Special Assignment Electives- Staff Resources


**Presentation from 5/5/2023: Recording 

Students who are interested in participating in a Special Assignment Elective (also referred to as 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.

The application and process is outlined for students can be found on our website HERE.

What should the department be looking for?

As the department administrator, it is your job to ensure the elective equates to the same quality and skill as your own SOM clerkships. You should also confirm that the scope of the elective falls under your department (i.e. Family Medicine led away electives should be approved by the UW Family Medicine department)

Please make sure that the students is eligible to take the elective (some departments require students to have completed all required Patient Care/MS3 clerkships). Check with your department on specific guidelines.

These applications are not for students to take established SOM clerkships during off-calendar timeframes.

  • Away rotations that are within WWAMI must follow the clerkship dates on UW SOM Clinical Calendar (calendars linked here)
  • Only one student per department per academic year may rotate at a site. (i.e. if a OB GYN student is taking an away rotation at St. Luke’s in Summer 2022, no other student may take an OB GYN away at St. Luke’s until the following academic year). If you do have a site willing to take on more than one student for a one-off away elective, please think about setting up a SOM clerkship with them.
  • The application will also need WWAMI approval, please send the completed application to the regional site admin (contacts found 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. Please make sure you check the first page of the application for instructions

  • Outside of WWAMI region
  • Clerkships generally follow the dates on the UW SOM Clinical Calendar, although special exceptions can be made for other institutions
  • If applying through VSLO, students must be approved through VSLO before filling out application to receive UW SOM credit. The process is the same for students who are approved for a rotation at a SOM’s own approval process.
  • Away rotations at non ACGME or LCME accredited institutions will need an affiliation agreement (see below) and will also require sign off from the Assistant Dean of Curriculum

Approval Timeline

If the elective is at a site that is not ACGME or LCME accredited, the completed application needs to be submitted  at least 2-months prior to the start date of the rotation. There are a myriad or reasons why but, mainly due to setting up affiliation agreements, creating special timeframes and approval from the Assistant Dean of Curriculum.

If the elective is at an accredited site and/or approved through VSLO, the completed application needs to be submitted at least 2-weeks prior to the start date of the rotation

Affiliation Agreements

Any away elective at a non ACGME or LCME accredited institution outside of the WWAMI region will need to have an affiliation agreement set up between the participating site and UW SOM. Scott Bailey (sgbailey@uw.edu) manages agreements with UW. Affiliation agreements range form 1-week to a few months depending on the site so, please let students know immediately. Applications will not be approved until the agreement has been signed.

In cases like this, the application will also need to be approved and signed off by the Assistant Dean of Curriculum. Both of these processes can take time so, please make sure you send in the completed application well before the start time of the clerkship

You can check to see if a site is LCME-accredited here, and ACGME-accredited here.