As I mention in the section "About the Author", I found clinical rotations crucial in deciding where to move after my graduation. Clinical rotations during medical school are not a necessary requirement to enter into a medical residency training program in the US but they are very useful to familiarize oneself with medical vocabulary, abbreviations and other specifics of american medicine - all useful for taking the Step 2 CS. In addition, they increase your competitiveness and therefore chances when applying to residency programs because you could add recommendation letters from American hospitals to your application. It is easier to secure a clinical rotation as a medical student than after graduation.
It is the best to arrange a clinical rotation by yourself. Ask for a "clinical rotations in .." or "electives in .." during summer holidays or during a sabbatical. (The two dots mean your preferred specialty, e.g. outpatient internal medicine). It is often required to be in the final or pre-final year of your home medical school to be eligible for clinical rotations in the US. If you have more than 2 years to graduate, ask for an observership, or colloquially "shadowing". Observership does not allow you to perform physical exam or make direct clinical decisions but you have an assigned supervising physician who you can "observe" during his work, you are allowed to participate in lectures and group discussions, etc.
Medical malpractice insurance or simply „liability insurance" is necessary for most clinical rotations but also for an observership. It is possible to obtain a liability insurance in Europe but I feel that using an American insurance company is safer and easier. I secured my liability insurance through HPSI (Healthcare Professional Services, Inc.); contact Fred Seilkop www.hpsi-ins.com. HPSI is not an insurance company but rather a provider who can offer you products of several insurance companies. Primes (cost of insurance) are around $1000 for an observership and about $2500 for a clinical rotation. Please note that this is not an advertisement; feel free to look for your own liability insurance provider.
If you are a student, you are typically insured by your home university even for overseas rotations. Ask your university to provide you with a document stating the insurance conditions and send that to the hosting university in North America.
Here I found an interesting website that offers clinical rotations in selected American medical schools to international medical students in their final year studies: www.aamc.org/services/ghlo
Also look at: www.electives.us