UAB MEDICINE Observership Request 
Becoming a pre-heath student observer with UAB MEDICINE is an opportunity for individuals who are interested in a career in health care to shadow medical staff or workforce member (sponsor) and learn more about the field. UAB MEDICINE knows that pre-health observership is an excellent way to gain exposure to and become informed about the everyday practice of medicine. Working closely with a healthcare provider helps you to learn about expectations in the field and the challenges and rewards of practicing medicine. An observership experience also allows you to build a relationship with a mentor in the field and ask questions, ultimately helping you to decide if this path is the right one for you.

The following steps are required to initiate the UAB MEDICINE Observership request:

  • 1. UAB HIPAA Training and Verification

    UAB/UABHS Privacy and Security Training (aka: HIPAA Training).  Before any training module or requirement can be accessed via the LMS, the requester must be registered as student at UAB. Once verified, the process having the required UAB/UABHS HIPAA Privacy and Security Training appear under the ‘To Do’ tab in the LMS could be up to 48 hours.


    • Go to the link: uab.edu/learningsystem
    • Select ‘Learning System (LMS) Login’
    • Log in using your BlazerID and password
    • If an option, click to place the radial button under ‘Student’ and select ‘Login’; if no option provided, skip this step
    • Select ‘To Do’ from the tabs across the top
    • Select 'UAB/UABHS HIPAA Training' under ‘My To Do List’
    • Under 'Choose a Course', select the second option ‘UAB/UABHS HIPAA Privacy and Security Online Training’ by clicking on ‘Enroll’ next to the Online training
    • Click on 'View' next to 'Presentation’
    • Click 'Open' next to 'HIPAA Presentation’
    • Presentation slides will display
    • View all training slides
    • When completed, exit by selecting the ‘X’ at the top right of the screen
    • The question, 'Have you completed the presentation?' will appear; if you completed the presentation and are ready for the post-test, select 'Yes, mark it complete'
    • Click on 'Start' next to 'Post Test' and read the instructions
    • Click on 'Start Test'
    • Complete the post-test as presented being careful to answer each of the 16 questions
    • Select 'complete test'
    • An evaluation of the course is available, yet optional
    • Successful complete (a score of 75%  or better) will automatically be recorded by the LMS; if unsuccessful, repeat these steps
  • 2. UAB MEDICINE Observer Orientation Packet

    To ensure the health, safety, and privacy of our patients, families, and employees and for regulatory compliance, it is required that non-employees follow the necessary steps below before arriving on campus to volunteer, intern, provide services, or observe (shadow).

    Description
    • Observers are those who wish to observe a UAB Medicine employee in their day-to-day work for the purpose of learning more about the profession. Observers may not provide any hands-on patient care, have personal access to IMPACT, or bill for services.
    • Non-Physician Observer (Shadowing) Example: Pre-nursing, pre-med, and other students who want to observe to decide if this is a field they are interested in pursuing as a career

    The Observer Orientation Packet is required prior to the observing experience. Signatures will be collected from the observer and Authorized Signer for the accepting Department. Completed orientation documents will be kept on file for two years with the Physician Scientist Development Office. 

    Visitor/Observer Permission Guidelines for the Operating Room: There are more restrictive guidelines for those requesting to observe in the Operating Room and Emergency Department. In addition to the Observer Orientation Packet, the given guidelines will be reviewed prior to entry to the operating room. 

  • 3. UAB MEDICINE Vaccination Requirements
    Observing Fewer than 5 Days in the Clinical or Hospital Setting

    Please send copies of the records listed below to: employeehealth@uabmc.edu and Cc: Jessie McCray at jmccray@uabmc.edu     

    • Flu Vaccine (current until March 31st)
    • COVID Vaccine (x 2) (observer must be current with COVID vaccines; no exemptions allowed)

    Observing More Than 5 Days in the Clinical or Hospital Setting
    (applies to most pre-health undergraduate students)

    UAB MEDICINE Employee Health requires an appointment to verify immunization and vaccination status (Appointment required): Call 205.934.3675 to set up your appointment and to be placed on the calendar. 

    Bring the following records to Spain Wallace, Suite# 123 619 19th St. South once appointment has been set by Employee Health

    • MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) (2) or Measles Titer (if available)
    • Varicella (Chicken-pox) Vaccine (2), Varicella (Chicken-pox) Titer (if available), or Documented History of Varicella (Chicken-pox)
    • TDap (depending on observation location)
    • Flu Vaccine (current until March 31st)
    • COVID Vaccine (x 2) (observer must be current with COVID vaccines; no exemptions allowed)
    • TB Skin test (1) within the last 3 months or a T-Spot/QFT within the last 3 months or have a PPD placed and read in employee health during your visit with us

    Note if the observer has all of their records plus record of (TB Skin test (1) within the last 3 months or a negative T-Spot/QFT within the last 3 months) they are allowed to email their records to employeehealth@uabmc.edu and Cc: Jessie McCray at jmccray@uabmc.edu and forgo appointment.

  • 4. UAB Pre-Heath Undergraduate Observer Request Form

Post Observer Submission Request

Once your completed online application is received, the sponsor you wish to observe will review your submission along with UAB MEDICINE Department Administrators. After their review, they will either approve or decline your request for an observership. You will receive their decision in an email along with other instructions 2-weeks from your time of submission.

There is no guarantee of placement once the application process is complete. Observation placement is dependent on availability of staff and successful completion of orientation. The sponsoring physician assumes responsibilities of the observer during their stay. Since the primary purpose of this request is observation, the experience should focus on watching the physician as they perform their duties. 

The pre-health student should never engage in any activity that is considered the practice of medicine. These activities include, but are not limited to diagnosing diseases, administering medications, performing surgical procedures, suturing, providing medical advice or other tasks generally reserved for the trained health professional.