Skip to main content

Visiting Student Electives

Below is a comprehensive list of all electives open to visiting students for the 2024 academic cycle. All rotations must coincide with our academic calendar for visiting student electives. Please note that not all electives are offered every month. All visiting applications are processed through VSLO.

Vanderbilt’s VSLO catalog will be visible on February 26th, and open to receiving applications on March 4th, 2024. Offers will be sent no sooner than 12 weeks before the start date of each elective.

ANES-5610: Perioperative Medicine and Surgical Home

Applications will be accepted from March 4th – April 22nd, 2024. No applications will be considered after the cutoff date. A 3,000 character maximum letter of interest is required.

This course is designed to emphasize the concepts of coordinated perioperative medicine and enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS). Evidence-based guidelines, optimization/standardization of perioperative care, and multimodal strategies to decrease postoperative morbidities are key components of ERAS. The student will function as integral part of the Perioperative Anesthesia Consult Service and learn fundamental aspects of anesthetic care that maximize perioperative pain control and reduce morbidity and healthcare costs related to cardiac, pulmonary, renal, endocrine, PONV complications or surgical site infections. The student will have an opportunity to be involved in the preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative management of surgical patients on ERAS pathways.

ANES-5611: Advanced Clinical Anesthesiology

(not offered in June)

Applications will be accepted from March 4th – April 22nd, 2024. No applications will be considered after the cutoff date. A 3,000 character maximum letter of interest is required.

This ACE will define the role of Anesthesiology as a Perioperative Medicine Specialty in which students will gain broad understanding of the perioperative management of patients across all age groups undergoing surgical procedures. Course content will emphasize the following principles: preoperative assessment, development and execution of an anesthetic plan (including induction of anesthesia, airway management, maintenance of anesthesia, and emergence), and management of acute pain. Students will become an integral part of an anesthesia care team model (attending anesthesiologist and resident). Working side-by-side with this care team, students will learn and actively participate in the anesthetic management of patients presenting for surgical procedures and diagnostic or therapeutic interventions.

DERM-5790: Clinical Dermatology

Vanderbilt Dermatology is committed to increasing diversity in the specialty of dermatology. We believe that having physicians that reflect the population that we serve results in better healthcare outcomes.

We offer one stipend to a qualified student to assist in reducing the cost of an away rotation. More info can be found here:

This clinical experience will be in the outpatient clinic setting and the inpatient consultation setting with direct faculty interaction. The location of clinic assignments will be in the VU Dermatology Clinic at Vanderbilt One Hundred Oaks and the Dermatology Clinic at the Nashville VA Hospital. There will be participation in weekly conferences specifically for the rotators on the clerkship. The didactic lectures during the month will focus on the identification, treatment, and management of common dermatologic diseases. The clinical experience will reinforce the lectures plus give insight into the role of the dermatologist as a consultant for less common and difficult to treat conditions.

EM-5950: Emergency Medicine

(only offered June – September)

This elective offers URiM scholarships which are due March 25th, 2024. For more information, visit:

“Is there a doctor on the plane?” Emergencies happen in all specialties and even in life. The 4 week Emergency Medicine ACE will introduce the student to emergency medicine and the initial management strategies for common life threatening emergencies. Students will develop an approach to common undifferentiated patient complaints and a practical skill set in: acid-base emergencies, basic airway management, electrocardiogram interpretation, and electrolyte emergencies. Students will also complete Basic Life Support (BLs) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) training. During the week, there are daily didactic sessions as well as procedure labs and high fidelity simulations. Clinical shifts are spread across a variety of practice settings (adult and pediatrics) and offer a broad exposure. Students work closely with emergency medicine faculty and residents to identify sick patients and develop differential diagnoses and management plans. Students also have the opportunity to participate in procedures and trauma resuscitations. Fulfills the acute care course requirement.

MED-5610: Clinical Nephrology

This experience is designed to give the immersion phase student significant experience in practical clinical nephrology and prepare him or her for future house staff training. Students will participate in daily rounds on either the Vanderbilt Nephrology Service, ESRD service, transplant service, or the VA nephrology service. Students will also have the option of spending time in the nephrology and dialysis clinics to gain more experience. Patients with various clinical disorders including fluid and electrolyte abnormalities, acid-base disturbances, glomerular diseases, and disturbances of kidney function, including acute and chronic kidney failure, will be seen and discussed. Students will have the opportunity to perform kidney consults and present patients to the rest of the rounding team. Frequently, the nephrology service is requested to perform emergency consultation which requires acute hemodialysis or acute plasmapheresis. Students may participate in these acute consultations, assist with acute dialysis catheter placement, and develop an understanding of kidney emergencies and their treatment.

