Participating VSLO program Home institutions in the U.S. and around the world send their students to elective opportunities at participating Host sites, in teaching hospitals and community clinics in urban or rural locations. Opportunities are open to preclinical, clinical, or final-year students, as determined by the Host institution. Experiences enable students to learn in clinical settings, interact with different patient populations and develop cross-cultural understanding.
Advising Students on Away Rotations
The AAMC Visiting Student Learning Opportunities program provides both Medical Schools and Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (COMs) with access to a variety of student-focused resources.
It is important to use the most current information when advising your students on their transition to residency. Here are some valuable resources for helping your students make decisions regarding away rotations:
- Careers in Medicine Advising Checklist for M3 and M4 students
- Fact Sheet: Away Rotations by Specialty from the GQ 2020 Questionnaire - This fact sheet provides the number of away rotations reported by U.S. medical school students who graduated in academic year 2019‐2020 and responded to the 2020 Graduation Questionnaire (GQ), by intended future specialty.
- FREIDA is the American Medical Association (AMA) Residency & Fellowship Database® that allows one to search for a residency or fellowship from more than 10,000 programs—all accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
- Medical Residency Database is the largest database of residency opportunities. It houses a vast array of information about the medical education system, licensing procedures, and examinations and provides links to relevant health administration bodies around the globe.
- Standardized Immunization Form Registry
- State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA)
- AAMC Uniform Clinical Training Affiliation Agreement
- AAMC Uniform Clinical Training Agreement Registry
LCME Accreditation Standards for U.S. Institutions
- Standard for LCME-Accredited Institutions Hosting Visiting Students
- Standard 10.8 (on page 17) of the Functions and Structure of a Medical School contains requirements for hosting visiting students.
- Standard for LCME-Accredited Institutions When Sending Students on Electives
- Standard 11.3 Oversight of Extramural Electives (on page 18) of the Functions and Structure of a Medical School 2017–2018 contains requirements for home institutions.
WFME Recognition for Global Institutions
Global institutions participating in VSLO must be accredited by one of the accrediting bodies recognized by the World Federation of Medical Education (WFME).
American Osteopathic Association Standards of Accreditation
AAMC Group on Student Affairs
The Group on Student Affairs (GSA) addresses issues in medical school admissions, student financial aid, medical student diversity, student affairs, and student records at all AAMC member medical schools. Find more information about GSA.
American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM)
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) are united in their shared goal of supporting medical students and the medical education community.
Through an expanded collaboration with AACOM, the AAMC is pleased to offer access to several services and resources to the osteopathic medical education community.
The AAMC recognizes that with ever-increasing globalization in medicine there is growing interest on the part of medical students and medical schools to integrate international electives into their medical education. Our Global Network schools are accredited institutions, listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools Below are resources to get you started on supporting your students’ interests in opportunities in the VSLO Global Network.
Advising Your Students for Opportunities Abroad
The training modules below are helpful for students participating in an international learning opportunity. Subject-matter experts in global health education and study abroad have developed these resources, which are free for students’ use.
Selecting a Program and Preparing to Go Abroad
Child Family Health International (CFHI) and Medsin-UK
Choosing an International Elective: A Roadmap for Your Decision
The online tool highlights the importance of pre-departure training and preparation, health and safety considerations, and the ethical considerations of working in health care internationally. The tool is intuitive, concise, and informative. The site links to many valuable external resources, including global health competencies, other preparedness checklists, and academic papers on global health learning experiences.
Boston University School of Medicine
Practitioner’s Guide to Global Health Boston University School of Medicine
Tuition: Free, but requires email and username to register for these self-paced courses.
The three-course Boston University program is one of the most comprehensive training modules for students preparing to go abroad, living and working abroad, and returning home from abroad. The courses are multidisciplinary, interactive, and evaluative to prepare students for effective and safe engagement in global health learning experiences. Each course consists of an overview and pretest followed by intuitive and detailed information that is supplemented with video content, transcripts, and reflective questions.
