Observership Policy

Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport (LSUHSC-S) welcomes visiting colleagues and students from across the United States and around the world for research and educational collaboration, observation, and study.

A Visitor is an individual who, though not enrolled in any LSUHSC-S school or compensated by LSUHSC-S, is given access to property, facilities, and/or information systems, at the discretion of LSUHSC-S, for a specific period of time for collaborative or educational purposes.  Visitors may not perform any patient care.  Visitors are neither earning academic credit nor considered employees, and are not entitled to wages or benefits.  There are two categories of Visitors LSUHSC-S:  Guest and Observer.

  • A Guest is a Visitor who is at LSUHSC-S for a short term (generally five days or less) and for a specific event (e.g., serving as a guest lecturer, delegation member, site visitor, or similar) at the invitation of LSUHSC-S. The intake and supervision of Guests is a school responsibility.  Departments are not required to submit an application to the LSUHSC-S administration for Guests.  Guests may not be issued an access badge and must be escorted by LSUHSC-S employees while on campus.  The host department should inform the guest of possible exposure risks, protective measures, and personal responsibility for any costs of needed healthcare. No application fee is required of a Visitor who comes to LSUHSC-S as a Guest.

  • An Observer is a Visitor who observes LSUHSC-S operations for educational or training purposes that primarily benefit the Observer.

To apply as an Observer, the Applicant must identify a Faculty Sponsor at LSUHSC-S.  The Faculty Sponsor Form and Pre-Baccalaureate Trainee Plan(if applicable) along with the Application for Observer and Certificate of Health Statement including the application fee must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar for processing and review by the Observership Committee. 

Types of Observers:

A) Observers in clinical areas:  Individuals who function as Observers in clinical areas may be present in clinical areas to observe the delivery of patient care.  They may not provide clinical care and may not participate in or perform human subject research, data collection, or other hands-on activities. The duration of the clinical observation period is limited to no more than two months in any one department.  Observers may observe in up to three different departments, for a cap of six months in any five-year period.  Individuals who may be Observers in clinical areas include:

  • Undergraduate students, 18 years of age and older, who seek clinical exposure as preparation for a health sciences education;

  • Individuals who hold a professional degree (e.g., MD, DDS) or other advance healthcare professions degree and seek additional exposure to features of medical practice and the delivery of patient care.

Physicians who wish to participate as Observers in clinical areas must submit documentation of an active, unrestricted license in one of the 50 U.S. states or Puerto Rico to the Observership Committee for approval.  In lieu of an active U.S. medical license or in the case of observers from other healthcare professions, documentation of an appropriate level of training and proficiency as listed in the Required Documents checklist found in the Application for Observer.

B) Observers in research areas/laboratories include human subject research and data collection:  Individuals who function as Observers in a research area may be present to observe research activities in areas where laboratory, human subject research, or data collection is taking place but may not participate in any form of research, data collection, or other hands-on research activities.  The duration of the observation period in a research area is limited to no more than one month in any one department.  Observers in research areas may observe in up to three different departments, for a cap of three months in any two-year period.  Observers in research areas include:

  • Undergraduate students, 18 years of age and older, who seek exposure to biomedical research as preparation for a health sciences or research science education;

  • Individuals who hold a professional degree (PhD, MD, DDS) or other advanced degree and seek additional exposure to features of biomedical or human subject research.

Application Fees:

A non-refundable $500 U.S. Dollars application processing fee is required for all OBSERVER applicants with the exception of Pre-baccalaureate trainees (Undergraduate students), LSUHSC-S alumni or their children, and full-time faculty spouses or their children.

  • A processing fee of $500 USD per application will be required.

  • The fee is non-refundable and non-transferable.

  • The fee must be paid with the application in order to process the application.  It must be paid by a money order drawn on a U.S. bank and made payable to LSUHSC-Shreveport.

Related Information:

(1) Visitors who wish to participate in any form of hand-on clinical or research activity must be processed through the LSUHSC-S Department of Human Resource Management.

(2) This policy does not apply to undergraduate or high school student enrolled in the Science and Medicine Academic Research Training Program (SMART), BIOSTART, UGRAP, JUMPSTART, or Area Health Education Center (AHEC) programs.  Further information about any of these programs can be found at www.laedventures.org/smart-program or AHEC office.

(3) Please note:

  • LSUHSC-S conducts security background checks and drug screening on all applicants.

  • It is the responsibility of non-U.S. citizens/permanent residents to have a visa appropriate for the visitor category for which they are applying.

  • Foreign nationals, who are not U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents, may be required to present all original immigration documents to the LSUHSC-S Office of Legal Affairs in order to obtain appropriate written clearance prior to beginning the appointment.

  • It is mandatory that all applicants submit the appropriate LSUHSC-S form(s) fully completed and signed (with supporting documentation as requested on the form(s), including English translations, if applicable.)

  • Visitors who wish to observe clinical practice or human subjects research with an LSUHSC-S faculty physician in University Health hospital must also obtain approval from the hospital facility.

  • All applicants who will be in a clinical setting shall complete the required HIPAA training.

  • All applicants for any Observership (clinical or research areas) will be required to complete the Certificate of Health Statement with documentation of TB skin test, immunization records of MMR, Tetanus/TDap, Varicella, and seasonal influenza vaccine.

  • Visitors must obtain an ID badge and wear it at all times while on LSUHSC-S premises.

  • An LSUHSC-S sponsoring faculty member may only have one Visitor at a time.

  • Approval of this application is at the discretion of the LSUHSC-S Observership Committee.  Observers may not begin their visit at LSUHSC-S until the application is approved by the Committee and all intake processes are complete.

  • With regard to individuals participating in the clinical setting, priority is always given to LSUHSC-S students and trainees for clinical services and experience.  Visitors may be denied access to certain clinical services or clinical experiences or offered alternative options during certain periods of the academic year if their addition to a clinical service is felt to reduce the clinical experience of LSUHSC-S students and trainees.

  • This process does not apply to visiting medical students who are enrolled through the Office of the Registrar.