Elective Planning and Management

Everything you need to plan and manage your Elective year

class of 2019 med students first days

Update 1/26/23 For questions about the content or functionality of this page, please contact Kelsi Whitehead.

Orientation to Electives 

Welcome to planning for your fourth year of medical school!  The fourth-year graduation requirements are:  
Minimum 36 credits total that includes:
  • 30 clinical credits
    • Maximum away (non-virtual) credits = 16
    • Maximum credits in one specialty = 12
    • Within the 30 credits, all students are required to take 4 credits (4 weeks) Advanced Clinical Experience in Rural Health Care. The specialty you take during your Rural Experience does not count towards the 12-credit maximum for a single specialty. Therefore, you can take 12 credits in one specialty plus your rural.
    • (If you obtained special permission to take this in 3rd year, those count as third year credits and meets the graduation requirement. You will need to do 4 more clinical or non-clinical credits in 4th year to meet the minimum).
  • 6 non-clinical credits
    • With permission from your career advisor, Student Affairs and the Clinical Education team and you may elect to do 6 clinical credits. Please see Electives Approval Process & Timelines, below.
  • Optional: Students may elect to go up to a maximum of 40 credits total. To do so, please meet with the following people in the following order:
    • 1. Career advisor - review electives planning form together and sign; take the updated form to #2
    • 2. Student affairs - review your updated form with students affairs
    • 3. Clinical Education office - submit your updated form as per the instructions in "Electives Approval Process and Timelines" section
  • NOTE:
    • Students must be registered in advance of an elective (it has been entered into One45) if they are to receive credit.
    • Electives are NOT first-come, first served during the initial phase of scheduling. Coordinators will evaluate all requests together in order to maximize opportunities for all students.

Electives Approval Process & Timelines

  1. Download the Class of 2024 Elective Planning Form. The Class 2024 prototype is here. The final version is available February 1, 2023.
  2. Submit the form to your career advisor through Adobe Elective Plan Request form by March 6, 2023. Meet with your career advisor to review and approve the form by March 20, 2023. A finalized approval means the advisor has signed and submitted the Adobe form, which automatically routes to Dr Singer by March 20, 2023. You can email your advisor to confirm this has happened.
  3. Dr Singer will review by March 27, 2023. When she signs, the form automatically routes to the Clinical Education team. You will not get an email to confirm this, but if you have questions, please contact Dr Singer.
  4. The Clinical Education Team will review and schedule your electives between March 27-April 26, 2023.
    • Students whose schedules are finalized will be notified by the Clinical Education team.
    • Students whose schedules need adjustments, will be notified by the Clinical Education team to use the Add/Change form to make changes. Students are highly encouraged to meet with their career advisor and/or Dr Singer before submitting the Add/Change form to the clinical education team.
  5. If not already notified of a final schedule earlier in the cycle, students will receive their final schedule May 10, 2023.

Important Details

  • Students are not permitted to arrange rotations with attendings. Attendings are not permitted to offer rotations directly to students. Department Assistants manage all clinical placements and are aware of considerations the student or attending may not be.
  • Students are responsible for ensuring their schedule always contains 30+ clinical credits and a total of 36 credits (a combination of 30 clinical and 6 non-clinical). Any course dropped that totals below 36 credits, or below 30 clinical credits, must be accompanied by a course addition, as per the graduation requirements.
  • All change requests (drop, add, change) are due at least two weeks prior to the start of the affected elective. You should request changes in Surgery, Emergency Medicine six weeks in advance.
  • Please remember that some institutions' credentialing requirements take longer than 2 weeks. For example, if your credentials have lapsed at the VA you will need up to 6 weeks to be reinstated. Keep your logins active.
  • Keep track of the number of local credits that you may need to ask for if you do not get into one or more of your aways.
  • Why can't I book two non-longitudinal electives at the same time? Elective credits assume a minimum of 40 hours a week per credit. While some single experiences allow work up to 80 hours a week, taking two at the same time is not allowed for credit.
  • Please note longitudinal courses are booked in One45 according to when the preceptor wants the grade form, rather than when the work might be in progress.
  • Adobe Sign forms require you to verify your email, but then returns an error message "You have already verified your email." It is a known problem that does not affect your submission. IMPORTANT: this step is required every time you submit a form. Without verifying your email, the form will not reach the coordinators. You will know when the form has been processed by the coordinators because you will receive a copy of the "accepted" document, with their comments. Be sure to read their comments; an accepted document may or may not have been "approved." You can also verify if a course was approved because it will appear in One45.

Adding/Dropping Electives

Deadlines for the class of 2024 are as follows:

Fall semester is the second Wednesday of October (Class of 2024=October 11, 2022)
Spring semester, the second Wednesday of December (Class of 2024=December 13, 2022) 

The following Add/Drop forms are open to students Class 2024 starting April 27th.

Availability Change Form
EMER Eric Eberle EMER
FCM Ale Espinoza FCM
IMED Dawn Younie IMED
Med/PCB/Micro/Pharm (see Radiology below) Elisabeth Hairston Med/PCB/Micro/Pharm
NEUR Online calendar  NEUR
OB-Gyn Heather Durden OB-Gyn
Path Online calendar Path
PEDI Diane Hamada PEDI
PSY Online calendar PSY
Radiology Online calendar Radiology
SX Online calendar SX

Steps for Successful Away Elective Planning

  1. Students' away electives must either go through VSLO or have an affiliation agreement in place prior to the start of the elective in order to be authorized to attend and to receive credit.
    • Students may take up to 16 credits of in-person away electives. Virtual away electives do not count towards the away total.
    • List aways on your planning form even if you have no details yet. For example, list what you hope to get into: Pediatric Pulmonology/4 clinical credits/July or August (see tutorial tab in Planning Form workbook)
  2. Once Away Elective has been confirmed (in-person and virtual) complete the Notice of Acceptance to Away Rotation
    • if you accept an away and then change your plans, notify the program immediately and submit a Change Form or a new Notice of Acceptance to Away Rotation for the replacement away (if applicable).
    • If you are dropping or changing a LOCAL elective in order to schedule your away, please be sure to complete a separate change form(s).
  3. Have the preceptor complete the Away Elective Clinical Performance Evaluation
    • be sure preceptor sends directly to Brandi Aiazzi.

Electives Additional Information

Absences
  • Absences are considered insurance and may be requested from the Course Director, copying the Department Assistant, for up to 3 days in a four-week rotation and 1 day in a two-week rotation; time off must be made up to receive credit.
Credits
  • Total required to graduate: 36 credits
  • Maximum away (non-virtual) credits = 16
  • Maximum credits in one specialty = 12
  • The 4-week Rural Experience counts towards the 30 clinical credit minimum (unless taken in 3rd year).
  • The specialty you take during your Rural Experience does not count towards the 12-credit maximum for a single specialty. Therefore, you can take 12 credits in one specialty plus your rural.
  • Why can't I book two non-longitudinal electives at the same time? Elective credits assume a minimum of 40 hours a week per credit. While some single experiences allow work up to 80 hours a week, taking two at the same time is not allowed for credit.
  • Keep in mind the number of local credits that you may need to ask for if you do not get into one or more of your aways.
Immunizations
  • Send your AAMC immunization form to Kristin Shokney for review prior to uploading to VSLO.
  • For backup immunization documents, Brandi Aiazzi can help you.

Important Links

Elective Catalog 
VSLO
Notice of Acceptance to Away Rotation
Affiliations - Contact is Kelsi Whitehead, Clinical Education Manager
Evaluations
Graduation Requirements
Career Advising
International Experience