Visiting Medical Student Program

SUNY Downstate only accepts students from LCME-accredited allopathic schools with the exception of some departments which accept students from College of Osteopathic and we accept applications through VSLO (VSAS) ONLY.

As per the AAMC student should not communicate with the institution regarding completed application until the elective notification timeline, as detailed by the institution, has concluded. Students will be notified regarding the status of your application through VSAS/VSLO, and we cannot provide status updated via the phone ONLY emails.


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, a back ground check within one year and be HIPAA, OSHA, COVID-19 and New York State Infection Control certified.

All visiting medical students must provide proof of American Heart Association Basic Life Support (BLS card) or Red Cross. 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: 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 Health Sciences University'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 2022–2023 academic year starting in May 3, 2022.

Students from U.S. Medical Schools

SUNY Downstate College of Medicine is a VSLO (VSAS) School. Students from U.S. medical schools who are interested in applying for a visiting elective will apply to us through the Visiting Student Learning Opportunities (VSLO) (VSAS).

  • Course catalog will be loaded on the VSLO (VSAS) website as of April 11, 2022.
  • We will begin accepting applications as of May 3, 2022.
  • Our earliest notification of outcome will be May 10, 2022.
  • The earliest month we will assign an elective is AugustNOTE: Only those students applying to Emergency Medicine, Neurology, Otolaryngology, 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. * Subject to change due to the pandemic.
  • Health clearance must be completed in order for the student to be permitted to register. Students will download the AAMC Immunization Form for Visiting Students from the VSLO (VSAS) application.
  • All students must complete the Kings County Hospital Center Student Clearance Form prior to arrival. The form will be sent to your email address once accepted.
  • Criminal Background Check (within one (1) year of the current academic term). This can be completed by submitting: A criminal background check completed within one (1) year of the current academic term; or a letter from your home institution certifying that the student has completed a background check within (1) year of the current academic term (with no adverse indications); or completion of a background check through (see instructions below).

    If the student wishes to complete a background check using Castle Branch, go to follow the following instructions (PLEASE NOTE: Only complete through Downstate if unavailable through your HOME School):

    SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University is working with Castle Branch for instructions on how to obtain your background go to the "How do I obtain my background check?" section in on the Student Affairs website. The cost of the background check is $115, which is payable by the student to the company directly.

    To obtain your background check:

    1. Go to and click on "Place Order."
    2. Using the drop-down menu, select the appropriate Package Code box: SX30bg
    3. Enter your payment information — Visa, Mastercard, or Money Order.
    4. Follow the online instructions, enter all of the requested information, and complete your order.

Additional Requirements for Visiting Students Applying for Emergency Medicine Elective:

  • CV
  • Letter of Intent

Catalog Information

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


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 Health Sciences University, 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.

Student Health Service Mailing Address: SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, 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 drop it on VSLO and 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 your 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: 2 Different Clearances


All visiting students must report to the Office of the Registrar the Friday before the first day of their elective to register. Please bring a copy of your VLSO acceptance letter to show to our security. Once you arrive, you will be required to obtain Health clearance prior to completing registration. 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.


Students rotating at KCH should follow insructions sent after being accepted.


Questions may be sent to