- Course 1: The Big Picture
Time: Should be completed 6 to 12 months in advance; approximately two hours to complete.
Themes: Choosing an elective or experience, global health ethics, safety.
- Course 2: Preparation and on the Ground
Time: Should be completed one to three months in advance; approximately four hours to complete.
Themes: Logistical planning, cultural awareness, safety.
- Course 3: Reflection
Time: Should be completed toward the end of the experience, just before returning home; approximately two hours to complete
Simulation Use for Global Away Rotations (SUGAR)
SUGARPREP has developed a breadth of information for students planning to participate in a global health opportunity. The information is primarily geared towards students from the United States traveling to a differently-resourced setting. There are 4 curricula that students may follow, which provide specific and practical guidance: SUGAR simulation cases, PEARLS, S-PACK, and I-PACK. The SUGAR simulation cases introduce students to possible challenges that may be encountered in resource-limited settings, and PEARLS (Procedural Education for Adaptation to Resource-Limited Settings) is a series of videos that demonstrate modifications to medical procedures in resource-limited settings.
Next, for students looking for pre-departure preparation, S-PACK (SUGAR’s Pre-Departure Activities Curricular Kit) provides a comprehensive curriculum. Finally, I-PACK (Immigrant Partnership and Advocacy Curricular Kit) highlights important knowledge and skills regarding immigrant and refugee health.
University of Minnesota, Health Careers Center
Global Ambassadors for Patient Safety (GAPS)
The GAPS workshop was created for both prehealth and health professions students who want to participate in a learning experience abroad. The workshop incorporates content from many guidelines and standards and links to additional resources for students. The workshop is designed to help prepare students for a global health experience by focusing primarily on the ethical considerations of engaging in a global health learning opportunity. It also emphasizes a student’s obligation to participate only in activities for which he or she is trained, to understand the social determinants of health, and to understand the cultural and social frameworks of the communities in which he or she will be living and working.
Global Scholar offers three courses for all students studying abroad, not only medical students. It provides guidance on (1) preparing to go abroad; (2) studying abroad; and (3) continuing international learning at home. Course participation requires a login.
Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics and Stanford Center for Innovation in Global Health
Ethical Challenges in Short-Term Global Health Training
This course is designed for students embarking on a global health research, service, or learning experience. It presents a series of 10 cases to examine various ethical issues that students may encounter abroad; examples include Developing Cultural Understanding, Recognizing Burdens, and Understanding Informed Consent for Research. Course material is also relevant for faculty members, advisors, and home and host institutions.
American Medical Student Association (AMSA)
Global Health Ethics Student Curriculum
Tuition: Online pdf content is free
The curriculum addresses pre-departure and post-return research and clinical opportunities abroad. Handouts are provided if a facilitator conducts workshops with a group of students. For a student working through the curriculum independently, the student resource guides include curriculum objectives, sample cases of research or clinical ethical challenges, and annotated discussions and additional information for consideration based on the provided cases.
Forum on Education Abroad
The forum’s institutional members include U.S. colleges and universities, overseas institutions, consortia, agencies, provider organizations, and foundations. The forum focuses on developing and implementing standards of good practice, encouraging and supporting research initiatives, and offering educational programs and resources to its members. Its mission is to help improve education abroad programs to benefit the students who participate in them. It is achieving its goal by establishing standards of good practice and quality assurance programs, improving education abroad curricula, and promoting data collection and outcomes assessment—all to advocate for high-quality education abroad programs.
Culture and Language
Unite for Sight
Cultural Competency Online Course
The course is designed to impart an understanding that going abroad includes immersion in a different culture and that volunteers can have personal impact in clinical and international settings. The course consists of 11 modules that discuss culture, experiences of culture shock and reverse culture shock, understanding differences in beliefs and practices, and developing cultural humility. Working through the modules simply requires reading the text, but the course presents useful, concise information in addition to references for further reading.