American Externship/Observership/Clerkship

Somerset Family Medicine

Excerpts From USMLE-FORUM and USMLE FORU "I just finished my one-month externship at Somerset Externship and wanted to write a little bit about my experience there. I am a graduate from India and am staying in USA for almost a year. I was looking for something that could give me the experience needed before residency and even for all the USMLEs. You get a thorough insight into the US medical system. "The staff are kind and confident; they will walk you through their system and teach you."

"Dr. Jaddou provided me with hands-on experience in taking histories and examining the patients before presenting them to him." I was exposed to all types of patients. Everyone at the clinic was very friendly and helpful. Overall, I would say that it was an excellent experience for me, and I would recommend it to anyone."

from usmleforum.com

#3104890 dr_monu-07/03/14 12:30 @strugle- So after going unmatched after this last season, I looked at my CV and decided that I needed to upgrade it with some recent clinical-type experience. Now obviously the BEST experience would be to do an externship or even observe in an inpatient Hospital setting, especially if it had a residency program within, there is no denying that. I personally decided that, while I have applied to an externship program that is local to my area (the DMV), I would use one of these paid externship programs. Americlerkships, Medclerkships, FMGaffordable, Dr. Jaddou's, etc. I chose Dr. Jaddou's simply because I recognized one of his externs on the website from one of my interviews. Yeah, it's a pretty lame reason, but that's what it was—the picture on the website was of an actual person I had briefly met, and so I took a chance. While there, I met other externs who had personal experiences with the other paid programs as well. I'm happy with my experience at Somerset, and having taken the advice of other externs, I am looking to join another paid externship as well. So strugle basically if you need USCE then take a chance on something and go get it, sitting on this forum talking about legality, overrated, underrated, your just playin yourself bud.

"Dr. J," as I called him, taught us the pearls of family practice, such as common medical problems and the best treatment options. I am thankful to Dr. Jaddou for stimulating my clinical knowledge and strengthening my confidence. My exposure to his externship did not only gain me skills and knowledge but also camaraderie with other medical externs, staff, and NPs. I highly recommend this externship program for the best experience and best price! If you have any questions, PM me. I hope this helps, especially for those IMGs who need clinical exposure for the match. "Good luck! ;)."

Kavya Kannamma

USMLE Forums Newbie


Steps History: 1+CK+CS Posts: 2 Threads: 0 Thanks 8 Times in 1 Post Reputation: 18

Dr. Jaddou clinic review

Hello Friends,

I have been through most of the paid externship programs, and I personally feel Somerset Family Medicine (Dr. Neil Jaddou's Clinic) was the best of all. After applying for their Externship, I was skeptical as any one would be but by Day 2, I figured out my next one month is gonna be memorable. In a week, you would become dexterous in taking EKGs, UAs, pap smears, CXRs, PFTs, PPDs, and vaccination techniques. You will be given the freedom of taking a complete history and physical examination and coming up with a differential diagnosis and treatment plan. I did my Step 2 CK before my externship, which I should say was extremely helpful in formulating your DDs, but even otherwise, Dr. Jaddou will take classes on common ailments, and with the variety of patients you see per day, I can assure you can ace your Step 2 CK and CS, and even Step 1. I scored 243 in Step 2 CK (before externship) and 251 in Step 1 (after externship). If you are interested, you will be welcome to write articles, give mini lectures to your fellow externs and NPs, and attend conferences. I am not sure if other programs gives you a customized LOR but I have heard from my colleagues that he gives a fantastic LOR mentioning whatever you did under his scrutiny( I have waived my right and I am applying this year). Good luck to everyone in all your future endeavors!

"The doctor may also learn more about the illness from the way the patient tells the story than from the story itself. " ~James B. Herrick

The Importance of Vitamin D

By: Dr. Robert Verghese and Dr. Neil Jaddou


In Michigan, being indoors for most of the year exposes us to vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is known as “that vitamin we get from the sun." A deficiency of vitamin D can affect people of all ages. Recent medical studies are also showing the growing importance of this often deficient nutrient.

Vitamin D is essential to our bodies because it assists in the uptake of calcium from our diet through the intestines. Calcium and vitamin D are needed to keep our bones strong and healthy so that we have more energy and less pain. We produce vitamin D mainly through the skin when it contacts sunlight. Also fortified milk whether regular, low fat, or skim milk contains a similar amount of vitamin D. Other vitamin D sources include eggs, cheese, yogurt, salmon, and tuna.

When a patient is experiencing vitamin D deficiency he or she may not have symptoms. However, some patients may experience fatigue, muscle pain, bone pain (such as back pain), hair loss or thinning, and depression. Vitamin D levels can be checked with a simple blood test. Chronic cases of vitamin D and calcium deficiency can lead to osteoporosis.

So how do we end up being vitamin D deficient? Although many medical problems can cause a deficiency, the main problem is that patients are unable to get enough sunlight. However, do not overexpose yourself to the sun because dietary supplementation can work just as well. Dietary reasons and problems with your intestines can also lead to a deficiency. If you are a vegan, you may be more prone to vitamin D deficiency because of your diet's lack of intake. The intestines are where most of our vitamin D is absorbed and transported throughout the body. If you have a chronic disease that affects your intestines (such as Crohn’s disease or celiac disease) or have had any major surgery on your bowel, this can also affect the levels of vitamin D in your body negatively. Obesity has also been associated with vitamin D deficiency.

To combat vitamin D deficiency, all that is required is to get the proper amount of sunlight and supplement your diet with vitamin D-rich foods such as dairy products and fish. The recommended dietary allowances for vitamin D are 400–600 IU per day. Taking about 2000 IU of Vitamin D a day may be enough to treat your deficiency. We sometimes give a prescription of 50,000 IU, one pill a week for the first three months, to get a head start.

Vitamin D in modern medicine is turning out to have a much bigger impact than first thought. Studies on vitamin D’s effects on diabetes, hypertension, multiple sclerosis, and cancer are still ongoing, but vitamin D deficiency should not be ignored, and more benefits of this vitamin are being discovered every day.

Dr. Robert Verghese is a medical extern at Dr. Jaddou’s office.