How is this different than a normal shadowing experience or study abroad program?

Doctors In Italy Fellowship Program allows you to experience a different healthcare system than you can in the US. You will see health care professionals at work in an international setting, an exceptional opportunity to develop your personal skills and cultural competence.

Additionally, this Program allows you to shadow doctors every day, accelerating your understanding and experience of health care and medicine in the real-world setting of a busy clinical practice.

Finally, while shadowing the professionals involved in the Program, you will have an opportunity to live in an ancient but vibrant cultural capital.

What are your credentials as an organisation?

Doctors in Italy is an association of English-speaking doctors working across Italy to promote access to medical assistance without language barriers. This physician-led program is offered in partnership with John Cabot University, an American institution with a campus in Rome, and some of the best University Hospitals in Italy.

Our flagship outpatient clinic in Rome, founded in 1986, is a trusted IAMAT clinic. There, we provide medical assistance to local embassies, United Nations Agencies and global institutions.

We are also proud partners and members of The Forum On Education Abroad, John Cabot University, Tennessee Tech, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario Agostino Gemelli, Campus Bio-Medico University Hospital and the British Council.

How much does the Doctors In Italy Fellowship Program cost?

We apply different fees for courses of different lengths. The two-week Fellowship costs €2,750 ($3,050). The three-week Fellowship costs €3,970. The five-week credit-bearing Fellowship costs €5,940 ($6,660). A deposit of €300 is required to secure your place in the Program.

Where does my money go?

Tuition fees are used to cover the cost of your housing, cultural excursions, health insurance, on-site staffing and the costs of administering the Program.

How can I apply and what happens afterwards?

You can easily apply to the Program through the dedicated page on our website.

After you apply, you have a decision within two weeks. If you do not receive a response via email in that time, there may have been an error with your submission, in which case please get in touch directly.

We will let you know whether your application has been successful. If you have, you will be invited to enrol. Enrolment requires a deposit of €300 ($340). This payment secures your spot on the Program. Full payment is due before departure.

This is clearly explained in a step by step process.

What is the accommodation like?

You will either be living in shared apartments with two rooms (usually double rooms). For students on the five-week program, you will be on campus in a shared dorm room. Single rooms are also available upon request.

Can I arrive earlier/leave later than the program dates?

Yes. If you need to arrive earlier than the day before the program starts or wish to leave later, speak with one of our coordinators to verify that your accommodation is available. If not, we’ll help you find a suitable accommodation solution.

What will a typical day shadowing a doctor in Italy be like?

A typical day starts at 9:00 a.m. in our university hospital outpatient clinic in Rome. There, you will shadow doctors in a medical or surgical specialism for five to six hours. Throughout the morning you will follow and observe a doctor doing rounds, prepping for surgery and working in the operating room, discussing cases with colleagues or in the research lab – wherever their daily schedule takes them, you will accompany them.

In the afternoon you have a break to relax before two hours of classes at John Cabot University. These classes will help you discover Rome’s history, culture and beauty.

If you are not taking the program for credit, you’ll have plenty of spare time after your shadowing experience to explore the city on your own or with your new friends.

Following an afternoon of urban exploration, you will head out for dinner in one of the many amazing restaurants in the area.

Is the program Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) compliant?

The program is fully compliant with the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) guidelines. Rules on shadowing in Italy are very similar to those in the US. As such, you will be in the middle of the action – right next to the doctor you are shadowing – as an observer. However, you are not going to practice medicine during your Fellowship.

What are the hours of the shadowing?

Four days a week you will spend five to six hours shadowing English-speaking physicians in hospitals and clinics in Rome each day. This means more than 20 hours of shadowing a week.

What areas of healthcare will I be able to observe in the hospital?

At the clinics and University Hospitals associated with the Program, you will have the option to shadow a number of areas of healthcare, including but not limited to:

  • Orthopaedics
  • Cardiology
  • Abdominal surgery
  • Hepatology
  • Dermatology
  • Obstetrics and gynaecology
  • Ear, nose and throat
  • Oncology
  • Paediatrics

If you have an interest in a particular area of medicine, inform your on-site coordinator ahead of arrival and we will endeavour to accommodate your request.

What fields of study do Fellows come from?

Students who take part in the Doctors In Italy Fellowship Program come from different undergraduate majors, including but not limited to:

    • Biology
    • Biochemistry
    • Microbiology
    • Health Science
    • Pre-medicine
    • Neuroscience
    • Neurobiology and Physiology
    • Chemical Engineering
    • Anthropology
    • Classics

Can I receive course credit for my shadowing?

