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International Health Education

The Boston Children’s International Health Education program offers clinicians around the world the opportunity to learn about the latest developments in health care with in-person, virtual, and hybrid learning programs customized to meet the unique needs of international audiences. Observership programs require English language proficiency; simultaneous translation may be available for some of our group courses and programs.

Observership program

The observership program at Boston Children’s Hospital provides knowledge of best practices to improve pediatric care worldwide and promotes a collaborative environment for exchange of ideas. Observerships are informal learning experiences and do not constitute formal training or patient contact. They are offered to health care providers across a number of departments and can range from 1 to 12 weeks, although most programs limit the duration to 4 weeks.

As part of the curriculum, observers may shadow clinical activities and procedures and attend daily rounds, lectures, seminars, and other interdisciplinary conferences occurring in the hospital.

Currently available programs:

  • Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine
  • Allergy and Immunology
  • Cardiology
  • Cardiovascular Surgery
  • Critical Care Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Developmental Medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology
  • General Surgery
  • Genetics and Genomics
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Nephrology
  • Neurology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Newborn Medicine
  • Nutrition (for dietitians)
  • Ophthalmology
  • Otolaryngology
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Psychiatry
  • Pulmonary
  • Rheumatology
  • Simulator Program
  • Urology
  • and more


Participants of the observership program are generally:

  • practicing clinicians with a specific pediatric subspecialty background of interest
  • current trainees (i.e. residents or fellows with a demonstrated interest in a specific pediatric subspecialty

Our observership programs are not intended for medical students. We encourage medical students to apply to the Harvard Medical School Clerkship Program.

How to apply

After applying:

  • Your application will be reviewed by both the International Health Education program and your desired clinical department.
  • Our International Health Education team will reach out to you once the review of your application has been completed. This generally takes four to six weeks.

If your observership is approved, you will:

  • receive a letter of acceptance with instructions on onboarding requirements
  • need to obtain a visa (B1/B2 or ESTA). Boston Children’s does not sponsor visas
  • be responsible for your travel and housing arrangements
Boston Children's CEO Kevin Churchwell speaks from behind a podium.

The week prior to your start date, you will receive instructions via email on obtaining your Boston Children's ID badge and where to report to on your first day. You will not be able to obtain your ID prior to your start date. You will receive more details on your schedule on your first day.

After the program, observers will receive a certificate of participation and will be eligible to join the alumni network.

Questions? Contact the Observership Office at

Educational programs: customized seminars and courses (in-person and virtual)

Boston Children's offers customized educational programs through seminars and courses, which can be delivered both in-person or virtually, based on the specific needs of organizations. These programs are typically requested by hospitals or organizations, rather than individuals, and are tailored to specific disciplines and desired levels of experience. The curriculum is designed to incorporate knowledge of clinical, educational, and management practices, featuring lectures and discussions by Boston Children's physicians, nurses, and administrative clinical leaders. The programs aim to provide valuable insights and knowledge in subspecialty clinical areas, by sharing the latest updates, best practices, and evidence-based clinical guidelines. Additionally, Boston Children's invites teams of pediatric healthcare leaders to visit their institution and learn about their management and operations, including the behind-the-scenes infrastructure required to run a high-quality pediatric institution. This allows teams to gain a comprehensive understanding of Boston Children's approach to governance, safety and quality, education and training, and more. To request a customized program, please contact the Program Director of International Health Education, Cynthia Garibaldi, at

Upcoming open enrollment programs

Please check back for program announcements.

Adrian Cheng New World Scholarship Program (only for physicians from China)

Through the generous support of the New World Group Charity Foundation, physicians from China are selected to receive a scholarship to spend up to 12 weeks in the Observation Program at Boston Children's. Candidates for the program demonstrate:

  • a strong commitment to improving pediatric health care in China
  • a strong interest in learning best practices in pediatric medicine and healthcare leadership
  • a vision of how they would take the knowledge gained at Boston Children's back to China

The Scholarship Program is supported by Mr. Adrian Cheng, Executive Vice President and General Manager of New World Development Company Ltd. Between 2017-20, there have been 16 recipients of the scholarship award, including 16 subspecialty doctors from Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, who received scholarships and successfully completed the program. The awardees have transferred skills acquired at Boston Children's to their hospital in China, thus impacting pediatric healthcare in China. This page will be updated if more scholarships become available in the future. For additional information please email our office at

Refer a patient

Boston Children’s Hospital is dedicated to making the referral process as easy and seamless as possible. Our physicians see over 2,000 international patients from approximately 160 countries each year. We have the processes and staff in place to support international physicians and families as they seek care with us.

Refer a patient


OPENPediatrics is a web-based digital learning platform designed by experienced doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital for physicians and nurses who care for critically ill children in healthcare settings of all kinds around the world.

Register to get started

Simulator Program (SIMPeds)

For 15 years, the Simulation Program at Boston Children's Hospital has honed the concept of scenario-based simulation training in medicine. Through a recently launched initiative called SIM Network, the program is now offering more than 50 courses at nine community hospitals across eastern Massachusetts.

Visit SIMPeds