MED-5655: Geriatric Medicine

The intent of this course is to provide students with an advanced educational experience in geriatric medicine. Students will gain familiarity with multiple geriatric syndromes: polypharmacy, gait instability, dementia, fragility, pain management, pressure sores, incontinence, osteoporosis; appreciation for continuity of care across different levels of care; and the ability to differentiate between normal aging and disease processes. Students’ knowledge of ethical issues will also be enhanced including patient autonomy, driving, elder abuse, and advance care planning. Students will also be able to identify and use community resources effectively, assess and treat multiple geriatric syndromes, organize management of multiple acute and chronic diseases simultaneously, and communicate sensitively and effectively with older persons and caregivers. VA system access is required. Students cannot take this course if they have not received VA access at least 2 weeks before the course starts.

MED-5735: Palliative Care

(not offered in July)

Students will rotate through VUMC, the VA Hospital, and community hospice agencies under the supervision of palliative care specialists. Students will follow their own patients and work with an interdisciplinary team (IDT). This opportunity will allow students to learn and apply the fundamentals in pain and symptom management, how to communicate at the end of life, care of the dying patient, and hospice criteria.  Students will spend roughly two weeks with the VUMC consult service, one week at the VUMC Palliative Care Unit, and one week at the VA. They will also work several days with community hospice members, child life specialists, chaplains, case managers, social workers, and nurses.  At VUMC and the VA Hospital, students will work with the inpatient consultative team and see patients throughout the hospital from all disciplines of medicine assisting in symptom management, advanced care planning, and hospice information.  During their time with hospice, they will accompany members of the IDT on home visits and learn more about their various roles in end of life care.  The palliative care physicians and nurse practitioners will supervise and evaluate the students on the basis of the six clinical core competencies as delineated by the ACGME. Creative structuring will allow students to make modifications to the rotation to meet individual needs.

MED-5760: Rheumatology

(Only offered in June, September, and October)

Time will be spent primarily in the rheumatology clinic at the Vanderbilt clinic and involved in the consultation from the hospital with the rheumatology team at VUMC. the VA Hospital (VAH). Students will have an opportunity to be involved in the clinic and consultation from the hospital with the rheumatology team at VAH. Upon request, students may have an opportunity to expose to pediatric rheumatology. Students will work in several clinics with different rheumatologists each day, and they will observe patient evaluations and treatments. Materials for study will be given. There will be an expectation from a student to perform patient assessment especially in history taking and physical examination focusing on rheumatology. Students will have an opportunity to attend all rheumatology conferences, in both clinical and research meetings.

MED-5780: Medical Oncology

This advanced clinical experience will provide the student with a broad overview of inpatient clinical oncology. Inpatient exposure will be centered at Vanderbilt Hospital, where the student will assist in the evaluation of new oncology service admissions and new consultations. The student will make morning rounds and present new cases to the oncology attending.

NEUR-5612: General Neurology

Students will participate in a four-week general neurology rotation that will have a flexible schedule to allow students to pursue specific interests. The schedule will consist of time on the inpatient general neurology service and the neurology consult service, with the option to attend occasional outpatient clinics.

NEUR-5620: Stroke

Prerequisite: Visiting students must have completed Neurology clerkship prior to rotation. 

(Only offered October – December)

Students will participate in a four-week stroke advanced clinical experience that will involve inpatient, outpatient and procedural activities. The main venue of participation will be the inpatient stroke service where students will be responsible for carrying a census of patients (presenting on rounds), going to and assisting with stroke alerts, and participating in the education of clerkship students on the service. Students will also have the opportunity to go to stroke clinic and the angiogram suite to learn about and observe diagnostic angiograms and intra-arterial procedures. Students will also attend the weekly multidisciplinary cerebrovascular conference, and spend time with the Neuro ICU team. Students will be expected to stay for overnight call at least two times during the four-week rotation.

OBGN-5630: Maternal Fetal Medicine

(Only offered July – October)

Prerequisite: Visiting students must have completed OBGN clerkship prior to rotation.

