Frequently Asked Questions
Why choose TMEC?
TMEC provides students and medical graduates with quality clinical training to better prepare them for their USMLE examinations, residency applications and residency training. Our board-certified preceptors offer in-depth knowledge, experience and training to allow the growth of future physicians.
What differentiates TMEC from other placement providers?
TMEC goes above and beyond providing clinical experiences to students, we pride ourselves on providing a student-centered approach. TMEC provides a diverse and intellectually stimulating environment as we understand the struggles and difficulties most students face when beginning their clinical experience. Our staff work around the clock to assist students in all aspects from guiding through the application process, assisting in choosing a customized experience that is right for each individual student to guidance on how to gain the right experience to better their chances of matching into a residency position.
What is clinical experience? Why is it necessary?
Clinical experience allows students to apply knowledge from the classroom to real-life medical cases. During these placements, students work closely with physicians and residents at teaching sites and are able to gain valuable hands-on patient care experience. Clinical placements are an important asset in assisting students in determining what residency specialty is right for them. By working closely with physicians students are able to gain valuable exposure in their desired specialty which can improve an applicant’s candidacy for residency.
Who is eligible to under go clinical placements?
A current medical student or a graduate from a World Directory of Medical Schools recognized university. If required, please be sure to check with your medical school if they will give credit for the placement.
What is the difference between an Observership & Clinical Experience? Which one will I get?
Observerships are known as “shadowing”, where medical students are allowed to follow or shadow preceptors with their everyday schedule regardless of the setting (ex: clinic, hospital, urgent care, ambulatory care, etc). An observership is a clinical experience that does not involve direct patient care.
Externships are hands-on clinical experiences which are not provided by the medical school in comparison to clerkships/electives, these are provided upon graduating for further clinical exposure. Students can gain much from these placements including attaining letters of recommendation, participate in clinical research, and enhancement of clinical diagnostic skills. Students are directly involved in patient care during these placements.
Do I need to have my USMLE Step exams completed to undergo clinical placements?
TMEC does not require completion of any USMLE Step exams to undergo clinical placements. However, if you are a current medical student the USMLE Step exam requirements need to be addressed with your medical school prior to commencing clinical placements with TMEC.
Do you offer research electives?
Yes, TMEC provides opportunities for prospective students to complete research electives or partake in ongoing research studies at world-renowned institutions in the United States and Canada.
How do I select a clinical placement that is best for me?
When selecting clinical placements students should consider the type of placement they are looking for; shorter days or longer hours? inpatient, outpatient or a mix of both? Early start times or evening/night shifts? Are students looking to gain further exposure and experience in the specialty they are applying for? Each clinical placement is customized to each individual student. TMEC allows students the flexibility to choose a rotation that best fits their needs.
Will my clinical placement be in a hospital or an office?
Placement scheduling is based on the discretion of the supervising preceptor, however, it primarily depends on the desired specialty and the preceptor’s schedule at the various sites they may practice at.
When can I start my placement?
We typically request a 4-weeks advance notice of your start date, but upon submission of the application, required documents, and fees; we can have the student start the following week if a US visa is not required.
What are the qualification of the supervising preceptors?
TMEC prides itself in working exclusively with well-renown attending physicians who provide hands-on experience for medical students and medical graduates. All of our preceptors are affiliated with U.S. & Canadian medical schools, teaching hospitals, and residency programs.
I do not have a US visa, do I need one?
All non-US residents will require a US visa in order to do clinical placements in US sites. TMEC will assist students in getting visas to undergo clinical training in the US.
How do I know if my placement has been confirmed?
Upon submission of the application and the required documents, students will be connected with our scheduling department who will discuss and customize a schedule to fit each student’s desired experience. Once the preceptor confirms a student’s request, a formal schedule and starting details will be e-mailed to the student.
When do I need to apply for my clinical experience?
We require at least 4 weeks minimum notice prior to the desired start date. We recommend students to apply as early as possible to ensure they are placed in their desired site and specialty. This leaves room for submission of all documents and completion of the application in a timely manner.
What do I need to bring with me to my placement?
Students must dress in professional attire for each placement. If scrubs are required they will be provided by the site. Students must wear their white coats, have a stethoscope, pen, pen light and a pocket handbook as a quick resource is recommended.
What will I receive once the placement is over?
Our preceptors are committed to the further advancement of our students and will provide letters of recommendation and an end of placement evaluation upon completion of the placement. TMEC will provide a placement completion certificate once all the placements through TMEC have ended. All of these documents can be submitted to ERAS & CaRMS.
Does TMEC provide housing accommodations?
Depending on the city, state or province the student wishes to conduct their clerkships in TMEC has a list of safe and affordable apartment and condominium leasing agencies. TMEC has assisted students in finding apartments at a lesser-cost, suggested roommates for those who request one and helped students’ sub-lease apartments to other students.
Will I receive a letter of recommendation at the end of my clinical experience?
Students can request letters of recommendation at the end of each placement from their supervising preceptor. Whether a preceptor chooses to disclose the letter to the student or directly submit to ERAS or CaRMS is at the discretion of the preceptor.
Will the letter of recommendation I receive state that I worked in a hospital or in an office?
The letter of recommendation attained from your preceptor will include information regarding their faculty and academic affiliations. It will also outline the actual hands-on patient encounters that you had, which will show residency programs that you are a capable and competitive applicant.
What is the cost of a clinical placement?
The cost of each 4-week clinical placement ranges between $1500 and $3000 dollars. The cost varies between select sites and type of placement. TMEC works with the students and is flexible to set up payments plans and have various financial assistance programs in place.
Are there any discounts available?
We offer discounts to students who are looking to complete multiple placements, come in groups or refer a colleague to our services.