VSLO® Program Updates

We are committed to providing regular VSLO program updates through the VSLO listserve, email and on this page. Please visit this page regularly to learn what’s happening with the VSLO program. If you have questions, please contact the VSLO team at: visitingstudents@aamc.org.

Message from Jenny Samaan, PhD

Dear Colleagues:

The new academic year is underway! I expect you and your institution’s faculty, staff, and students are settling into continued COVID-conscious routines. It is a lot to manage, and we continue to be impressed by our academic partners’ ingenuity and forward-facing commitment to the medical education of tomorrow’s physicians.  

Last week I participated in the Association of Medical Education of Europe (AMEE) virtual conference, using my avatar to attend sessions and staff the AAMC booth in the exhibit hall. While certainly not the same as an in-person meeting, the session content was interesting and relevant as medical educators worldwide face similar challenges, albeit in different contexts.  

If you are a VSAS administrator, I have an important housekeeping item to bring to your immediate attention. With the new academic year and COVID-19-related personnel changes at many sites, we are seeing an increase in undeliverable/bounce back emails, as well as users who no longer need to receive the daily digest emails. 

Please take a moment to review the Users page in the User Management dropdown/menu and remove those who no longer need access. If you need additional support for this task, this job aid takes you through the necessary steps. 

As new users gain access to VSAS, it is beneficial to remove out-of-date information, so accessibility and important updates are easily manageable for the new administrators.

If you are a host administrator, please prioritize the task of addressing pending applications backlogged in Applications Ready for Host Review. Students have fewer opportunities this year and are therefore more focused on having a clear understanding of the options they have available for elective rotations.

Thank you in advance for addressing these administrative items.

In closing, with the heat, fires, and hurricanes impacting many states across the U.S., I wanted to share a message from Voltaire: “Men argue. Nature acts.” Please hold all of our affected colleagues in your thoughts.  
I hope the month ahead is a productive and safe one for you. 

Jenny Samaan, PhD, VSLO Senior Director

VSLO Technical Guidance

New Student Email Notifications

In response to student feedback, we have made a much-requested VSAS update. Students will now receive an email notification for each saved elective when host institutions are ready to receive applications. Multiple electives can be saved at one time. This new feature will eliminate the task of students having to manually monitor an elective of interest to see when it opens for applications.

AAMC Resources for Medical Educators


We encourage you to engage with the AAMC's iCollaborative resource as you and your colleagues seek avenues for your medical students to meet their academic milestones.

In addition, you can visit AAMC.org/coronavirus for current, relevant information during this continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

Other Resources for Medical Educators

Students Assist America: AACOM Initiative

The AAMC has joined the Students Assist America initiative spearheaded by the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM). Health care professionals from multiple specialties have joined together as an interdisciplinary safety net to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic from impacting the daily operations of the health care system and putting individuals and communities at further risk. This initiative creates meaningful opportunities for students to put their valuable skills and knowledge to use during the pandemic, and enables students to continue moving forward on their educational path while traditional methods of learning are disrupted. For more information on the Students Assist America effort, please contact Virginia Bader at AACOM, vbader@aacom.org.

Upcoming Events & News

Virtual Residency Interview Process Webinar

Tuesday, September 29, 2020 from 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. ET

This webinar aims to provide insight into what to expect during the virtual residency interview as well as resources to help you prepare. The session will feature two program directors who share their respective virtual interview experiences and advice for students, as well as a chief resident who will share their experiences and lessons learned from conducting virtual fellowship interviews. Speakers will share guidance and resources on effective practices for preparing for and performing during a virtual interview. The 60 minute webinar will close with a panelist Q&A. Register now.

Medical Center Pediatrics Residency Program Virtual Open House

Thursday, October 1, 2020 from 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. ET

Maine Medical Center’s Pediatric Residency Program will be recruiting virtually this year, as are most programs, in an effort to support public health efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many students will not have the opportunity to complete a visiting rotation or learn more about the program and visit during recruitment season. The Maine Medical Center is offering two opportunities via Zoom for students to meet faculty, residents, and get to know the program as they prepare for the upcoming interview season. This will be a great opportunity to ask questions about the residency program and meet some of the current residents. Register now.

Early-bird Registration is Now Open for Learn Serve Lead 2020: The Virtual Experience

Registration is now open for Learn Serve Lead 2020: The Virtual Experience taking place Nov. 16-18. The virtual meeting will tackle academic medicine’s greatest challenges head-on while providing an opportunity for attendees to reconnect with colleagues and make new virtual connections. This year an even greater number of students, academic medicine practitioners, and leaders will have the opportunity to join the compelling discussions. During six live plenary sessions, four sessions as part of the Voices of Medicine and Society series, and 30 breakout sessions, attendees will hear how academic medicine leaders are paving the way to confront the issues of today and tomorrow. Because of our reimagined online environment, you will be able to access the meeting at your convenience - live or on-demand and you will have access to session recordings and additional content in the months following the meeting – all at dramatically reduced registration fees. Learn more.

AAMCNews: So many medical students, so few clerkship sites

The complex pieces of the medical education puzzle continue to impact the student journey to professional excellence. A new AAMCNews article brings together many of the pressures surrounding creating an adequate supply of clerkship sites. We know that the addition of virtual rotations is alleviating some of the shortage of in-person rotations. 

Virtual Exploration Opportunities

The new Careers in Medicine® (CiM) website is live. Your students can check out an updated list of links to day-in-the-life interviews and other articles that describe what it’s like to practice in a variety of specialties, practice options, and roles from the Explore Options page.

Training Resources

  • To view instructor led-training sessions for institutions, job aids, and training videos, please visit our training page at aamc.org/vslo/training.

Training for Participating Institutions

The Visiting Student team provides comprehensive training on the application service, to ensure a smooth transition for our participating institutions. The trainings address management of both the U.S. and Global networks.

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. 

Find 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. 

For VSLO Help or Inquiries

Mon. - Fri. 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. ET