School of Medicine

Wayne State University School of Medicine

Away Electives

Students are allowed to take several Year IV electives at Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) accredited institutions in North America. Most students enroll for away electives in order to familiarize themselves with a particular residency program to which they are applying. This allows you to get a much more complete understanding of how the program operates and how you may or may not fit in. The two Year 4 required courses (Emergency Medicine & Sub-Internship) must be completed at the School of Medicine & cannot be done at away institutions.

The application process varies depending on the particular institution. Most medical schools accept applications through the American Association of Medical College’s Visiting Students Application System (AAMC/VSAS). Overview of the AAMC/VSAS.

Medical schools that do not participate in VSAS have their own direct ‘paper’ application process. Regardless of how you apply, each school will have varying requirements, so it is important for you to thoroughly familiarize yourself with the Visiting Student section on the website for the schools to which you apply. Students are only allowed to apply for one program per month through the direct ‘paper’ application process.

In the beginning of February of Year 3, the Office of Records & Registration will issue each student 20 VSAS tokens. The Office Student Affairs processes the required paperwork for away electives, including the Senior Elective Request Form which requires a student to receive approval from the Assistant Dean of Clinical Education (or the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs in her absence). The WSUSOM Year IV curriculum operates on a calendar month basis, so the away elective you apply for must be similar. Students cannot combine two 2-week electives to fill up a calendar month, unless approved by the Assistant Dean of Clinical Education. For more specifics details please consult the Year IV Curriculum Guide along with the summary document Away Elective Procedures.

The AAMC Extramural Electives Compendium (usually released in March or April of each academic year) contains information about electives offered to visiting students from a variety of institutions.