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Visiting Medical Student Program



SUNY Downstate College of Medicine welcomes visiting medical students into the senior elective program. Students who will have completed their clinical clerkships by the starting date of the desired elective are eligible to apply. Applicants must be in good academic standing at their home school, must have their school's approval to participate in the desired elective and must have health and liability insurance coverage and be HIPAA, OSHA and New York State Infection Control certified.

All visiting medical students must provide proof of American Heart Association Basic Life Support (BLS card). ACLS cards will not be accepted.

All visiting medical students are required to have the seasonal flu vaccination. The vaccinations must be taken in the United States.

Please note that some of the clinical training sites require vaccination. Students must be aware that clinical placements may be limited if they are not vaccinated.

General Information

All electives courses at SUNY Downstate and its affiliated institutions are part of the official curriculum of the College of Medicine. Qualified students may be accommodated in elective spots that have not been filled by our students. Applicants are considered in the order their application is received. Elective rotation dates must coincide with the scheduled dates of SUNY Downstate Medical Center's elective periods.

Students from other medical schools are not permitted to enroll in required core clerkships.


  • Only complete applications will be reviewed.
  • Cancellations must be received no later than two (2) weeks prior to the start date of the elective.
  • No changes will be made once you have been approved for an elective.
  • Please note: We will begin accepting applications for the 2014–2015 academic year on May 28, 2014.
  • There will be a $40 late fee (non refundable) charged to students changing elective dates after being accepted.

Students from U.S. Medical Schools and U.S. Osteopathic Schools

SUNY Downstate College of Medicine is a VSAS School. Students from U.S. medical and U.S. osteopathic schools who are interested in applying for a visiting elective will apply to us through the Visiting Student Application Service VSAS.

  • Course catalog will be loaded on the VSAS website as of May 20, 2014.
  • We will begin accepting applications as of May 28, 2014.
  • Our earliest notification of outcome will be June 11.
  • The earliest month we will assign an elective is August NOTE: Only those students applying to Emergency Medicine, Neurology, Neurosurgery and Urology will be processed for July.
  • Deadline for submission of visiting student application is two months prior to the requested start date of the elective.
  • Health clearance must be completed in order for the student to be permitted to register. Students will download the SUNY Downstate Health Statement Form for Visiting Students. Once completed, the student will upload our Health Statement form into VSAS.

Additional requirements for visiting students applying for Emergency Medicine elective:

  • CV
  • USMLE Step 1 or COMPLEX Level 1 scores, either uploaded or within CV.

Please note Emergency Medicine, does offer the research elective for visiting students.

The Department of Anesthesia will only accept visiting students for the months of December through June.


Students from International Medical Schools

The following departments do NOT accept students from International medical schools:

  • Anesthesiology
  • Emergency Medicine*
  • Family Practice
  • Internal Medicine
  • Neurosurgery
  • Ophthalmology
  • Orthopedics
  • Otolaryngology
  • Pathology
  • Radiology
  • Surgery

* At this time Emergency Medicine will NOT be able to accommodate any Sackler medical students due to limited resources.

Due to the high volume of applications, the following departments will only consider accepting International Visiting student applications for December – June electives:

  • Pediatrics

The following department(s) will only consider accepting International Visiting student applications for January – April electives:

  • Dermatology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

Click here for detailed instructions on the International Visiting Student Process.

Catalog Information

Students from U.S. medical schools will be able to view the elective offerings within the VSAS program.

International medical students can view the electives offerings below. There is a category in each elective description which indicates whether Visiting Students are accepted for that elective.

Students must follow the official elective dates. The standard dates are listed in the Senior Elective Calendar link below.


Housing is available space permitting in one of two residence hall facilities (811 New York Avenue and 825 New York Avenue). Mailing Address: SUNY Downstate Medical Center, 450 Clarkson Avenue, Box 115, Brooklyn, New York 11203. Telephone: (718) 270-1466 or e-mail at

Student Health Services

Health clearance must be completed in order for the student to be permitted to register.

SUNY Downstate Health Statement Form for Visiting Students

Student Health Service Mailing Address: SUNY Downstate Medical Center, 450 Clarkson Avenue, Box 33, Brooklyn, New York 11203. Telephone: (718) 270-1995 or e-mail at

NYS Infection Control Courses

Effective November, 2008, the New York State Department of Health has implemented new Infection Control requirements for all medical students. These are described in Section 239(b) of the Public Health Law. The complete list of authorized providers is available here; there is an option to obtain a current list of New York State approved courses from distance learning providers. SUNY Downstate assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information on the website.

Notification of approval or denial

Applications will not be processed until all completed component parts have been received. Please note the application deadlines. Students will be notified of approval or denial, as soon as they are approved, at least 4 weeks prior to the start date of the requested elective. Students who withdraw their application less than 2 weeks prior to the start of the elective may have a letter of complaint sent to the Dean of their medical school.

Students are expected to attend their rotation(s) each day. Requests for days off must be made no later than the first day of the rotation and are approved at the discretion of the course director.

Cancellation Policy

If you can no longer attend an elective which you have accepted, you must notify the Visiting Student Coordinator via email no later than 4 weeks prior to your start date. The Visiting Student Coordinator will then notify the department that you cannot attend. No re-scheduling of electives will be permitted. If you fail to notify the Visiting Student Coordinator at least 4 weeks prior to start date, SUNY Downstate will withdraw you from any future scheduled elective and you home school will be notified. (A letter informing the home school of a lack of professionalism in communication by the student will be sent directly from our Dean of Medical Education to the home school Dean. The student will also no longer be eligible to apply for rotations at SUNY Downstate).

Arrival on the first day

All visiting students must report to the Office of the Registrar the Friday before the first day of their elective to register. Health clearance must be completed in order for the student to be permitted to register. Students will receive a letter to obtain a Downstate I.D. card and visiting student privileges to the library. The department will NOT receive a student who has not registered through the Office of the Registrar.


Questions may be sent to