Drexel University College of Medicine intends to adhere to the guidelines put forth by the Coalition for Physician Accountability’s Work Group relative to away electives. Recently, some specialty associations have announced that they endorse/recommend a second away rotation for students without a home residency program who are applying in their specialty.

Drexel will allow students who have a specialty interest and do not have access to a clinical experience with a residency program in that specialty in DUCOM's system to complete a second away elective in that specialty. These specialties include: Dermatology, Interventional Radiology, Ophthalmology, Otolaryngology, Physical Medicine and Rehab, Plastic Surgery, and Urology. This would include Research and Clinical Electives that are completed in-person.

If you feel that you qualify to complete a second away elective and intend on doing so, please use this link to complete a form to be reviewd by a committee for approval.


Allow ten (10) working days for the Division of Clinical Education to process application materials once the COMPLETED PACKET OF MATERIALS has been received.

The Division of Clinical Education must have a copy of both sides of your health insurance card on file in order to process Away applications.  Send a copy of both sides of your health insurance card to  This will be maintained on file for all future Away application requests.

Drexel University College of Medicine medical students may complete up to 16 weeks of elective rotations at Away sites (sites other than the Drexel University College of Medicine established educational clinical sites).  No required rotation may be completed at other medical schools.  Required rotations include the required Emergency Medicine Subinternship, Pathway required subinternship, and a Pathway-defined required course (if applicable).  As long as the required course is scheduled and completed at “Home,” students may complete, for example, an Emergency Medicine Subinternship as an elective at another institution.

Sources of Information about Electives Available at other Medical Schools:

  1. Visiting Student Learning Opportunities (VSLO) aka VSAS
    The AAMC has recommended the following instructions for medical students:
  2. The AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) publishes a comprehensive list of extramural electives available.  See:

Applying for Non-VSAS Away Electives:

Contact the person or office specified by the information source for an application.  Students may be able to download an application from a web site, if the school has one.  Follow the instructions for applying and gather the site’s required documents which will make up a complete application packet according to the site’s instructions.  This may involve:

  1. Immunization forms:   contact DUCoM’s Office of Documentation Surveillance / 215-991-8560 and/or your private physician.  See Section 4:  Health policy: for Drexel student requirements.
  2. Including your Transcript (if required): after reviewing your grades, send an EMAIL to the Office of the Registrar following the sample email below:

    SAMPLE EMAIL (must be sent from your account):
    Email to:
    Subject: non-VSAS Away Transcript

    Dear Registrar - please send my official transcript to the Division of Clinical Education addressed to an away rotation at:

    University of xxxxx
    123 Home Road
    City, State 12345
    Attn: xxxxx
    My full name and Drexel ID are below:
    Name: (First and Last)
    ID: 12345678 or abc123
    Thank you, Student

    You will receive an email from the Registrar when the transcript has been released.
    Note: If you submit a request online via Drexel One, you will be charged a fee!!
  3. Provide the Division of Clinical Education with the application with the student’s portion completed, all appended documents, application fee (if applicable) and a checklist of all requirements that will make up a complete packet. 

    The Division of Clinical Education will include a letter of good standing with each application.  There may be requirements that the Division of Clinical Education will have on file such as Liability Insurance documentation, background check information, OSHA, etc.  We will review the checklist and let you know if we do not have a requirement on file, or if we have question about your application.  Do not provide postage.  DUCoM will provide the postage/envelope.

Please be aware that there are some sites that have clauses in the application/affiliation agreement that will not be able to be reconciled and you will not be able to apply or rotate.  If this is the case, you will be notified as soon as possible.


Applying for VSAS Away Electives:

Please follow instructions on how to use VSAS:

Send a copy of both sides of your health insurance card to clinicaleducation@drexel.eduThe Division of Clinical Education must have a copy of the front and back of your health insurance card on file in order to verify and release your VSAS requests.  Note: We will keep a copy of file for further applications.

VSAS will notify Drexel when your application is to be verified and released, and we also will be notified of a requirement if it is the “Home” school’s responsibility to fulfill.

Regarding transcripts, once you apply to your initial program, the Office of the University Registrar will automatically be notified to upload your transcript to VSAS.

Regarding Letters of Recommendation (LOR), if a LOR is required for VSAS, the LOR must be sent to the Division of Clinical Education directly from the letter writer to be uploaded (this will be treated the same as a "sealed" letter).


Procedure for Adding an Accepted Away Rotation to your DOCSS Schedule (after a Host School Approves an Elective):

  1. Provide the Division of Clinical Education with a completed Away Elective Form. If the Away Elective Form is not submitted, DUCoM will not recognize that the elective is being or has been done and it will not count towards graduation (rotations must be on your schedule to have malpractice insurance...this is a big deal!!!). YOU MUST HAVE ANY ROTATION ON YOUR SCHEDULE if you represent yourself as a DUCoM medical student.
  2. Send the URL address of the course description to  This is REQUIRED.  This will provide documentation to the Division of Clinical Education that the rotation is listed in a medical school catalogue (some rotations are listed through the hospital only [including some VSAS electives] and may need to go to Special Electives).  The Division of Clinical Education will inform you if a rotation needs the Special Electives Process.  See Categories of Special Electives:

Please note: If a student receives notice that an elective has been approved, but the notice comes within the 4-week limit of a previously scheduled rotation, students need to immediately notify the Division of Clinical Education so it may be reviewed with one of the Student Affairs Deans to discuss whether an emergency schedule change is appropriate.  Students are responsible to notify the host school of whether or not they will be doing the rotation.

It is imperative to take special care in scheduling away rotations.  Consider time lines for dropping rotations.  The DUCoM policy is 5 weeks.  The drop-notification time may be longer or shorter at other schools.  We strongly DISCOURAGE applying to several schools for the same time block.  If they all are approved and notifications arrive all at once and dropping any of them must occur after that host school’s deadline, affected students will have not only a personal dilemma, but those schools whose rotations they drop may no longer offer DUCoM students elective opportunities.

Please allow plenty of time at all phases of this process.  Do not wait until the last minute.  No matter how important an opportunity may seem to you, timelines and deadlines will not be waived.  

Your transcript will not be complete (and your diploma will not be released) until your evaluations have been received from away rotations.   Final transcripts, which are necessary for licensing, cannot be released until all evaluations are posted.  

Students are not permitted to do an away rotation beyond Block 12.

Please allow ten (10) working days for the Division of Clinical Education to process application materials once the COMPLETED PACKET OF MATERIALS has been received.  Applications are processed in order of receipt.

Revised 5/21/2021