FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

Program Questions

How can international students, residents, fellows and observers apply to medical programs at The GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS)?

Please review all of our Programs to find the program that suits your needs. Program eligibility requirements and admission processes are listed within each program.

Should I reach out to the physician I want to work with directly as a mentor in one of your programs?

No. Please do not contact physicians directly if you want to work with them. All requests to participate in our programs must go through the IMP office, and you can email us at impinfo@gwu.edu with any additional questions.

Is there funding or scholarships available to international participants in any of the IMP programs? 

We do not offer funding or scholarships for our programs. For most of our programs we require sponsorship by an home country government entity, hospital, or medical institution to confirm our participants return to their home countries.

What availability do you have for certain specialties in the program I'm interested in?

We cannot tell you for sure what availability we have for specific programs until you have applied. For more specific information about a program you're interested in that is not on our website, please contact us directly at impinfo@gwu.edu

Can international medical students transfer to the MD Program for International Students?
No, the MD Program for International Students does not accept transfer students into its program. The School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) only accepts U.S. citizens as transfer students. Learn more about SMHS Admissions.

Can I or my parents fund the MD Program for International Students?
No, we do not accept personal funding. You must be funded by your home government, hospital, or medical institution.

Do I need to take the MCAT prior to applying to the MD Program for International Students?
Yes, you need to submit an MCAT score in order to apply for the MD Program. All eligibility requirements and admissions processes are listed on the MD Program Admissions page.

Are clinical electives available to international medical students?
The clinical rotation schedule at SMHS is designed to accommodate the school's annual class size of approximately 180 students. However, we do offer formal, reciprocal medical student exchange programs for SMHS affiliated medical institutions. Students at a participating institution may apply for clinical electives under the terms of this type of agreement. Please refer to the Clinical Elective Program to learn about the program requirements and application process.

How can SMHS students participate in a clinical rotation abroad?
First and second-year medical students interested in pursuing summer volunteer activities or research projects abroad may contact the Office of International Medicine Programs (IMP) to learn about on-going and available projects. Third and fourth-year medical students should refer to our International Clinical Rotations to learn more.

Is SMHS involved in international medical missions?
Yes, SMHS physicians, residents, and medical students participate in medical missions for Operation Smile and Project Medishare. Learn more about these opportunities at Medical or Surgical Missions. While IMP itself is not a medical missions-oriented office, this service is integral to the goals of our programs and provides valuable opportunities for the SMHS community. We are happy to explore providing education, training, and research project components to organizations seeking to plan a medical mission involving SMHS faculty, staff, or medical students. In addition, SMHS serves as an educational arm to humanitarian organizations.

How do SMHS medical students find information about summer volunteer activities?
First, second, and third-year medical students who are interested in pursuing summer volunteer activities or research projects abroad may contact the International Federation of Medical Students' Associations (IFMSA). IFMSA is a student-run umbrella group of approximately 70 member countries, dedicated to providing exchange opportunities for medical students around the world.

What types of international health care professionals can receive training at SMHS?
We provide training to international physicians. Additionally, training via short-term workshops, customized courses, or observational experiences are possible for nurses, in cooperation with the George Washington University Hospital and the School of Nursing.

Partnering with IMP Questions

As an international physician or health care professional, how can I obtain information about medical training programs that might be available through SMHS?
Short term medical training for individual health care professionals can be done through the Observership Program. If you have a group of physicians, we can cater to their training needs in the form of seminar, special training, etc. Training can be done in their home medical institution or at GW. Please contact IMP with specific questions by emailing impinfo@gwu.edu.

How can international physicians visiting the U.S. arrange study tours of SMHS?
Study tours are available for groups of visiting physicians working with U.S. government agencies, nonprofit organizations, non-governmental organizations, or embassies. We can accommodate groups for a maximum of two hours to allow visitors to meet with faculty and staff on the group's subjects of interest and briefly tour selected SMHS facilities. There is no charge for two hour study tours, and we require a minimum of two weeks' advance notice. Longer or more complex tours require one month notice and must be paid for by the hour to cover coordination expenses and faculty time. Please note that tours of patient care facilities are subject to the policies applied by the George Washington University Hospital and the GW Medical Faculty Associates regarding tours by outside visitors; not all requested facilities may be available. We welcome inquiries in writing to impinfo@gwu.edu.

How can health care facilities abroad collaborate with SMHS?
We welcome inquiries in writing to impinfo@gwu.edu. Please describe the type and scope of collaboration envisioned and provide background information about your institution. Sufficient resources and a track record of adherence to the highest standard of patient care, research, and/or education are prerequisites. We will then mutually decide upon next steps if we determine that SMHS can be of assistance.

General Questions

How do I get an Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) Certificate?
Contact ECFMG at (215) 386-5900, or visit their website at www.ecfmg.org.

How can I learn more about SMHS's international activities?
Download our Activities Database which lists international projects led by 10 SMHS centers, institutes, and departments around the world. You will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader to access the database.

Do SMHS physicians provide clinical care abroad?
Physician faculty members have provided clinical care abroad in the past either to individual patients or as part of a larger collaborative project. Availability is subject to physicians' ability to travel. For clinical care involving international patients abroad, IMP can facilitate by directing requests to the appropriate contact at the GW Medical Faculty Associates.

How can international patients receive medical care at SMHS?
For information on medical care for international patients, please refer to the International Patient Program.