Updated February 9, 2022
In May 2020, the Coalition for Physician Accountability (the Coalition), a cross-organizational group of national medical education organizations, published guidelines recommended by its working group at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic was surging worldwide, and many restrictions were in place. The guidelines discouraged student travel to away rotations during the 2020-2021 academic year, except to fulfill graduation requirements or when a local rotation with a residency program in the student’s specialty of choice was unavailable. In April 2021, guidance for the 2021-2022 academic year kept those restrictions in place, with some modifications. Since then, learners have returned to the clinical environment and – with support from administrators, faculty, and staff – are utilizing safety protocols to protect themselves and patients.
For the 2022-2023 academic year, the AAMC and its Coalition partners have concluded that there are no restrictions in place for 2022 away rotations.
Is the AAMC or its Coalition partners restricting student travel to away rotations for the 2022-2023 residency application cycle?
No. The AAMC is not recommending restrictions for the 2022 away rotations. This is in alignment with decisions by other organizations in the Coalition. Students may apply to and attend the away rotations that best support their continued learning and ability to interview and match at the residencies of their choice.
The AAMC encourages medical students to follow the guidance of their medical school advisors and to familiarize themselves with the recommendations, if any, from their specialties of interest, as well as any restrictions or rules governing away rotations at a specific host institution.
Will there be any restrictions at the institutional level?
The surge in COVID-19 cases in early 2022 and new potential variants may limit the availability of away rotations at specific institutions. Students are encouraged to reach out to the institutions to which they wish to apply regarding any restrictions that may exist. Additionally, students are encouraged to check back near the time of their rotation to confirm the current status of the institution’s requirements and restrictions, if any.
Medical schools, sponsoring institutions, and residency programs are encouraged to continue to monitor and consider their local conditions when establishing guidelines for student mobility.
Why were the restrictions dropped, given the recent rise in COVID cases and hospitalizations?
The decision to remove the restrictions is in alignment with the increasing number of health care workers who are vaccinated against COVID-19, as well as decreasing case numbers across the nation. Additionally, personal protective equipment is now widely available. The AAMC and its partner organizations recognize that it is critical for students to learn and work in the current health care environment and participate fully as part of the health care team. Preventing medical students from these experiences could negatively impact their overall professional development and readiness for residency.