During this rotation, the student receives advanced exposure to the practice of outpatient high-risk obstetrics. Students will help to direct the outpatient antepartum care of women with common complications of pregnancy, including preterm labor, pre-gestational diabetes, chronic hypertension, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy and maternal cardiac disease. By the end of the rotation, the student should be familiar with common complications of pregnancy and be confident in delivering directed and concise patient assessments and treatment plans. Outpatient learning activities include attendance in MFM return OB and consult clinics, with additional time spent in diabetes clinic, and obstetrical ultrasound. The student will develop and complete an individualized learning plan during the rotation that may involve some inpatient training opportunities. OB simulation training exercises at the end of the rotation to assess student knowledge, communication skills, and procedural competencies.  The student will meet with faculty preceptor(s) 1 to 2x/week to review specific cases related to learning plan objectives.

OBGN-5655: Gynecologic Oncology

(only offered July – October)

During this rotation, the student receives training in the management of gynecologic oncology patients. The student participates in the evaluation and treatment of patients, gaining experience in surgery, colposcopy, pathology, chemotherapy, and radiation techniques. The student will be primarily responsible for 2-3 inpatients at any given time under the direct supervision of the resident on service. By the end of the rotation, the student should be familiar with the staging of different gynecologic malignancies, common treatment modalities, and important prognostic factors affecting survival. In addition, the student will be exposed to the immediate postoperative care of the acutely ill patient. Specific learning activities include pre- and postoperative care of the oncology surgical patient, assistance in the operative cases on the service, and attendance in the private clinics of the oncology attending.

OBGN-5660: Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery

(only offered July – October)

During this rotation, the student receives training and practical experience in the diagnosis and management of pelvic floor defects and dysfunctions. The student will participate in preoperative evaluation, surgery, and post-operative follow-up of operative cases. In addition, there will be exposure to conservation treatment including pelvic floor rehabilitation and insertion/management of pessaries. History and physical exam in the setting of pelvic floor defects are also emphasized.

OBGN-5665: Operative Gynecology

(only offered August – October)

Operative Gynecology seeks to integrate didactic and interactive teaching, general and specialty clinic experience, outpatient and inpatient management experience, and focused independent study to gain a more in depth appreciation for clinical presentation, diagnostic evaluation, clinical or surgical management, and short or long term follow-up of common gynecologic problems.

OPH-5610: Ophthalmology

Requirement: Personal statement and personal goals for rotation (student upload)

(only offered July – September. Application Deadline for is March 22nd, 2024.

VEI is offering a URiM scholarship. The application deadline for this scholarship is March 22nd, 2024.

Link to scholarship app:

Ophthalmology is a wonderful specialty, combining both medical and surgical care of the eye and the peri-ocular structures. The ACE will allow medical students to participate in care delivered at the Vanderbilt Eye Institute, the Nashville Veterans’ Affairs Hospital, the Vanderbilt University Hospital and Monroe Carell Jr Children’s Hospital’s inpatient and emergency room and OR. Through shadowing attendings and performing ophthalmic exams, it is expected at the conclusion of the ACE a medical student will be able to (1) perform a basic slit-lamp examination and a dilated fundus examination with a direct ophthalmoscope, (2) have a working understanding of the major etiologies of vision loss in the United States, including cataracts, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and amblyopia, and (3) accurately diagnose common ophthalmic issues, including corneal abrasions, conjunctivitis and acute-angle closure glaucoma. Additionally, the societal impact of loss of vision on a person’s activities of daily living, the reestablishment of independence following restoration of sight and the evolving role of the ophthalmologist providing this care should be appreciated by the medical student.

ORTH-5611: General Orthopaedics

Requirement: Orthopaedics requires a mandatory supplemental video application and a letter of interest upload to VSLO to complete your application. Supplemental video link: 

(only offered July – November)

This course provides hands-on exposure to orthopedic trauma and injury care in adults and children. The student will be able to integrate medical and surgical knowledge in the care of orthopedic trauma patients with musculoskeletal injuries in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Emphasis will be placed on initial evaluation, preoperative and postoperative management as well as intraoperative surgical procedures. Students will act as part of a multi-disciplinary team during this course. Students are also allowed to participate in the call experience where they are providing casting and splinting care, in addition to assisting in patient evaluations. Didactic sessions are held for one hour each morning prior to surgical cases or clinic during which the student will be able to integrate medical and surgical knowledge in the care of patients.

