VSLO® Program Updates
Message from Jenny Samaan, PhD: COVID-19 VSLO Suspension Update
Many stakeholders within the medical education community are concerned about the continuation of away rotations due to COVID-19's impact on education, patient care, learner safety and travel. In response to community discussion, to support your work, and to ensure students are given equal consideration in an academic and clinical training cycle that may be different in the months ahead, we suspended access to the Visiting Student Application Service (VSAS) for a short period, until April 29, and today we are announcing an extension of the suspension of VSAS access to the week of May 11.
We recognize that away rotations can play an important role in the residency application process. We are also aware that state and institutional travel restrictions and variations in rotation availability may limit elective opportunities and create inequity among students as they seek rotation experiences in a compressed timeframe.
Since the announcement of the suspension, the AAMC has been collaborating with various organizations to accommodate for the impact of COVID-19 on VSLO users. The Coalition on Physician Accountability (Coalition), a cross-organizational group in medical education (that includes AACOM, AAMC, ACGME, AOGME, AMA, AOA, CMSS (OPDA), ECFMG, FSMB, LCME, NBME, and NBOME), has convened the Current Practices of Student Movement Across Institutions for the Class of 2021 Work Group to consider the impact of COVID-19 on away rotations and to develop recommendations to address those concerns. Although discussions are well underway, the work group will not conclude its work by April 29. As we believe these national recommendations will provide guidance, clarity, and a path forward for the visiting student community, we wish to avoid re-opening VSAS before the Coalition releases its recommendations.
This additional time allows you to further consider which electives you will close and provides a window to develop messages about your application and review processes for your institution’s upcoming clinical rotation schedule for students to see when they enter your catalog.
When VSAS re-opens on May 15, please be prepared to update your Institution Information and Important Dates and to cancel months in which you are not receiving visiting students. This will help students to continue the application process for electives that you anticipate offering. Included below are detailed steps and links to Job Aids to help you update your information in the system once access resumes. If your institution has pending elective offers that will expire during this suspension period, VSLO will provide guidance on how you can resend offers to individual students (whose initial offers could not be finalized during the suspension) once VSAS re-opens.
Acknowledging how fluid the medical education landscape is during this time, we appreciate your patience and understanding as the process moves forward in the coming weeks.
Visiting Student updates can be found on the AAMC’s Coronavirus Resource Hub and in the VSLO Coronavirus FAQs.
Please feel free to contact me at email@example.com, if you would like to discuss this interim action, or any other matters.
COVID-19/ VSLO Technical Guide
When VSAS reopens at 6 a.m. ET on May 15, host administrators should be prepared to update your institutional information and important dates, and to cancel months in which you are not receiving visiting students. Please reference the COVID-19/VSLO Technical Guidance job aid for assistance with your updates.
AAMC Coronavirus Resources for Medical Educators
AAMC and LCME Guide
The AAMC and LCME issued guidance, effective immediately, for medical schools to pause all student clinical rotations until at least March 31. This guide was revised on April 14, 2020, to provide the most up-to-date information to 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, there are several organizations that offer the latest, official information during this rapidly changing situation:
Canceled 2020 Spring Meetings
As you are aware, the AAMC as well as many other organizations have canceled multiple meetings in order to honor federal guidance to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
The Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) has announced that their previously in-person conference will now be virtual from September 7 – 9. Please visit their website to receive the latest updates and information.
We will continue sharing VSLO updates through our monthly program bulletins and on our Program Updates page during this time. Once regular in-person meeting schedules resume, we look forward to seeing you and your colleagues.
- To view instructor led-training sessions for institutions, job aids, and training videos, please visit our training page at aamc.org/vslo/training.