Away Rotations

Away rotations provide you with an opportunity to complete a clinical rotation at a training site outside of the University of Washington WWAMI system.

Away rotations are more common in surgical specialties and competitive specialties.

Refer to the Specialty Career Advisors FAQ for the Specialty Career Advisors’ recommendations on if, and how many, away rotations you need. Contact the Specialty Career Advisor(s) for away rotation questions.

A list of specialties that have released recommendations about away rotations can be found on the AAMC’s Specialty Recommendations on Away Rotations for 2021-22 Academic Year page.

Reasons for completing an away rotation vary, but the most common reason is students have an interest in a particular residency program and/or geographic region. Completing an away rotation may increase your chances of interviewing, and/or increase the likelihood of matching at that program or in that region.

You may be able to secure additional letters of recommendation to support your overall application.

If you are Couples Matching and looking for the same institution or two institutions in one geographic region/city, an away rotation may also increase the likelihood of this occurring.

  • NOTE: Specialties who commonly do not encourage away rotations may not advise students do away rotations, even when couples matching

There are a number of places where you can look for away rotation opportunities:

  1. AAMC Visiting Student Learning Opportunities (VSLO) program
  2. Funded Away Rotations for Minority Medical Students (FARMS) Database is a directory of programs offering stipends to students underrepresented in medicine participating in visiting electives
  3. Extramural Electives Compendium (EEC) offers away rotations at institutions that do not participate in VSLO
  4. Emergency Medicine Away Rotations
  5. Specific Program Websites: search an institution’s website for a Visiting Student Program if available
  6. Talk with your Specialty Career Advisor
  7. Contact your network: mentors, 4th-year students, residents, and faculty may provide suggestions

The Visiting Student Learning Opportunities (VSLO) program enables students to apply to away rotations.

You have to be invited by the UWSOM Registrar’s Office before you may access the application system, called Visiting Student Application Service (VSAS).

In the winter of your 3rd year, the Registrar’s Office typically sends VSLO/VSAS details, including the timeline for registration and application paperwork

  • Once you are invited, you will access via your AAMC login and password

Summer away rotations are posted to VSAS on a rolling basis, usually starting in March.

Away rotations typically occur between July – October (excluding early Match specialties).

Questions about away rotations specific to your specialty interest and/or residency goals?
  • Speak with your Specialty Career Advisor(s)
Need CV help for your application?
Questions about the AAMC Visiting Student Learning Opportunities (VSLO) away rotation application process?