Students often find it helpful to begin the fourth year extramural process by starting a Visiting Student Application Service (VSAS) application profile. VSAS is a standardized, online application for fourth-year clinical electives sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges. Well over half of all institutions around the nation participate in this program. Once your medical school has issued you a VSAS authorization, you can begin the process of building an application profile and submitting application requirements in ordered to be verified by your home school.
Some institutions do not participate in VSAS. Application requirements for those schools are typically posted on their individual education websites. If you have no intention of applying to a VSAS school, it’s fine to bypass VSAS all together and address only the specific requirements of the particular school you have in mind.
Tips and tutorials for using VSAS can be found here.
Activities you’ll typically need to address:
UMMC M4 extramural request for away electives (electronic): (Required for all forms of application)
UMMC immunization (immunization compliance statement): (Required for all forms of application)
Obtain an immunization statement from Student Health. Student Affairs will need a copy in order to verify your VSAS application. Make sure your TB test is current. TB tests are not given on Thursdays. Be advised that many institutions have immunization requirements that differ from UM SoM. Jane Free in Student Health can help you determine the best course when additional immunizations are needed.
HIPAA training: (VSAS required)
If you completed the mandatory compliance training through Blackboard, no additional actions are needed.
Photo: (VSAS required)
We’ve arranged for UMMC Photography to provide you with a photo (at no charge to you). This office is located on the second floor of the Learning Resources Center near the Registrar’s Office. Consider a suit or your white coat when sitting for the photo. If you take a photo you’re happy with, it can be used again with your electronic residency application.
Verification of current criminal background check: (Required for all forms of application)
These are good for two years. If you completed yours at the end of the second year as requested, no additional action will be required. Student Affairs and the Department of Human Resources will be able to provide verification of the date of your most recent background check. If the program requires detailed documentation of the check, expect to pay an additional fee (allowing for roughly 10 days for it to be processed by a third-party vendor, we use Certiphi for these special requests).
Annual mask fitting: (VSAS required)
Mask fits are good for only one year. Call Student Health at 984-1185 to schedule an appointment to be fitted. When you have been fitted, you will be provided a form to bring to Student Affairs.
Curriculum vitae: (VSAS required)
Many programs will request a current CV. This is an activity you can start on early. A current CV is also used when applying and interviewing for residency positions. Click here for a sample CV.
Liability coverage: (Required for all forms of application)
You have $2,000,000 per incident and $3,000,000 aggregate in liability coverage. Student Affairs has arranged for proof of coverage to be included with your VSAS applications. Click here for a copy of the policy certificate for your reference.
OSHA, universal precautions and/or blood-borne pathogens: (VSAS required)
Some host schools will require additional documentation that can vary. Competitive subspecialties may ask for a USMLE Step 1 score for example. Student Affairs can often help you with particular information requests. Visit with us before you spend money on copies of certificates.
When using VSAS, expect to pay the AAMC a $35 fee for the first institution you apply with. You’ll be assessed a $15 fee for each additional institution. You’ll incur no extra fee for multiple applications to the same institution. Host institutions reserve the right to charge a processing fee when they offer an elective spot, the amount of which can vary (although many do not any fee). Institutions working outside of VSAS charge a variety of fees ranging from $0 to $200.
Your home school will not have an opportunity to actually verify your profile until you have submitted the first application through VSAS. When you finish your profile and apply to program number one, the application will be electronically routed through the Dean’s Office for verification. Once all verifications are complete, the Dean’s Office will release your application to the program.
Transcript: (VSAS required)
The Student Affairs Office will make arrangements for your transcript to be uploaded through the Registrar’s Office in to VSAS. The requirements related to transcripts at other schools can vary.
Evaluation form: (Required for all forms of application)
A Medical Student Clinical Evaluation Form must be completed by the supervising faculty member of the host institution and returned to UMMC SOM in order for you to receive a final grade. The form is available at “M4 Extramural Request” and “Student Evaluation Form” tabs, both in the left column of this site (only on Windows-based machines using Internet Explorer).
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