Special Assignment Electives

Students interested in participating in an away rotation at an outside institution or facility have the opportunity to receive UW SOM clinical elective credit for their experience. Students can apply for away rotations through VSLO (or other avenues if the away rotation is not in VSLO), and once approved should use the Special Assignment Elective application below to apply to receive SOM clinical elective credit. Students may also use this application to receive SOM clinical elective credit for one-off clinical experiences offered at various hospitals/clinics within the WWAMI region. Instructions for both are listed below. Before students can receive UW credit, Special Assignment Electives must be approved by the department that administers the preceptor’s specialty for the experience (ex. FAMED electives cannot be approved by Internal Medicine). Summary of the away rotation process can be found here.

Please note: Special Assignment Electives must take place within the UW School of Medicine Clinical Calendar’s 12-week quarter and cannot overlap with breaks or extend into another quarter. Exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis if a student is taking a 697 away clerkship at another LCME accredited institution. All Special Assignment Electives must begin on a Monday and end on a Friday. The University’s malpractice insurance does not cover students during away electives unless they are formally enrolled for credit at the University of Washington. Retroactive credit may not be awarded for any course or clerkship for which the student did not receive approval and register prior to taking the course or clinical clerkship or elective, including those taken away from the University.

1. Away Special Assignment – 697s

  • Outside of WWAMI region – UWSOM is currently not accepting virtual electives 
  • Clerkships generally follow the dates on the UW SOM Clinical Calendar, although special exceptions can be made.
  • NOTE: An affiliation agreement is required between the UW and the institution if the site is NOT an LCME-accredited OR ACGME-accredited Residency for the program you wish to apply.  Please contact medevalu@uw.edu for additional details.  You can check to see if a site is LCME-accredited here, and ACGME-accredited here.

2. WWAMI Special Assignment – 699s

  • Within WWAMI Region – UWSOM is currently not accepting virtual electives 
  • Clerkship must follow clerkship dates on UW SOM Clinical Calendar (calendars linked here)
  • Special Assignment electives at non-LCME accredited institutions or non-ACGME accredited Residency programs are permissible within the WWAMI region, and require additional application information.

  • Special Assignment Electives meet the SOM Clinical Elective graduation requirement and do not fulfill APC-S or APC requirements.
  • A course which was previously passed may be repeated one time for credit to receive financial aid.
  • Students cannot use Special Assignment Electives to take an established SOM elective during an off-calendar timeframe.
  • Special Assignment electives require departmental permission and most clerkships require completion of required MS3/Patient Care clerkships. Permission to take clerkship is determined by the Department- please check with Department Clerkship Administrator for details.
  • Special Assignment Electives cannot be used for research credits.
  • If you decide not to take a Special Assignment Elective after you have already gotten approval and been registered you must inform the Site Director, appropriate Department Clerkship Administrator, Regional Administrator, and Registration to have the clerkship removed from your schedule.

See SOM Policy Page for full policy on Special Assignment Electives.

In order to ensure your application will be approved in time for your clerkship, please follow these guidelines for application submittal:

  • Applications for electives at LCME* accredited institutions and ACGME** accredited Residency programs are due to SOM a minimum 2 weeks before the start date to allow for processing.
  • Applications for electives at non-LCME accredited institutions or ACGME accredited Residency programs are a due to SOM a minimum of 2 months before the start date to allow for processing.

*Most university programs (ex. Stanford University Hospital) are LCME accredited, whereas private clinics and community-based programs (ex. Providence Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane) are not. Check for LCME accredited schools here.

**You can check for ACGME Accredited Residency Programs here.

  • If you are interested in learning more about away rotations and what, if any, rotation is best for you, please visit the Career Advisor’s page on Away Rotations.
  • If you need access to VSLO to see what away rotations are available, contact somreg@uw.edu to request. Access to VSLO is provided in Winter Quarter prior to the start of the following clinical academic year; contact the Registration Team for full details.
  • Logistics on away electives process and needed documents can he found here.