OTO-5625: Otolaryngology

Requirement: Personal statement (student upload)

(Not offered in December)

The Otolaryngology ACE is a surgical and medical course that offers immersion into the oldest medical specialty in the United States. This course deals with disorders of the ear, nose, and throat and involves the Head and Neck/Laryngology, Pediatric Otolaryngology, Rhinology/Plastic Surgery, and Otology services. Rotations provide the clinical complexity of various head and neck pathologies and explore medical and surgical treatment plans. The course will focus on the diagnosis, treatment, and management of many specialty-specific disorders as well as primary care problems associated with pediatric and adult patients in the ambulatory, inpatient, and operating room setting. Rotators will encounter disorders including ear disease and hearing loss, head and neck cancer, voice and communication disorders, obstructive sleep apnea, and airway abnormalities. The outpatient setting will enhance and reinforce a thorough head and neck examination, including the ear exam, and foster the development of an Otolaryngologic assessment and plan. Additionally, students will be able to be involved with the inpatient otolaryngology team and aid in and observe operating room procedures. Students will have a unique look into the complexities of this specialty and become involved with the multi-disciplinary approaches to treatment with other team members, including audiologists, speech pathologists, radiologists, pulmonary and gastroenterology physicians.

PATH-5620: Anatomical Pathology

(Not offered July – September)

This four week Advanced Clinical Experience is designed to provide in-depth exposure to the practice of anatomic pathology via a mixture of services and is an ideal way to gain additional insight into the field for both those students considering pathology as a career and those who plan to pursue clinical specialties which frequently make use of pathology services. Depending on specific student interest and service availability, the setting for this clerkship may include the sub-specialty-oriented surgical pathology service at VUMC, the general surgical pathology service at the VA Hospital, the cytopathology service at VUMC, the pediatric surgical pathology service at Monroe Carell, Jr. Children’s Hospital and the autopsy pathology service at VUMC.

Emphasis is placed on introducing the student to the methods of specimen processing, evaluation and diagnosis in anatomic pathology with a particular focus on the relationship that anatomic pathologists maintain with clinical colleagues in the context of patient care efforts. Opportunities will exist for students to see a range of specimen types from fine needle aspiration biopsies to multi-organ resections and full autopsies. Students will work closely with pathology residents and fellows and will participate in a variety of tasks including pathologist performed biopsies, intra-operative consultations, gross specimen evaluation and selection of histologic sections for microscopic review. Additionally students will preview microscopic slides and dictate draft reports for selected cases and will subsequently participate in case review, ancillary test ordering/evaluation and final case sign out with the attending pathologist. Students will be expected to attend the various intradepartmental educational conferences in anatomic pathology as they occur.

PED-5612: Adolescent Medicine

Adolescent Medicine is a unique subspecialty in pediatrics in that it combines both primary care with consultative care for adolescents and young adults ages 12 to 22 years of age. During this ACE students will have the opportunity to learn comprehensive care of the adolescent using both a primary care and a multidisciplinary team approach. Students will have the ability to function within the Adolescent/Young Adult Clinic and will be exposed to a multidisciplinary team which includes a social worker, nutritionist and psychiatrist in conjunction with an adolescent medicine physician. At the end of the course, students will feel comfortable performing a complete psychosocial assessment of an adolescent using the HEADDSS assessment tool. They will have the opportunity to provide primary and basic gynecologic care for adolescents to include (1) how to perform a sports clearance exam; (2) how to take an appropriate menstrual history and screen for menstrual disorders; (3) how to take an appropriate sexual history; (4) how to counsel an adolescent on contraception. Students will also gain experience in the care of adolescents/young adults with eating disorders and major depression. Evaluations will be based on the student’s ability to take a complete and appropriate history/physical and develop a cohesive and appropriate treatment plan.

PED-5615: Pediatric Neurology

Students will participate in a four-week pediatric neurology advanced clinical experience with a flexible schedule that will allow students to pursue specific interests. Given student interests, the schedule will be individually tailored through discussion/planning with the ACE director and involve participation in the following venues: outpatient pediatric neurology clinic and the inpatient teams encompassing pediatric neurology, pediatric epilepsy, and critical care. As an alternative, consider enrolling in the Pediatric Epilepsy ACE as well.

PED-5620: Pediatric Epilepsy

Pediatric Epilepsy Advanced Clinical Experience (PEACE) is an exciting multi-disciplinary specialty that encompasses pediatric neurology, neurosurgery, neuroradiology and neuropathology. Patients present with seizure onset ranging from birth into young adulthood. While due to many etiologies, most patients do well with standard medications achieving excellent seizure control. However, a substantial subset requires additional evaluations as well as dietary or surgical approaches. PEACE students will function within inpatient and outpatient clinical teams, as well as participate in divisional teaching conferences and also learn basic EEG reading skills. PEACE students will (1) deepen their understanding mechanisms causing epilepsy in children, (2) learn the basic principles of EEG reading and medical management of epilepsy in children, and (3) participate in multi-disciplinary evaluations of patents with epilepsy and participate in neurosurgical assessments and procedures. As an alternative, also consider enrolling in Pediatric Neurology ACE.

