During fourth year, you need 16 weeks of electives. Each rotation must be four weeks.

In order to fulfill the requirements for graduation, 4 weeks of rotation must be a sub-internship in General Medicine, General Pediatrics or General Surgery.

Depending on your goals, electives may be done at MSIH affiliates, other programs in the US, in Israel, or anywhere in the world approved by MSIH staff.

MSIH Affiliate Programs

  1. Columbia (NYC) - includes St Luke's-Roosevelt and Harlem. (No family medicine rotations, and limited internal medicine rotations)
  2. Mount Sinai, Icahn SOM (NYC) - Although their website requests that international students apply 9 months in advance, because of our agreement you can apply in February
  3. Hofstra LIJ (Long Island)
  4. St Mary's Hospital for Children (NYC)
  5. University of Kentucky (Lexington, KY)
  6. University of Florida (Jacksonville, FL) No longer affiliated

Albert Einstein is an affiliate of BGU, but not MSIH. However, if BGU students leave spots left over, there is a chance we can get them. Be in touch with the faculty if you're interested in electives here.

Note that we do not pay tuition or application fees at affiliates.

Recommended Non Affiliate Programs

  1. University of British Columbia, Vancouver
  2. Ventura County Medical Center, California
  3. Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis MN (Especially for Emergency Med)
  4. University of Chicago, Illinois
  5. Memorial Hospital, South Bend Indiana
  6. JPS Hospital, Fort Worth TX
  7. University of Virginia, Charlottesville VA
  8. Our Lady of the Lake Hospital, Baton Rouge LA
  9. University of Wisconsin, Madison WI -Tuition: $5000 application fee: $44

Longer list of Non Affiliate Programs where MSIH students have gone

Elective programs not accepting MSIH unless you have connections or extreme charm

Locations that accept MSIH students… but for a price

  1. Brown University (Rhode Island)- $175 application fee, $4000 tuition. Brown will dismiss international students from their elective if they request a letter of recommendation
  2. Harvard offers a large number of programs at several hospitals, but it costs $115 per month you apply to, and tuition is $4,600.
  3. Tufts Baystate Health location takes international students, but tuition is $5000.
  4. Weill Cornell (NY) - application fee is $300, tuition is $2000
  5. Boston University - tuition is $3000
  6. Thomas Jefferson - $75 to apply, $750 per elective
  7. Yale - Tuition is $3100 per rotation, and you can only apply if you are NOT a US citizen
  8. University of North Carolina - $100 application fee, $2,500 tuition for four weeks
  9. Beth Israel Deaconess - $115 per month application fee, $4600 per elective

Things to keep in mind

  • The rules about where you can apply are extremely fluid because they're based on continuously changing laws and policies that no one completely understands, so adherence/enforcement is variable.
  • It varies widely, but alumni recommend anywhere between 3-12 applications for every one elective you need. Many recommend you consider both affiliates and non-affiliates. How widely you apply depends on factors related to the competitiveness of the specialty, location, applicant and time of year.
  • A Memorandum of Understanding is essentially a legal agreement between MSIH and the school where you want to rotate. Many schools take our students without ever asking for an MoU, and many locations already have MoUs in place. If you apply and the school asks for a new MoU, it usually takes about 3 months to push through but can take up to six months. You can ask admin if one is in already place before you apply but other than than all you can do is apply early so there's time to set one up if they ask.
  • For non-affiliate schools, the Request for Extramural Elective is a document poorly understood by pretty much everyone. It seems that its intended purpose is to establish malpractice coverage and show proof of malpractice coverage to the school where you're applying. It should be submitted to the NY office. If the application asks for your proof of malpractice insurance when you apply, submit the form when you apply. If it asks for your insurance info only once you are accepted, then wait until then. In addition to proof of malpractice, the NY office will also send a letter of good standing, the MSIH evaluation tool (ie grading sheet), and some paperwork for the elective to fill out if they accept you.

Special Circumstances

  • Deadlines are generally earlier for non-US citizens (See US clerkship visa info for non-US citizens)
  • Emergency Medicine has unique rules from other specialties. Find a mentor that has been through the process!
  • New York:
    • If you plan to do residency in New York, you may be required to do one elective outside of NY (the law is unclear, but better to cover your bases).
    • Once accepted for a rotation in NY, you will need to apply for an NY Letter of Eligibility, which allows you to do up to 12 weeks of NY electives.
    • Note that non-affiliates in NY can be finicky about accepting the malpractice insurance from Columbia. Affiliates in NY and non-affiliates outside of NY generally have no problem.
  • California: If you plan to do residency in California, you need to make use of the advice from upperclassmen that went there because the laws are very complicated. California programs often have problems with our 3rd year clerkships for ob/gyn and surgery being too short, so you may consider using some of your elective time to gain weeks in these specialties.
  • Florida Form CIE 701/702 is required by the FL branch of Mayo, as well as Orlando, and likely others. While our elective coordinator will cheerfully supply this form, it requires 14 zany attachments ranging from a step 2 score report to evidence that the school you're applying to has an adequate library.
  • Canada: Students are allowed to do up to 12 weeks of electives in Canada.

