The Office for Visitor Education Programs (VEP) coordinates observerships based on the needs and interests of each prospective observer and the availability of professional staff at Mass General. The observership program is designed for currently practicing clinicians and is not suitable for students or individuals seeking residency opportunities at the hospital.

Observerships are informal educational initiatives for health care professionals who wish to observe specific areas of clinical care at Mass General. Sample observership programs have ranged from 4-hour observerships within one department to month-long, interdisciplinary observerships that include many departments and faculty at Mass General.

Please be advised that in an observership, visitors will not physically engage with any patients or advise on any cases; visitors will strictly be observing / shadowing our professional staff. Participation in our observership program does not have any bearing on any pending or future internship / fellowship applications. The MGH observership program is not affiliated with any Harvard Medical School program(s). Mass General does not award medical education credits for observerships; upon successful completion of an observership program, visitors will receive a certificate of attendance (issued by the MGH Office for Visitor Education Programs).

Observer Expectations

Observership Sponsors

Observership Program Requirements

 Applicants to the VEP observership program must:

    • Be at least 18 years old at the time of application
    • Be proficient in English (listening, speaking, reading and writing)
    • Successfully pass a criminal background investigation. Foreign nationals of countries or territories that do not allow for criminal background investigations to be conducted by US companies are ineligible to participate in the VEP observership program
    • Receive satisfactory employment references / verifications
    • Provide documentation of current immunizations:
    • MMR
    • Hepatitis B
    • TB status (if there is a history of a positive PPD test,  applicant must provide a chest X-ray report within the past year)
    • Current influenza vaccination
    • In compliance with both State & Federal mandates, the Massachusetts General Hospital requires all non-employee visitors to purchase and maintain health insurance for the period of time that they are engaged in MGH-sponsored activities and/or programs. Proof of coverage will be required 10-days in advance of the non-employee’s arrival to the MGH.

Health Insurance Requirements

Application Process

To apply for an MGH Observership, please click the "apply now" button below. In addition to completing the online application, you will be required to upload the following documents:

  1. Current C.V.
  2. Statement of Purpose (1-page or less) outlining specific learning objectives to be achieved while observing
  3. 2 letters of recommendation from (and signed by) director-level supervisors on company / institution letterhead

A $200 non-refundable application fee will be due upon submitting all applications. The application fee will be deducted from the total amount due.

* Please note that application fees will not be refunded for applications that are deemed incomplete or unqualified (based on programs requirements) or otherwise unapproved by the Massachusetts General Hospital.

The MGH Office for Visitor Education Programs requires a minimum of 6-weeks (from receipt) to process observership applications.

Fees (exclusive of travel and accommodations)

1-week (5 working days)


2-weeks (10 working days)


3-weeks (15 working days)


1-month (20 working days)


2-months (40 working days)


3-months (60 working days)


All fees must be paid in US funds 10 days prior to the observership start date. We accept cash, checks (drawn from US banks), Visa, MasterCard and American Express. We can arrange for wire transfers upon request (subject to additional banking fees).

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