4.11: Completing Clerkships at Other Institutions

Required Core Clerkships

Stanford does not permit students to complete required core clerkships at other institutions.

Selective Clerkships

Students wishing to substitute an away clerkship for a selective clerkship and use it to satisfy the selective clerkship graduation requirement must petition for approval prior to enrolling in the clerkship. Retroactive approval of clerkship substitutions will not be granted.

The petition will be reviewed according to the following process:

1.  Complete the Faculty Authorization Form for Away Selective Substitution

2.  Review by the student’s Advising Dean; after review and discussion with the student, the Advising Dean’s approval and signature is required on the petition prior to its moving forward.

3.  Review by the relevant Stanford Clerkship Director to determine if the content at the off-site clerkship provides a reasonably comparable experience to that at Stanford.

Once the petition has been reviewed and approved by all parties above, the petition will be presented for review to the Assistant Dean for Clerkship Education for final approval.

If so approved, the student then enrolls in the clerkship with the Stanford number and the letter “W” following to indicate it was done at another location.

Elective Clerkships

Students wishing to take elective clerkships in the United States or Canada should apply about six months in advance. Students who wish to take clinical clerkships abroad should apply to the international hospital or medical school one year in advance. Virtually every US medical school makes their visiting student program requirements and application process available on their websites. Students should visit their websites for more information and follow their instructions to apply.

If the away institution requires a letter of good standing, with proof of malpractice coverage, the student should contact the School of Medicine Registrar’s Office at medregistrar@stanford.edu. The Registrar’s Office provides the letter, has the application signed, and returns these documents to the student for mailing to the away institution along with any application fees, transcripts, or proof of immunization.

If you wish to apply to any medical schools or teaching hospitals that use AAMC’s Visiting Student Learning Opportunities (VSLO), you need to request authorizations to apply in VSLO from the Associate Director of Clerkship Administration in the Registrar’s Office. 

It is strongly recommended that away clerkships be taken for credit. When the elective with the away institution is confirmed, credits can be requested by filling out a Faculty Authorization Form, When the Associate Director of Clerkship Administration receives both the approved Faculty Authorization Form from the student’s Advising Dean and an acceptance notification from the other institution, the away clerkship will be added to the student’s Fishbowl schedule. The student should register for the away clerkship on Axess by the final Study List deadline of the applicable quarter; course numbers for away clerkships are identified with the suffix “W.” An evaluation of clerkship work done at the away institution is required. Away evaluations will be scheduled in MedHub.

Students who choose to take the away clerkship for no credit should check with the School of Medicine Registrar’s Office to determine if malpractice insurance will apply.

Additionally, students who choose to take an away clerkship will be responsible for any fees assessed by the institution such as physical exams, background checks, and/or drug testing.

updated August 2019