Students in the U.S. Pursuing Electives in the U.S.

For students enrolled in a U.S. medical school and interested in away rotations.

Pursuing Away Rotations

Electives are an important part of your medical education in order to gain a better understanding of a certain specialty, hospital, or residency program. Pursuing clinical rotations at another site enables you to evaluate the residency program, the clinical setting and patient populations, as well as assess your residency training choices.

Planning Your Elective

Housing and Accommodation
The AAMC does not endorse any of the housing platforms below, but provides resources for students who may use them.

  • ​​​​​​​Rotating Room is a student-run website that helps medical students find and post sublets while doing away rotations at hospitals around the country. It provides google-mapped results, public transportation directions, panoramic street views, and more.
  • Housing Anywhere
    Housing Anywhere is a housing platform where people can rent out rooms to international students. It originally started as a platform where outgoing exchange students could rent out their rooms when they went abroad. Incoming exchange students can rent these rooms.

Please note: These resources are provided for informational purposes only. No endorsement by AAMC or any other organization is stated or implied.

Applying for Away Electives with VSAS
Students who are enrolled at a U.S LCME accredited medical school or COCA-accredited medical school can search and apply for electives in the Visiting Student Learning Opportunities program using the Visiting Student Application Service.

Participating VSLO host institutions may be either a U.S. AAMC-member medical school or member of the AAMC's Council of Teaching Hospitals and Health Systems (COTH).

Institutions vary in their requirements for visiting students. You can view a complete list of an institution’s requirements in the application service. Below is some information that may help you in gathering your requirements.

  • ​​​​​​​AAMC Standardized Immunization Form
    Most participating host institutions require applicants provide immunization records and many of them accept the AAMC’s Standardized Immunization Form. Whether they require the AAMC Standardized Immunization Form or their own personalized form will be noted in the application service.
  • Criminal Background Check Service
    The AAMC-facilitated Criminal Background Check Service is conducted to help medical schools procure appropriate national criminal history reports. 

Resources for Drug Screening*
All of these organizations conduct drug screening. Students can choose any organization from this list to fulfill a drug screening requirement.

Resource for Malpractice/Liability Insurance*
The Academic Group offers malpractice/liability insurance to medical students. Students can use this organization to fulfill a requirement for malpractice/liability insurance.

Resources for Criminal Background Checks*
All of these organizations conduct criminal background checks. Students can choose any organization from this list to fulfill a criminal background check requirement. 

Evaluating Your Clinical Rotation

In addition to beginning your practice of clinical medicine and learning the basics of being a physician, clinical rotations are a great chance for you to try on different specialties and start figuring out which one might be a good fit for you. As you complete each of your rotations, fill out and compare the evaluation questions below to assist you in gathering your thoughts, feelings, and reflections on each specialty as a possible career choice for you. Download the evaluation form.​​​​​​​


*The AAMC Committee on Student Records (COSR) compiled information relating to requirements as a resource for medical students. COSR does not endorse or receive benefit from the vendors for these recommendations.

VSLO® Application Service: Student Training Videos

Please log in to view training modules for the VSLO® application service (sometimes called the VSAS application service).

VSLO® Student Essentials

Use the VSLO ® Student Essentials guide to help you access the application service, complete your profile, search for and save electives, and begin the application process.

Search for Electives

Browse our catalog of away electives at participating host institutions by location, keywords, specialty, and more.

Find Participating Host Institutions

Find a complete listing of participating host institutions.

VSLO® Participating Home Institutions

Find a complete listing of all participating home institutions. 

VSLO® Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about VSLO? Check out these frequently asked about topics. 

How to Use the VSAS Application Service

The VSAS application service makes it easier for medical students to apply for clinical or research opportunities.

For VSLO® Help or Inquiries

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