PED-5635: Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

Requirement: Letter of Interest (student upload)

(Not offered in December)

Once students have finished this elective, they will have a better understanding of the pathology, treatment, and survival of common childhood cancers. They will also gain experience in working up and treating anemias and bleeding disorders. These objectives are accomplished through a combination of inpatient time and outpatient time. Half of the course will be on the inpatient service where the students will be expected to follow their own patients, present on rounds, write daily progress notes, and prepare a short 10-15 minute discussion of a patient of interest. The student should also participate in walk rounds with the fellow and faculty for more informal discussion. The other half of the course will be in the outpatient clinic. While there, the student will see both new patients and patients returning for therapy. The student will take a history from the family, perform a physical exam, interpret lab tests, present these patients to the faculty, and write notes. The student will also have the opportunity to attend “specialty” clinics to see a group of patients with a focused set of problems (for example sickle cell clinic).

PED-5680: Pediatric Cardiology

The advanced clinical experience in pediatric cardiology is a four week course that aims to expose medical students to the broad spectrum of cardiac disease in children. The students will spend two weeks on the inpatient service getting exposure to acute cardiac disease and their care during perioperative period.  Students will be responsible for examining patients, presenting in rounds, and participating in the team care of the patients. An additional two weeks will be spent focusing on the outpatient side of cardiology. The student will participate in a variety of different cardiology outpatient clinics. Throughout the experience, the student will have the opportunity to accompany the inpatient cardiology fellow on inpatient consults.  There will also be opportunity to watch cardiac catheterizations, watch a cardiac surgery, and spend time in the echocardiography laboratory.

PED-5690: Pediatric Endocrinology

Pediatric Endocrinology is a wonderful sub specialty of Pediatrics which involves studying about and caring for patients who have abnormalities involving hormonal regulation of basic body systems. Students will study physiology, pathology, molecular biology, genetics and pharmacology during the time they care for these patients. Some examples of endocrine disorders they will be expected to learn about will include: growth and pubertal disorders, disturbances in calcium homeostasis, hypo and hyperthyroidism, adrenal disorders, some disorders of sexual development and common disorders of glucose regulation. Students will also learn about how to manage acutely ill pediatric diabetes patients in the hospital setting and they will learn the fundamentals of chronic, out-patient diabetes management.  Under the supervision of the endocrine attending physician, students will see patients in the out- patient endocrine and diabetes clinics, and they will be an integral part of our ward team on the inpatient Endocrine service.

PED-5710: Pediatric Gastroenterology

(not offered in December)

The Pediatric Gastroenterology Advanced Clinical Experience (ACE) provides exposure to a broad range of gastrointestinal, nutritional, and liver diseases in both the inpatient and ambulatory settings. Students will have the opportunity to observe and participate in outpatient evaluations of infants and children referred to the pediatric gastroenterology clinic under the direct supervision of faculty attending pediatric gastroenterologist, attend endoscopic procedures, participate in inpatient pediatric gastroenterology inpatient care and consults, and attend scheduled divisional didactic conferences. The rotation provides students with experience in the workup of common pediatric symptom complexes such as abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice, and many other common complaints, as well as the opportunity to participate in multidisciplinary care of complex gastrointestinal disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease and chronic liver disease. Attendance in the endoscopy suite allows familiarity with esophago-gastroduodenoscopy, colonoscopy, polypectomy, and rectal suction biopsy. The rotation will include core reading on the pathophysiology and management of important gastrointestinal diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, biliary atresia, and short bowel syndrome. The student will prepare one in-depth talk on a gastrointestinal topic of their choice and receive feedback from the attending on the content and delivery.

PED-5720: Pediatric Nephrology

(not offered in July)

Pediatric Nephrology is an exciting specialty that functions at the intersection of renal physiology, pathology, anatomy, genetics, pharmacology, and immunology.  Students who participate in this Advanced Clinical Experience will actively participate in the evaluation and management of patients who demonstrate the consequences of alterations in renal development and the genes that direct development. Students will have the opportunity to see in inpatients and outpatients with acute and chronic alterations in renal physiology including those with acute kidney injury, hypertension, glomerulonephritis, and chronic kidney disease in addition to those with congenital abnormalities of the kidney and urinary tract. Advanced understanding of renal physiology and pathophysiology will be an asset in any career path, because the kidney controls homeostasis for the entire body.

