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Coronavirus (COVID-19) and The VSLO® Program

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The AAMC continues to monitor guidance about the coronavirus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) and we have processes in place to modify our operations during this rapidly changing situation. Below you will find answers to frequently asked questions and links to information and resources.

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April 15 may be a peak time for accessing the VSLO application service (VSAS). Due to anticipated high traffic, the VSLO Program is using a waiting room feature to manage the number students in the software at one time and allow optimal software performance. You will only encounter the waiting room if there is an unusually high volume of students in the software at the same time.

The waiting room feature enables students to maintain their spot in line so that when a student exits the software another student will be allowed to enter the VSAS system.   

You will have 5 minutes to accept the invitation and proceed into the VSAS system. If you don’t accept the invitation within 5 minutes, you will be placed at the back of the line.

A notification will appear on the screen when a spot becomes available.

You will lose your place in line if you leave the waiting room. You do not need to refresh your screen, it will automatically update.

At this time, VSLO will remain open during the 2021-2022 application season.

You can now search for Host institutions that are offering virtual electives by selecting the “Elective Type” field and selecting virtual. This will show you all available virtual electives.   

Based on the Coalition recommendations, the work group advises students not to apply for rotations until after April 15, 2021 for in-person rotations concluding in July or later. Contact your home medical school for their specific away rotation policies.

No. If a Host institution creates a virtual elective in VSAS, they cannot change that elective to an in-person elective during this academic year.

These recommendations are for medical students at LCME and COCA or AOA-accredited medical schools. If you are an international student, please contact your home medical school to clarify policies regarding applying for away opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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 does not provide refunds for use of its application service. However, due to the continued impact of COVID-19 on rotation opportunities, one-time refunds of up to $45 will be considered only for students who accept rotations in calendar year 2021 that they are unable to complete due to cancellation of the elective for COVID-19 related reasons. A refund request form will be available in late summer. Review of refund requests will begin in December 2021.

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No. Virtual rotations are not included in the recommendations from the Coalition.

The Coalition for Physician Accountability's Work Group Report.

Participating institutions will be reviewing their policies and rotation opportunities per the updated guidance. 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 challenging for students and their need to secure clinical rotations. We encourage you to 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.

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.  

Home and Host institutions are currently reviewing their program offerings 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.

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