|AMSA - USA|
|Participating cities (LC's)||
|Currency (how much is a Bigmac?)||United States Dollar = $ = USD|
|Time zone||(UTC-5 to -10)|
|Number of Doctors and beds per 1000 people||3.6|
|Member of IFMSA since||1990|
|Number of incoming students per year||105|
|Our SCOPE Team|| Turner Fishpaw (NEO) &|
Kevin Chorath (NEO Assistant)
|Our official website / Forum / Facebook group||http://www.amsa.org/ifmsa/clinical.cfm|
Our health care system
Unlike other developed countries, health care coverage in the United States is not universal. In 2004, private insurance paid for 36% of personal health expenditures, private out-of-pocket payments covered 15%, and federal, state, and local governments paid for 44%. In 2005, 46.6 million Americans, 15.9% of the population, were uninsured, 5.4 million more than in 2001. The main cause of this rise is the drop in the number of Americans with employer-sponsored health insurance. The subject of uninsured and underinsured Americans—estimates of which vary widely—is a major political issue. In 2006, Massachusetts became the first state to mandate universal health insurance.
The United States life expectancy of 77.8 years at birth is a year shorter than the overall figure in Western Europe, and three to four years lower than that of Norway, Switzerland, and Canada. Over the past two decades, the country's rank in life expectancy has dropped from 11th to 42nd in the world. The infant mortality rate of 6.37 per thousand likewise places the United States 42nd out of 221 countries, behind all of Western Europe. U.S. cancer survival rates are the highest in the world. Approximately one-third of the adult population is obese and an additional third is overweight; the obesity rate, the highest in the industrialized world, has more than doubled in the last quarter-century. Obesity-related type 2 diabetes is considered epidemic by health care professionals. The U.S. adolescent pregnancy rate, 79.8 per 1,000 women, is nearly four times that of France and five times that of Germany. Abortion, legal on demand, is highly controversial. Many states ban public funding of the procedure and restrict late-term abortions, require parental notification for minors, and mandate a waiting period. While the abortion rate is falling, the abortion ratio of 241 per 1,000 live births and abortion rate of 15 per 1,000 women aged 15–44 remain higher than those of most Western nations. The Texas Medical Center in Houston, the world's largest medical center
The U.S. health care system far outspends any other nation's, measured in both per capita spending and percentage of GDP. The World Health Organization ranked the U.S. health care system in 2000 as first in responsiveness, but 37th in overall performance. The United States is a leader in medical innovation. In 2004, the nonindustrial sector spent three times as much as Europe per capita on biomedical research.
See below for local chapters
Our medical education
Admission into medical school requires completion of a previous degree, which includes at least 2-3 years of "pre-med" courses at the university level because in the US medical degrees are classified as Second entry degrees. Once enrolled in a medical school, the course of study is divided into two roughly equal components: pre-clinical (consisting of didactic courses in the basic sciences) and clinical (clerkships consisting of rotations through different wards of a teaching hospital). The degree granted at the conclusion of the four years of study is Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.), depending on the medical school; both degrees allow the holder to practice medicine after completing an accredited residency program.
During the last year of undergraduate medical education, students apply for postgraduate residencies in their chosen field of specialization. These vary in competitiveness depending upon the desirability of the specialty, prestige of the program, and the number of applicants relative to the number of available positions. All but a few positions are granted via a national computer match which pairs an applicant's preference with the programs' preference for applicants.
Following, the medical graduate completes a residency (post-graduate medical education). Each of the specialties in medicine has established its own curriculum, which defines the length and content of residency training necessary to practice in that specialty. Programs range from three years after medical school for internal medicine to five years for surgery to six or seven for neurosurgery.
Many highly specialized fields require formal training beyond residency. Examples of these include cardiology, endocrinology, oncology after internal medicine; cardiothoracic surgery, pediatric surgery, surgical oncology after general surgery; reproductive endocrinology/infertility, maternal-fetal medicine, gynecologic oncology after obstetrics/gynecology. There are many others for each field of study. In some specialties such as pathology and radiology, a majority of graduating residents go on to further their training. The training programs for these fields are known as fellowships and their participants are fellows, to denote that they already have completed a residency and are board eligible or board certified in their basic specialty. Fellowships range in length from one to three years and are granted by application to the individual program or sub-specialty organizing board. Fellowships often contain a research component.