PED-5740: Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine

We welcome students interested in greater exposure to pediatrics in the context of pediatric pulmonary medicine. The purpose of this ACE is for students to gain expertise in the clinical evaluation of pulmonary disease in infants, children, and adolescents through experiences in the hospital and the outpatient clinic. Students will have the opportunity to participate in bronchoscopies and also in specialized multi-disciplinary clinics in cystic fibrosis, aerodigestive disease, pulmonary hypertension, and interstitial lung disease. The Division’s weekly didactic conferences will reinforce the patient care experiences.

PED-5815: Neonatology

(Not offered in November or December)

Prerequisite: Visiting students must have completed their Pediatric core clerkship.

Neonatologists care for newborns with a wide variety of conditions, ranging from prematurity to surgical conditions, infections to congenital cardiac disease, and respiratory distress to genetic disorders. Students in this rotation will work in the Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit on the Red Team. The Red Team cares for patients primarily with congenital heart disease, surgical and genetic disorders. This team does not attend deliveries. The AI will provide care for 2-4 patients with a wide range of conditions. The AI will be expected to pre-round on all patients, write orders and assist with TPN orders, review X-rays and lab results and contact and interact with consultants. He or she will be required to write History and Physicals, Interim Summaries and Discharge Summaries.

This rotation is best suited for the student considering a career in neonatology or pediatric critical care or another pediatric subspecialty.  Schedule is 630am-5pm five-six days per week. There is no overnight call. Days off are scheduled with team members upon starting the rotation. Daily multi-specialty rounds start with both cardiology and NICU attendings at 8:30am. Required lectures are Monday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings at 7:45-8:15am with the residents and weekly simulation sessions are generally on Fridays 7:45-8:30am.

Topics which will be covered on this rotation include: respiratory distress syndrome, ventilator management, surgical conditions in the newborn, congenital heart disease in the newborn, nutrition of the premature infant, apnea of prematurity, jaundice and anemia in the newborn. The AI will meet weekly with his or her NICU attending to review written notes and daily performance. He or she will also be required to give a weekly brief talk to the team on a relevant topic of choice.

PED-5830: Pediatric Emergency Medicine

Pediatric Emergency Medicine physicians need to be prepared to care for minor ailments to life-threatening events. The Pediatric Emergency Department rotation will expose students to a wide variety of patient pathology in a fast paced setting. Students will simultaneously obtain a history and perform a physical exam on pediatric patients from newborn to adolescence. Under the direct supervision of attendings, fellows and senior residents, students will exercise critical thinking and develop differential diagnosis, management and disposition for pediatric patients presenting with medical illnesses, surgical workups, and traumatic injuries. The course will focus on common infectious diseases, pediatric surgical/orthopedic emergencies and toxicology emergencies. The student will increase their communication skills with children, families, consultants and emergency medicine staff. Students will participate under supervision in common procedures in pediatric emergency medicine such as suturing, sedation, and splinting of extremity injuries. Students work fifteen, 8 hour shifts which may include weekends and overnights. Students may also participate in weekly fellow conferences as well as journal clubs and simulation scenarios.

PED-5910: Pediatric Infectious Diseases

The Pediatric Infectious Diseases (PID) Advanced Clinical Experience (ACE) provides students the opportunity to evaluate and participate in the management of children with a wide range of suspected or proven infectious diseases. The PID rotation allows the learner to gain experience in the workup of common symptom complexes such as prolonged fever, joint pain / limp, respiratory illnesses, rash, and many other common pediatric presentations. The rotation also provides valuable experience in the pharmacology and pharmacodynamics of antimicrobial agents, as well as the proper use and potential adverse effects of these commonly prescribed drugs. The rotation will include core reading on the pathophysiology and management of infectious diseases such as meningitis, osteomyelitis, and pneumonia. Students will actively participate in the evaluation and management of children on the PID service in both the ambulatory and inpatient settings.

PED-5990: Pediatric Critical Care

(Only offered in June, August, and November)

Pediatric Critical Care is an exciting specialty that cares for the sickest patients from birth into young adulthood.  The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (PCICU) both offer unique blends of physiology, pharmacology and pathology in disease processes ranging from to sepsis, respiratory failure, and traumatic brain injury to congenital heart disease and its repair.  Students will have the opportunity to function within the PICU and/or PCICU clinical teams, as well as participate in divisional teaching conferences.  The course will focus on enhancing student clinical practice-based learning skills.  Students will have the opportunity to (1) deepen understanding of the complex pathophysiology of critically ill children, (2) learn the basic principles of multidisciplinary management and resuscitation of critically ill children, and (3) review common diseases seen in a busy pediatric critical care unit.  Additionally, students will be expected to stay for overnight call at least four times during the four-week rotation.

