Away Rotations

Tufts University School of Medicine schedules final-year medical students from LCME-accredited medical schools through the Visiting Student Learning Opportunities (VSLO) program. Eligible visiting students may enroll in a maximum of three four-week rotations at TUSM-affiliated hospitals. International students are not eligible to apply for rotations at TUSM. TUSM does not offer observerships for visiting students.

Faculty who would like more information about scheduling visiting students should contact the Registrar's Office at


The Visiting Student Learning Opportunities (VSLO) is an AAMC application designed to streamline the application process for senior "away" electives at other LCME medical schools in the United States. This service requires students to submit one application for all schools, effectively reducing paperwork, minimizing miscommunication, and making better use of time. VSLO also provides a centralized location for managing offers and tracking decisions. To see when schools begin accepting applications for the current academic year, go to AAMC's Visiting Student Learning Opportunities page and click on the Institutions tab. You will then see the list of participating institutions, the dates they begin accepting applications, fees, and any required documentation. Each program is different, so please read their instructions carefully.

The majority of medical schools utilize VSLO to process elective requests. The remainder continue to use their own paper-based application system. If you are not applying to a school on VSLO, please use the AAMC Extramural Electives Compendium (EEC) for visiting student application information. The AAMC web site connects you to the LCME-accredited medical schools and has the URLs for their web sites. Any program still using a paper application requires a "dean's statement or cover sheet". You must fill out the application in its entirety and mail it to the Clerkship Coordinator, who will complete a cover letter and certification. Do not send blank applications. The Registrar's Office keeps copies of all paper applications.

Credit Requirements:

Students may receive credit for fourth year 4-week elective clerkships taken at LCME-accredited U.S. medical schools, provided an evaluation and a grade of Satisfactory or higher is sent to the Tufts University School of Medicine Registrar’s Office by the Registrar of the other medical school. The Registrar’s Office must receive a copy of the letter of acceptance from the non-Tufts program and all electives taken at these sites must be approved by the Registrar’s Office in advance of the rotation.

Students are allowed up to 3 away rotations. You may take any rotation in excess of the Tufts required minimum number of rotations at any outside hospital or school; academic credit will be given if the Dean of Student Affairs approves of your schedule. You must be registered for all electives taken.

When planning for outside electives, you should be aware that some hospitals have been known to "bump" outside students to accommodate their own students. Subsequently, Tufts cannot guarantee you a place for an equivalent rotation at another hospital if your outside rotation is cancelled.

Give thoughtful consideration to the number and location of the clerkships you are contemplating. Travel and lodging can get expensive. If, for some reason, you decide to cancel a rotation after you have been accepted, most programs require at least 6 week’s notice. This allows them time to schedule another student.

General Steps:

  • Check VSLO first – if the school is using VSLO, follow those instructions. For those programs that do not utilize VSLO, contact them or download their visiting student application from their web site.
  • Carefully read and fill out your portion of the application.
  • Transcripts, letters of good standing, and proof of liability insurance will be provided by the Registrar's Office.
  • Immunization records will be completed by Student Advisory and Health Administration in Posner Hall.
  • Upon notification of being scheduled by the school you have applied to, you must notify the Registrar's Office, in writing, of when and where you will be going and what clerkship you will be taking. You can provide this information by supplying a copy of the letter of acceptance or the email you received from the other school. Once the letter has been submitted to the Registrar's Office, students should check their schedule on the Tufts University School of Medicine website to confirm that the elective is listed. You will not be covered by the Tufts malpractice policy, and therefore not approved to do the clerkship, if you fail to provide us with this information.


Students registered for an outside rotation must arrange to have an evaluation of performance prepared on the standard form that the outside school uses for its own students. It is the student's responsibility to request that an evaluation be sent to the Registrar. If the outside school does not provide evaluation forms, a Tufts evaluation form will be provided. The student should contact the Registrar’s office during the first week of the rotation if a Tufts evaluation form is required.

It is the student’s responsibility to check with the Registrar’s Office to be sure that the evaluation form has been received. The student must continue follow-up action on the evaluation until it is received by the Registrar's Office. All evaluations must originate from the home or host school's Registrar's Office. You will not get credit for the course unless and until we receive this verification. Once the evaluation/grade is received, the away elective course and grade will appear on your Tufts transcript. The evaluation submitted by the other school will be mailed to you as well.

Students may be approved for one 3-week elective provided that: 1.) It is in the field they are planning to pursue; and 2.) The student completes a one-week reading period, culminating in a paper, submitted to Dean Kuhlik. This must be discussed with the Dean of Student Affairs in advance.

Common Program Requirements:

  1. Photo 
  2. CV
  3. Transcript: You will need to authorize the Registrar's Office to generate and upload this into the system.
  4. Mask Fit: Do not do this unless the program requires it. This is a 6 page questionnaire: contact the Office of Student Affairs for a copy. Complete the form and return it to the Office of Student Affairs for sign-off. You will be contacted when it is ready for pick-up. Mask Fit tests are offered every Tuesday from 7:30-8:00am and Thursday from 2:30-3:00pm in the Atrium 4th floor hallway of Tufts Medical Center. You must bring the signed questionnaire with you to the fit test. The Registrar's Office will verify your compliance on the VSLO website.
  5. Immunizations: Most programs require you to use their forms. You will have to download the forms and send them to Lucia Fenney, Immunization Coordinator at SAHA– 617-636-2700. If the programs will accept our immunization records and forms, contact Lucia and ask her to provide them to you. You can then upload the completed forms to VSLO.
  6. List of the core clerkships you have completed with accompanying dates.
  7. Board scores: The Registrar's Office can provide scores with your authorization.
  8. Criminal Offense Record Information (CORI) check: Background checks can take up to three weeks to process. Contact the Clerkship Coordinator for additional information.
  9. Verification: The Registrar's Office verifies students on VSLO on a daily basis.
  10. Schedule: Once you have accepted an offer, forward the official acceptance letter/email to the Clerkship Coordinator to add the rotation to your schedule.