About the Observer Program

The Observer Program was created to foster the exchange of ideas and establish collaborations between institutions. It is geared for medical professionals to observe within our practices to build collaborative relationships between physicians and institutions. The observer experience is defined in the strictest sense; watching and listening only with no patient contact; clinical or research activity. We do not offer job shadowing experiences or career placement; nor do we accept residents into the program for elective credit.

The observer program is a very limited experience. If an applicant wishes to participate in hands-on activity, he or she should explore other educational opportunities. Be aware that individual departments determine when observer appointments are available. Not all departments accept observers and most have limitations as to how many observers can be accepted and how long they observe. Please review the Terms of Appointment (pdf) handout and the eligibility criteria to clarify the expectations of observers in this program and determine if you are qualified before contacting a department to apply.

Application Process for Observers

  1. Read the Terms of Appointment (pdf).
  2. Review the Eligibility Criteria.
  3. Contact the department(s) of choice at MD Anderson Cancer Center to determine availability of observer positions.
  4. Once accepted, the department will create an account to start the application process through DISCOVER. Discover is a web-based application system to streamline the selection and appointment process for observers.
  5. Upon receiving your Discover account, complete the application and submit all required documentation. 
  6. International applicants should allow 60-90 days for processing upon completion of application and documentation submission. (We will not sponsor visas.)
  7. Travel arrangements should not be made until an appointment letter is received from Trainee and Alumni Affairs.

NOTE:  Applicants from sister institutions should contact the Department of Global Academic Programs before completing any paperwork.