5-15-2020: Changes to MD Student Away Rotations

The Coalition for Physician Accountability’s Work Group on Medical Students (WG) recently provided guidance discouraging most away rotations for MD students during the 2020-2021 applicant season. The WG listed the following exceptions as the only reason to allow away rotations:

  1. Learners who have a specialty interest and do not have access to a clinical experience with a residency program in that specialty in their school’s systems will be able to complete away rotations.
  2. Learners for whom an away rotation is required for graduation or accreditation requirements (this does not apply to any UW SMPH MD student).

Frequently asked questions:

Q: How does this impact away rotations for UW SMPH MD students?

A: UW SMPH does not have a requirement for MD students to do an away rotation graduation requirement. Our students will have access to clinical experiences necessary for their specialty of choice. Therefore, in adherence to these recommendations, UW SMPH strongly discourages our students from doing away rotations during the 2020-2021 academic year. As always, requests for away rotations must be approved by MD Program Student Services. Request for away rotations will not be approved unless the student demonstrates that they will not have access to a clinical experience necessary for their specialty. This should come in the form of a letter from your M4 Department Scheduling Faculty Champion attesting to the lack of the needed clinical experience.

Q: How does this impact visiting MD student rotations at UW SMPH?
A: We will not host any visiting MD students who do not meet at least one of the exceptions. In keeping with these guidelines, any previously approved away rotation that does not meet this requirement will be canceled. Students that have previously been approved for any away rotation should contact our Visiting Student unit by emailing visitingstudent@med.wisc.edu on or shortly after May 19, 2020 when Visiting Student Learning Opportunities (VSLO) re-opens and we regain access to VSLO scheduling data.

Q: What can MD students do to make their residency application as competitive as possible without an opportunity to do an away rotation?
A: We encourage MD students to work closely with their specialty department to ensure they are able to get necessary clinical experiences. We also encourage students to work with their Academic Career Advising Program (ACAP) mentors and Brian Núñez, Director of Career Advising, to help construct a competitive application to residency.