Yes. The five-week program awards you three semester credit hours. You will receive the transcript directly from John Cabot University.

For the two-week and three-week program, you can receive a transcript for the shadowing hours and, if your advisor accepts it, you may negotiate credit for it directly from your college. However, this is not guaranteed by the Doctors In Italy Fellowship Program.

What does your partnership with John Cabot University in Rome mean?

Our partnership with John Cabot University allows us to combine an outstanding professional shadowing experience with an immersion course in the humanities paired with a taste of life in Italy’s capital city. The partnership also allows us to offer Fellows on the five-week course academic credit toward their current degree course.

What are fellows permitted to do while shadowing in the hospital?

The Doctors In Italy Fellowship Program allows participants to actively shadow English-speaking physicians. The program exists to provide learning through observation, putting them close to the action but not actually practising medicine or treating patients. While shadowing in the hospital, you will be encouraged to study through observation, take notes and ask questions.

You will never be alone with a patient and you’ll always be supervised by a qualified physician. The doctors will guide you and tell you what you can do to make this an active and engaging learning experience.

What should I wear in the hospital?

We advise you to choose an outfit that makes you look responsible and reliable. Pants, a shirt and closed (not open-toed) shoes are recommended.

Will the doctors speak English?

Yes. All the doctors who are part of the Doctors in Italy association speak fluent English and have been certified fluent by the British Council.

What happens if I get sick while abroad?

If you get sick while in Italy, you’ll have access to same-day assistance with highly qualified English-speaking doctors. The program includes an insurance plan with full coverage so you won’t need to worry about payment.

What will I be able to do during free time?

There are countless things to see and do in and around Rome, presenting you with a huge array of ways to enjoy your free time.

The program’s accommodation is very central, so you will have access to everything the heart of Rome offers, from culture and history to restaurants and shops.

Weekends are also free, allowing you to plan trips outside of Rome with the friends and colleagues you meet on the Program. Popular day trips include Florence, Naples, Siena, Amalfi, Ostia Antica, Orvieto and the beaches around Rome.

Will there be other Americans/fellows there for me to speak to?

Yes. There will be other American students and English-speaking professionals to speak to, as most students come from American colleges.

Do I have to buy my own flights? How much will flights cost?

Yes. Flights are not included in the price of the Program and you will have to purchase your own tickets to Rome. We always advise booking flights as far in advance as possible to ensure the best price.

Do you offer any aid or scholarships?

Yes. We are happy to support high achievers who benefit from a scholarship or financial aid through their school. We also offer support in defining a payment plan that fits the applicant’s needs. Check our Shadowing Scholarship page. 

Can I read some reviews of the Fellowship Program?

Yes, of course! You can read the reviews of the Doctors In Italy Fellowship Program from alumni on our website. There are also videos on our Facebook page.

Some of our alumni have agreed to answer questions for prospective Fellows. If you wish to get in touch with these students, please let us know and we’ll connect you.

Which American colleges have your fellows come from?

Our fellows come from a number of different American institutions, including:

  • Cornell University
  • University of Maryland
  • Gettysburg College
  • Knox College
  • Ithaca College
  • Tennessee Tech
  • Southeastern University
  • St.Mary’s College

My parents are unsure if this is the right opportunity for me. Do you have anything I could share with them?

We understand that parents want the best for their children and opportunities that represent good value. That’s why we’ve created an information pack dedicated to helping parents understand what we do, what you will get from the Doctors In Italy Fellowship Program and how this experience can benefit your professional prospects.

Get in touch to request an information pack or, if your parents have specific questions, we are happy to address them directly. Email us at shadow AT doctorsinitaly.com.

How does the program help med-school applicants?

Medical school admissions panels are interested in more than your GPA. They want to see your passion for your chosen subject and how you have demonstrated your commitment – particularly in comparison to other candidates. Shadowing programs like Doctors In Italy Fellowship Program is the ideal way to do this. Gaining first-hand, real-world experience will also give you the edge at your admissions interview, allowing you to talk knowledgeably and specifically about your professional ambitions.

Undertaking international initiatives also demonstrates that you are comfortable with personal challenges and unafraid of stepping out of your comfort zone.

For students who are undecided about their career plans, the Doctors In Italy Fellowship Program is the perfect way to investigate your interest in different areas of medicine. We often see Fellows start the Program with an idea of which medical field they want to pursue and come out with a completely different aim, having discovered other areas of medicine they feel more drawn to.

Again, this is the kind of experience that arms you with compelling testimony as to your motivations for an active commitment to a career in health care or medicine.