Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


1. What am I allowed to do as a clinical observer?

You may participate in all of the educational activities of the Head and Neck Service, such as outpatient clinics, conferences, and rounds. You may also observe procedures in the operating room; however, you will not be involved in any direct patient-care-related activities.

2. When can I come to observe?

We receive a large number of applications throughout the year. In order to avoid crowding and offer a meaningful experience to our observers, we limit the number of observers to no more than five people at a time. You may spend a minimum of one day to a maximum of 12 weeks as an observer.

3. Why is all this paperwork necessary?

The hospital requires this information in order to assure that the most qualified physicians be invited to observe. This benefits our patients, our teaching staff, and other observers. The Chairman of the Department of Surgery, the Physician-in-Chief of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and the Graduate Medical Education office must all review your application materials and approve your visit before an official letter of invitation can be sent.

4. Is there a fee?

Although you may see a fee mentioned on the application, as a professional courtesy the Department of Surgery waives the fee for our observers.

5. Is housing provided?

No. Observers are responsible for arranging their own housing. For short-term stays, you may visit, or for longer stays you can try

6. Will Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center help me obtain a visa?

No. If a visa is required for your visit, we strongly recommend you apply for a tourist visa. Observers are not considered employees of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and we are not permitted to provide assistance to applicants. We will be able to send you an official letter of invitation to observe once your application has been approved.

7. Is a certificate provided?

A letter verifying your activities and time period as an observer will be signed by the Service Chief and given to you on your final day as an observer.