PMR-5611: Introduction to PM&R

(not offered in December)

Hands-on exposure to the practice of physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) with an emphasis on musculoskeletal and neurological rehabilitation is offered in this course. Students will have the opportunity to follow patients in the post-acute care and outpatient PM&R clinic settings. This course offers a broad exposure to patients with significant impairment and disability, including those with spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, stroke, amputations, and general debilitation. Students will be expected to participate in the evaluation and treatment of individuals who require intensive therapies to maximize their function and quality of life. Additionally, adult and pediatric outpatient follow-ups, EMG clinics, spine procedures, therapy sessions, and others are available to give students a wide exposure to PM&R.

PSYCH-5625: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Consult

(Not offered in July or August)

Prerequisites: Visiting students are required to have completed their Psychiatry and Neurology clerkships. Radiology is encouraged.

This advanced clerkship is an introduction to clinical practice as a consultation liaison psychiatrist working with children and adolescents. Under supervision, the student will examine patients with psychiatric diseases complicating pediatric management including delirium, catatonia, anxiety and mood disorders both complicating pediatric illness and mimicking pediatric illnesses (somatoform disorders), management of chronic pain in collaboration with the pediatric pain team, acute stress and post traumatic stress disorder on the trauma service and in the intensive care unit, and psychiatric consultation regarding eating disorders. Readings will focus on the neurobiology of trauma and the neurobiology of the interface between emotions and physical disorders. The student may participate in research studies if available at that time.

PSYCH-5629: Inpatient Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

(not offered in July)

Students will provide inpatient psychiatric care for children and adolescents ages 4 to 18. Students can expect to see various diagnoses and presenting complaints including depression, anxiety, psychotic disorders, and autism. Students will join a multidisciplinary team, working with nurses, social workers, and behavioral health specialists to treat acute mental illness. The primary goals of treatment include comprehensive diagnosis, pharmacologic management, development of treatment plans, and implementation of behavior management protocols. Students will also learn therapeutic family work focused on safe transition out of the acute inpatient setting.

PSYCH-5645: Adult Psychiatry Consult-Liaison

(not offered in July, November, or December)

The Psychiatry Consultation Service at VUMC provides psychiatric services for a broad range of patients with neuropsychiatric conditions in the context of medical, surgical, obstetrical, and other inpatient settings at Vanderbilt University Hospital and Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital. Our service is one of the busiest in the country and offers an opportunity to gain experience managing the behavioral health conditions that impact patients across every medical specialty. Commonly treated conditions include delirium, dementia, depression, anxiety, suicide attempts, substance withdrawal, conversion disorder, encephalitis, catatonia, among others. Regardless of the diagnosis, we also help with agitation management and capacity evaluation. The sub-intern will become an integral part of the team, with assigned primary focus on the care of their own census of patients, and will be directly supervised by the chief resident and/or attending physician. A practical focus on areas of special interest to the student may be arranged. Additional exposure to subspecialty areas of consultation-liaison psychiatry including Addiction, Transplant, Emergency, and Proactive Psychiatric services is also available and highly encouraged.

RAD-5710: Diagnostic Radiology

(only offered July – October)

The Visiting Diagnostic Radiology Elective in diagnostic radiology is designed for medical students interested in pursuing a career in radiology. The goals of the course are to acquaint medical students with the fundamentals of diagnostic imaging and to highlight optimal imaging pathways for various clinical conditions. Students will rotate through several diagnostic subspecialties in radiology and get a broad exposure to various pathologies and imaging modalities. Daily instruction will be provided by faculty, fellows, and residents.

RAD-5640: Neuroradiology

Prerequisite: Diagnostic Radiology is required.

(Not offered in December)

The month will allow a broad exposure to the field of neuroradiology with a strong focus on review of clinically relevant neuroanatomy. The primary role of the student will be as an observer, working alongside residents, fellows and faculty as imaging studies are interpreted and procedures are performed. Students will be responsible for delivering a single informal presentation during the month.

RAD-5650: Adult Interventional Radiology

(only offered August – November)

Interventional Radiology is an exciting, fast paced, advanced specialty performing minimally invasive procedures on virtually every organ in the body. This course provides an immediate immersion into the daily life of an IR. Students will be involved in every aspect of treating patients, including outpatient clinic visits, researching and working up the patient the day of the procedure, presenting the patient in morning rounds, consenting and performing physical exams, scrubbing in on the procedure, admitting and post procedural care, inpatient rounds, and long term follow-up. They will also have the option to visit other specialty areas of IR, including Pediatric IR, and read CTA/MRA with our noninvasive vascular specialists. Students will be required to research and present one case report while on the service. The typical day lasts from 7 am to 6 pm and there are no call responsibilities. Typical procedures include angioplasty and stent placement in the arteries and veins, embolization of bleeding, embolization of tumors, uterine fibroid embolization, bronchial artery embolization, gonadal vein embolization, chemo-embolization, percutaneous treatment of tumors (ablation), placement of nephrostomy, biliary, gastrostomy, venous catheters, and TIPS.

