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  • Professional Service

The VSLO® Program FAQs

Does the VSLO program provide guidance about managing and promoting away rotations?

The VSLO Program Marketing Toolkit offers a collection of web banners and graphics available to enhance your VSLO content and communications and ensure consistency across your materials and websites.

The VSLO Handbook for Institutions guides institutional users in program management and provides resources for advising your medical students in use of the VSLO software in their selection of learning opportunities that achieve their personal and career goals. 

You can also review the VSLO Demonstration & Training Opportunities and past/upcoming webinars for students and advisors.

Your institution’s VSLO Engagement Specialist is also available to discuss your program plans. Please contact VSLO Client Technical Support to schedule a time to meet with your specialist.  

Home institutions respond to a statement regarding students’ good academic standing in the VSLO application service. Does this meet Joint Commission standards as may be required of a Host institution?

There are no Joint Commission standards that prescriptively require a “Letter of Good (Academic) Standing” or other document that includes a school insignia or official’s signature be provided to a Host institution by a visiting student or their Home institution. Documentation requested by a Host institution beyond the information provided in the VSLO application would be determined solely between the Home and Host institutions and not driven by a need to be responsive to any Joint Commission standards or requirements. For further clarification, please contact the Standards Interpretation Group of the Joint Commission.

I noticed the AAMC collects and remits applicable state and local sales tax. Does this affect VSLO?

Yes, in certain states, these applicable taxes affect the VSLO service. Please visit the AAMC Sales Tax FAQs to learn more.

What is the criteria for becoming a Host institution in the AAMC’s Visiting Student Learning Opportunities™ (VSLO®) program?

A VSLO Host must be either an AAMC member, an ACGME accredited Sponsoring Organization or an ACGME Sponsoring Organization’s Participating Site. If your institution is located outside the United States, your institution must be listed in the World Directory for Medical Schools (WDOMS) to be considered.  

Programs that wish to offer observerships or electives to final-year medical students must be committed to supervising students and providing candid feedback on an evaluation form at the completion of the educational experience.

In addition to away rotations, what are the benefits to participating in the VSLO program?

In addition to away rotations for final-year medical students, the Visiting Student Learning Opportunities program provides a pathway for qualified students to apply for preclinical, community-based global/public health and research opportunities. The program provides institutions with streamlined management and application processing and manages mobility among your existing partner institutions that are already in the VSLO network. Also, it increases offerings of vetted U.S. and international away rotation opportunities for your students and provides direct access to the decisions and perspectives of the AAMC and partner organizations regarding away rotations. Furthermore, the VSLO program expands input on best practices in student mobility and transition to residency.

As a Host institution, can I select the Home schools from which I will receive applications?

Yes. The VSLO application service provides options for Hosts to manage incoming applications.

What is the process for an institution to join the VSLO program?

The first step is to complete an interest form (PDF). Please visit the website to begin the process.

How do applicants find our offerings?

Once your offerings — including descriptions, available rotation times and all your institution’s requirements — have been added to the VSLO application service, they will be searchable by students. The robust search functionality allows applicants to search electives by institution name, location, specialty, month of offerings, and other details.

If our institution joins the Global Network, from which countries or medical institutions will applicants come?

There are currently 70 Home (sending) institutions from 35 nations in the VSLO Global Network. You can review an updated listing of Home institutions on the VSLO website. However as a Host institution, you can determine which applicants can see your electives and apply. 

As a Host, are we required to list all specialty opportunities in the application service?

No. You only add those programs that have capacity, interest, and resources to host visiting students. It is easy to add more offerings at a later date.

What if there are certain months when we have already accepted visiting students from our affiliated medical schools and do not have further capacity?

This is not a problem. Each specialty will determine which months are open to applicants and you can list only those times when you have capacity.

Our institution requires all visiting students to provide proof of malpractice insurance. How can we ensure that every student in our hospital meets this requirement, including those from outside the United States?

You can list a specific amount of malpractice insurance in the application service as a requirement. This will alert applicants that they will need to submit evidence of malpractice insurance that meets your requirements if accepted to your hospital or health system. The VSLO program assists students by providing options for where they can purchase malpractice and other types of insurance if they do not already have the required coverage.

What is the AAMC Uniform Clinical Training Affiliation Agreement?

The AAMC Uniform Clinical Training Affiliation Agreement is a simple, one-size-fits-all agreement designed to spell out roles and responsibilities between a medical education program and its clinical affiliates and to eliminate time spent negotiating (and renegotiating) agreements.

Why do you offer a standardized immunization form?

Because Host institutions ask for the same core set of immunization requirements, the AAMC created a standardized form (PDF) that creates efficiencies for medical institutions and students. This form may be adopted for use by any institution that hosts visiting students, whether or not the institution receives applications through the VSLO program

If additional requirements are needed beyond what the standardized immunization form collects, a Host institution should outline the additional requirements.

What is the annual cost for participating in the VSLO program?

Annual participation fees are outlined on both of the Join the VSLO Program pages for Medical Schools and Hospitals & Health Systems.

Are we permitted to charge a fee for hosting visiting students?

The decision on whether to charge a fee to visiting students is left up to the VSLO Host institution. Some host institutions charge processing fees or tuition fees outside of the VSLO service application fee. The VSLO program does not prohibit you from charging a fee.

However, when considering your fees, we encourage you to consider the overall student financial burden of completing away rotations. Additionally, institutions accepting international visiting students often charge different fees for students from low-, middle-, and high-income countries. We recommend referencing the World Bank Country Index to determine economic ranking.

The information about your fees is clearly displayed to applicants considering your rotation opportunities. 

When does the AAMC send VSLO invoices to my institution?

Invoices are sent to institutions in May for the following AAMC fiscal year that begins July 1. 

How can we confirm our AAMC membership status?

If you have questions about your medical school’s AAMC membership status, wish to confirm your Council Of Teaching Hospitals and Health Systems (COTH) membership, or want to obtain information about how your hospital can join the AAMC, please contact visitingstudents@aamc.org.

Can I create specific requirements for certain electives?

Yes. A Host institution can create different requirements for specific electives. If a department requires an additional requirement, you have the ability to create and tailor requirements for certain electives. An institution can also tailor requirements for different student populations (for example, students in your university system versus those outside your system).

Will I receive applications from students who have not submitted all of the required documentation?

No. You will only receive completed applications that include all required information and documentation. Applications can only move to the next phase once all requirements have been addressed and submitted.

Who should I give access to the VSLO application service at my institution?

If you are a Home institution, typically you can give access to student advisors, registrars, or anyone else who oversees medical students for visiting student experiences.

If you are a Host institution, typically you can give access to registrars, department coordinators, or anyone else at your institution who reviews and processes incoming applications for hosting visiting students.

Do you have further questions, would you like to request a meeting, or do you want to provide feedback on the VSLO application service?

Please email visitingstudents@aamc.org and a VSLO team member will contact you. You can provide feedback directly via our VSLO feedback form or contact our Visiting Student Client Service team at 202-478-9878.

Where can I get information about modifications to the VSLO program during COVID-19?

For more detailed information, check out the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the VSLO program.