MSICU you will join morning conferences (a combination of simulation activities, hands-on experiences, and didactic lectures), participate in daily morning rounds, attend monthly conferences, have access to the hospital’s medical library, and utilize the web-based educational resource, OPENPediatrics.

Your typical day will be as follows:

7:30 AM

 Daily Morning Conferences

8:15 AM – 8:30AM

Unit Bed-control Rounds

8:30 AM – 10:30AM / 11AM

Medical Rounds

12 PM – 2pm

Daily/Weekly/Monthly Conferences

2pm- end of day

 Ad hoc teaching, independent learning time

As guests of Boston Children’s Hospital, observers are not allowed to have any physical contact with patients. While an observer may be present during case discussions, s/he may not directly participate in case advisement and under no circumstances, should discuss any patient seen or encountered (this includes verbal, written and electronic communication).

See here for more information: Observer Expectations

Additionally, no letters of recommendation or evaluations by MSICU fellows or attendings will be provided as a result of this observership.


Application Process


Pre-Observation Requirements:

To be eligible to apply for our International Observership Program please see below:

  • We give preference to those who are already working or training in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine
  • You must currently be enrolled in (or have completed) a training program such as a residency or fellowship program.
  • Due to the high volume of applications, we are unable to offer positions to those applicants who are not yet enrolled in a residency program


How to Apply

Application Requirements

We will begin to review your application upon completion of all of the documents listed below. Please send the following documents and information below via email

1. Specify your dates of interest and length of stay (one month duration)

2. The name and address of your home institution (hospital, university, clinic)

3. The following documents:

  • Your current CV

  • A personal statement outlining your future plans and how an observership at Boston Children’s Hospital could contribute to those plans. In addition please explain your visa status for the rotation and how you anticipate how you will support yourself during your stay in Boston

  • One letter of support from your current or most recent Chief or Supervisor

  • Request to have your medical school transcript and diploma sent directly to our program from the medical school which you attended

Application Policies

  • All application materials must be submitted at least six months in advance of requested start date. It is recommended that physicians submit materials as far in advance as possible.

  • Decisions for inclusion of the program will be performed only after ALL required documents have been submitted, and are on a first-come, first-serve basis.

  • Please understand that we typically are only able to accommodate two observers at a time due to the busy environment of our unit.

  • We apologize if the dates you are looking to observe are not available

  • You will be required to confirm your position as an observer within two weeks of being offered the position. If you fail to respond within the two weeks, your position will be given to the next observer. It is your responsibility to ensure that we have your most current email address on file.

Further Information

  • All applicants must submit their immunization records to Occupational Health in order to be cleared prior to his/her start in the Medical/Surgical Intensive Care Unit.

  • All applicants must bring a valid form of photo ID to in order to receive an ID badge for the hospital. Once issued, the hospital ID badge must be worn at all times while in the hospital.

  • All observers must sign off acknowledging his/her understanding of the policies of the Division of Critical Care Medicine prior to his/her start in the unit.

  • It is recommended that all international observers arrive at least one week prior to starting the observation period in the MSICU. This will ensure ample time to receive clearance from Occupational Health, obtain an ID badge, and complete all other required paperwork and orientation.


For More Information Please Contact:

Amanda Dipersia
Sr. Administrative Associate
Division of Critical Care Medicine


The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944