Coronavirus (COVID-19) and The VSLO Program™

The AAMC continues to monitor guidance about the coronavirus from the CDC and WHO and we have processes in place to modify our operations during this rapidly changing situation. Below you will find answers and links to information that will help address your questions during this time.

Students

Institutions are offering an increasing number of virtual electives to meet the current need for alternative training models. Check out the full listing of these virtual opportunities, available on VSLO’s Find Electives page by typing “virtual” in the VSAS search bar.

Hosts have adjusted their catalogs to accurately reflect their offerings. The catalogs will offer you a more accurate picture of your rotation options. We encourage you to contact your home institution directly to discuss options for your participation in upcoming electives, in the U.S. and abroad.

We issued a one-time refund to applicants who were accepted for an elective offer or who had an application in post-decision review for electives scheduled to begin in March, April, and May 2020. If you are a final-year medical student who applied for an away rotation through VSAS and are unable to complete it during the 2020-2021 residency application season, you will be able to request a refund. A COVID Refund Request form will be made available on the VSLO website in late summer.

At this time, we do not know what decisions will be made by participating institutions regarding clinical rotations. Please remain in contact with your home institution and refer to the AAMC Coronavirus Resources Hub for the latest updates.

We recognize that the timing of COVID-19 is particularly troubling for students and their need to secure clinical rotations. It is important you remain in direct communication with your home institution regarding your specific situation. Please refer to the updated ERAS timeline for the most current information.

The health and well-being of all program participants is the AAMC’s top priority. Contact your Host institution administrators to understand the local protocol for your situation. Additionally, you are encouraged to discuss the possibility of returning with both the Host administrators and your Home institution to ensure you are fully aware of your options.

Acceptance to the program is at the discretion of Host institutions. Please communicate with your Home institution about policies developed in response to The Coalition for Physician Accountability's Work Group Report.

We encourage you to contact your home institution directly to discuss options for your participation in upcoming electives, in the U.S. and abroad.

VSLO staff are regularly communicating with home and host institutions and monitoring the effect of the pandemic on visiting student mobility. Please check our website for any national program updates.  

Acceptance to an elective program is at the discretion of host institutions. Currently, Home and Host institutions are reviewing their program offerrings and developing their policies regarding elective rotations. Please check with your Home institution about their elective policy regarding participation in upcoming electives in the U.S. and abroad.

Some host institutions charge processing fees or tuition fees outside of the VSLO service application fee. Please contact the host institution directly regarding the availability of a refund for those fees.

Home Institutions

These recommendations are intended to add to, but not supersede, the independent judgment of a medical school, sponsoring institution or residency program regarding the immediate needs of its patients and preparation of its learners. Additionally, home institutions are encouraged to clarify policies for their own students to level-set their expectations for away rotations this season.

VSLO institutional users are currently able to access the system. Student access began at 9 a.m. ET on Wednesday, May 27. 

Please contact the Client Technical Support team at 202-478-9878 or submit a request through the VSLO Contact form.

Yes, please complete the VSLO Contact Form and provide the details and the VSLO team will reach out on your behalf.

Host Institutions

These recommendations are intended to add to, but not supersede, the independent judgment of a medical school, sponsoring institution or residency program regarding the immediate needs of its patients and preparation of its learners. We encourage host institutions to clarify their policies and procedures for visiting students and publicize them on the Institutional Profile page in VSAS as soon as possible so that changes are clearly visible to students. 

VSLO institutional users are currently able to access the system. Student access began at 9 a.m. ET on Wednesday, May 27. 

Please contact the Client Technical Support team at 202-478-9878 or submit a request through the VSLO Contact form.

All institutions participating in the VSLO program can close electives in their catalog to prevent new visiting students from applying. For applications in progress or current applications in your queue, host institutions must respond to all applications to provide applicants with a reason for the denial. You won’t receive future applications to your electives if you close your electives. Please view this job aid on how to close your electives and notify your applicants of this decision.

Host institutions’ policies should be followed regarding the hospital’s willingness to host the student. If host institutions do not yet have a policy established, refer to the resources below and discuss your options with the host department and other administrators. It is essential that host institutions communicate as quickly as possible with the student and their Home institution so that the student does not travel, assuming they will pursue an elective rotation.

The Coalition for Physician Accountability's Work Group Report

AAMC Coronavirus Update