The United States population is projected to be 307,081,000, including an estimated 11.2 million undocumented immigrants  and has a very diverse population—thirty-one ancestry groups have more than a million members. White Americans are the largest racial group, with German Americans, Irish Americans, and English Americans constituting three of the country's four largest ancestry groups. African Americans are the nation's largest racial minority and third largest ancestry group. Asian Americans are the country's second largest racial minority; the two largest Asian American ancestry groups are Chinese and Filipino. In 2008, the U.S. population included an estimated 4.9 million people with some American Indian or Alaskan native ancestry (3.1 million exclusively of such ancestry) and 1.1 million with some native Hawaiian or Pacific island ancestry (0.6 million exclusively).
The United States is a multicultural nation, home to a wide variety of ethnic groups, traditions, and values. Aside from the now small Native American and Native Hawaiian populations, nearly all Americans or their ancestors immigrated within the past five centuries. The culture held in common by most Americans—mainstream American culture—is a Western culture largely derived from the traditions of European immigrants with influences from many other sources, such as traditions brought by slaves from Africa. More recent immigration from Asia and especially Latin America has added to a cultural mix that has been described as both a homogenizing melting pot and a heterogeneous salad bowl in which immigrants and their descendants retain distinctive cultural characteristics.
According to Geert Hofstede's cultural dimensions analysis, the United States has the highest individualism score of any country studied. While the mainstream culture holds that the United States is a classless society, scholars identify significant differences between the country's social classes, affecting socialization, language, and values. The American middle and professional class has initiated many contemporary social trends such as modern feminism, environmentalism, and multiculturalism. Americans' self-images, social viewpoints, and cultural expectations are associated with their occupations to an unusually close degree. While Americans tend greatly to value socioeconomic achievement, being ordinary or average is generally seen as a positive attribute. Though the American Dream, or the perception that Americans enjoy high social mobility, plays a key role in attracting immigrants, some analysts find that the United States has less social mobility than Western Europe and Canada.
American cultural icons: apple pie, baseball, and the American flag
Accommodation & Boarding
You may be housed in a student's apartment, host family, or dormitory (depends on site). Unilateral exchanges are very difficult to arrange in the United States. Unilaterals can be arranged by special arrangement, for a limited number of exchanges. Contact YOUR countries' NEO for details. Applications from individual students will NOT be accepted, ONLY from NEOs will be considered valid. We do not accommodate significant others, relatives or friends accompanying our visiting students.
Local & National transportation
As of 2003, there were 759 automobiles per 1,000 Americans, compared to 472 per 1,000 inhabitants of the European Union the following year. About 40% of personal vehicles are vans, SUVs, or light trucks. The average American adult (accounting for all drivers and nondrivers) spends 55 minutes driving every day, traveling 29 miles (47 km). The U.S. intercity passenger rail system is relatively weak. Only 9% of total U.S. work trips use mass transit, compared to 38.8% in Europe. Bicycle usage is minimal, well below European levels. The civil airline industry is entirely privatized, while most major airports are publicly owned. The four largest airlines in the world by passengers carried are American: Southwest Airlines is number one.
The United States, with its large size and geographic variety, includes most climate types. To the east of the 100th meridian, the climate ranges from humid continental in the north to humid subtropical in the south. The southern tip of Florida is tropical, as is Hawaii. The Great Plains west of the 100th meridian are semi-arid. Much of the Western mountains are alpine. The climate is arid in the Great Basin, desert in the Southwest, Mediterranean in coastal California, and oceanic in coastal Oregon and Washington and southern Alaska. Most of Alaska is subarctic or polar. Extreme weather is not uncommon—the states bordering the Gulf of Mexico are prone to hurricanes, and most of the world's tornadoes occur within the country, mainly in the Midwest's Tornado Alley.
Clerkship Working Conditions: Conditions vary by location and clerkship. Students should expect to work at LEAST 8 hours per day Monday-Friday, and sometimes on Saturday/Sunday. Some rotations require taking overnight call. You will be supervised at all times, but you will be expected to work as part of the clinical care/surgical team, and participate in rounds and other activities.
Demanding clerkships can require 70-80 hours per week. Please be advised: This is not a vacation. Professional behavior is expected and failure to adhere to these guidelines compromises future exchanges as well as your exchange. If there is unacceptable behavior the exchange agreement will be revoked including housing, board, and your elective time.