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The Brody School of Medicine
Office of Student Affairs


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Application/Approval Process

Introductory: BSOM wishes to support students who undertake international rotations. Students are encouraged to think carefully about the type of experience desired; and to plan for these experiences well in advance of the actual rotation dates. Due to the level of scrutiny and documentation required for these rotations, such experiences cannot be undertaken in a "last minute" manner.

Ad hoc vs Official Experiences: a distinction is made between rotations that are conducted by students on a purely independent, voluntary basis on their own time; and those that are developed to provide academic credit. Students should be careful not to confuse these two different types of experiences.
  • Ad Hoc experiences: these are generally arranged independently by the student without BSOM faculty or staff assistance. These experiences take place outside the medical school curriculum (e.g., summer sessions) and do not involve official recognition by BSOM in any manner. No academic credit can be received for these experiences.
  • Official experiences: these are official credit course experiences undertaken as part of the student's individualized elective curriculum, for the purpose of enhancing the student's course of study. These courses are taken by M4 medical students and must follow all official policies and procedures outlined in this document or otherwise deemed as relevant to the rotation. Successful completion of these rotations will be assigned appropriate levels of academic credit depending on various factors (e.g., length of rotation, nature of the experience itself, curriculum policies). Official experiences can be arranged via three categories:

    • Departmental Electives: Certain international rotations have been reviewed and approved by the appropriate BSOM Curriculum Committee and are listed in the school catalog as departmental electives (M4 courses). These electives may be found through the Student Affair's 4th Year Curriculum page in the M4 Course Descriptions.  Currently offered courses are CVSU 9445 (Nicaragua), FMLY 9435 (Zambia) and OBGY 9417 (Guatemala).
    • Individually Designed Elective (IDE) Experiences: If the rotation is not listed as an official departmental elective, the student must follow the current Office of Student Affairs policy and procedure for an Individually Designed Elective (see the 4th Year Curriculum page) and obtain appropriate approval at least 60 days prior to beginning the elective.
    • Alternative Educational Experiences: some international rotations may be undertaken through the auspices of an existing medical school, hospital and/or other training facility in the host country. These are considered "alternative educational experiences" as defined by current policy in the Office of Student Affairs. All requirements of such experiences must be strictly met.  If the experience is not listed on that institution's catalog as an official course, the IDE procedure will be required.


For all international rotations in the "official" category (i.e., for academic credit during the M4 year), a student must be in "good academic standing" with the university before the experience will be approved. All paperwork and requirements as described herein must be completed by the appropriate deadlines. It is the student's responsibility to ensure that the Office of Student Affairs receives all appropriate documentation and evaluation information, so that a final course grade can be assigned. BSOM administration reserves the right to cancel any such rotation for failure to adhere to guidelines.

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