Suggested timeline

  • Fall semester
    • Save the PDF of your step score immediately when you get it at the start of the semester
    • Make sure your vaccine and titer set is adequately completed. Remember that some vaccines schedules take time if your titers turn out to be negative, so start early. Dig up the medical forms required by the schools you're interested in to get an basic idea of what you'll need.
    • Research the programs you want to apply to. Find out if they will take international students, if they offer the elective you want, and if there are any tuition costs or stipulations associated. This part is the most time consuming. None of this information is set in stone for the upcoming year's elective cycle but its good to have a working list of catalog/application release dates to pay attention to.
    • Obtain at least two letters of recommendation from your clerkship rotations in case you need them for elective applications
    • Things that can be completed in the fall include making your CV, getting passport photos made, photocopying your passport, ACLS card, and health insurance information.
  • Spring semester
    • Get the vaccines/titers that needed to be done within a year of the elective. (Ie, get a TB test for the year, and for Columbia get your Hepatitis C titer taken)
    • Do online training for HIPPA/OSHA/Infection control
    • Get your background check done if you need one
    • One by one, schools will start to release their real calendars and application forms. Follow the instructions released by the NY office for affiliates.
    • Take the application's health and immunization forms to be signed by a doctor
    • Get transcripts from Gaby
    • Fill out extramural elective request forms for non-affiliates
    • Consider photocopying every application before you mail it in case it gets lost or you want to reapply for different dates.

Application components
These vary by application, but here are a few helpful tips:

  • Online training for HIPPA, OSHA, and NY infection control
    • Mymedcerts.com offers NY infection control training ($17.99), HIPPA training ($14.99) and OSHA training ($14.99). Discount offered for groups more than 5 students
    • There's a discount for NY infection control training ($17.99 —> $14.99) through Icahn at this link. Scroll to where it says "Icahn is pleased to offer visiting students…" and during registration and payment enter the code ISMMSJPX324.
    • Full list of NY infection control providers - scroll to the bottom for online services
  • N95 mask fit test is done all over the US, but for some reason is not done in Israel. Information on test kits and printable wallet cards are available on the 3M website
  • Health insurance:
    • Harel Yedidim now offers a First Class policy for travel insurance. It is unknown if the Blue Passport policy is still available. The application requests a letter from the school to get a policy longer than 90 days, but the company has waived the requirement for us. This policy can only be purchased if you already have a Prestige or UMS Policy (University Medical Services)
    • International Student Insurance
  • Malpractice insurance: The insurance arranged by the program is good for the affiliates, and non affiliates outside of NY state. Non-affiliates in NY state may take issue and ask you to get a different insurance policy. Request your insurance information to be sent to a school using the Extramural Elective Request Form.
    • Academic Medical Professionals Insurance Exchange RRG: academicgroup.com. Coverage costs around $150 per month.
  • Background check and drug screening:
    • Hosen offers drug screening for about 110 nis: Beit Hosen HaTahana St. Off Derech Hebron. 052-8808381
    • Qualified First - Easy to use interface to build a custom background check. Can order ID trace, National Criminal Database and FACIS III for $30. Also allows you to organize and send other information such as immunizations and insurance.
    • The US embassy offers blank fingerprint cards, but does not do fingerprinting (needed for federal background checks)
    • University of Kentucky requires a background check. KY court offers them online for $20, no finger prints needed.
    • University of Florida requires a background check. FL law enforcement offers them for $24
    • Certified Background will do fingerprints, background checks and drug screens, but locations are US based
  • Notary Alan Gossels: Rambam 4 (Beit Hillel) Third floor. 200 shekels. Phone: 054 434 4314.
  • BLS/ACLS certification- Supplied by emergency med course in the beginning of 3rd year
  • Transcripts are e-mailed directly to you by Gaby at the beginning of January. The New York office is able to print official transcripts and add them to our application packets.
  • Letters of recommendation
  • In addition to a visa, non US citizens need a photocopy showing that their passport valid will be for at least 6 months.

See also