RADO-5620: Radiation Oncology

This 4 week clinical rotation in radiation oncology is designed for students who are interested in pursuing a career in radiation oncology. Students are integrated into the clinical workflow. They are assigned to work one on one with individual attendings covering all aspects of radiation oncology including malignancies of the head and neck, lung, breast, gastrointestinal, gynecological, prostate and brain. Students work with radiation oncology residents in the initial evaluation of patients, formulation of treatment, supervision of treatment, and follow-up evaluations. Students will learn indications and techniques for radiation therapy. With each new patient, the student will be expected to go in to see the patient first and obtain a basic history and physical. This will be presented to the resident who will then review these findings directly with the attending. The clinical team (resident/attending/student) will then discuss treatment options with the patient and formulate a treatment plan. At the conclusion of this course students will be able to take a focused oncologic history, perform a pertinent exam, and understand the basics of diagnosis, staging, and treatment options for cancer patients. They will learn about the multidisciplinary nature of oncologic care. At the end of the rotation students are required to give an oral presentation at the departmental teaching seminar.

SURG-5614: Surgical Critical Care

This rotation will provide trainees with a variety of medically complicated patients, including postoperative surgery patients. Surgery Residents on Service: PGY-1, PGY-2.

From the course catalog:

The Surgical Critical Care Advanced Clinical Elective provides students with a multidisciplinary approach to care of the critically ill surgical patient. The units are very active critical care facilities with state-of-the-art monitoring and support technology. The course content emphasizes a physiologic approach to the care of critically ill general, vascular, transplant, geriatric, oncology, and emergency surgical patients. Students will gain experience with invasive hemodynamic monitoring, mechanical ventilation, enteral/parenteral nutrition, surgical infectious disease, and management of vasoactive medications. Topics such as cost containment, resource utilization, and medical ethics are an integral part of daily intensive care management.

The patient care service consists of a surgical or anesthesia attending physician, a surgical critical care fellow, mid-level surgical/anesthesia residents, and surgical interns. Other staff available in the unit includes clinical pharmacists, respiratory therapists, and nurse practitioners. Teaching rounds are made each morning with didactic lectures and case-discussions Monday-Thursday. Friday morning attendance of surgical grand rounds and resident teaching conference is mandatory. A course syllabus containing management protocols and educational objectives is provided to all registrants. Evaluation of the student’s performance is based on clinical knowledge, basic science application, integration into the team, and progression in learning throughout rotation. Mid-rotation and final evaluations of each student will be conducted by the critical care attendings, critical care fellow assigned to the unit, and the course director.

SURG-5615: Vascular Surgery

The Vascular Surgery rotation provides an introduction to the broad scope of surgical conditions and procedures in vascular surgery. Surgery Residents on Service: PGY-1, PGY-2, PGY-5

From the course catalog:

The field of Vascular Surgery has been markedly transformed over the last two decades, fueled by an explosion of technological advancement, research-supported clinical science development, and cross-disciplinary collaboration. Students enrolled in this ACE will experience a hands-on introduction to this rapidly evolving field by immersing themselves into the Vascular Surgery team at Vanderbilt Hospital. The engaged student can look forward to the prospect of caring for patients in the inpatient and outpatient settings, where he or she will learn about the various surgical manifestations and functional burdens imposed by atherosclerotic disease, aneurysmal disease, diabetes mellitus, and inherited disorders of the vascular and hematologic systems. As part of the care team, students may be asked to field consult requests from our affiliated services, and will have the opportunity to join the surgical staff in the operating theater to experience both open and endovascular surgery. By the end of this course, it is our sincere hope that the students develop an interest in pursuing a career in vascular surgery, or at least have a sound knowledge base that will help in the care of all aspects of adult medicine.

SURG-5617: Colon and Rectal Surgery

(Not offered in June or December)

The rotation on the Colon and Rectal Surgery service allows for both inpatient and outpatient surgical evaluation and are. Surgery Residents on Service: PGY-1, PGY-3, PGY-4, PGY-5

From the course catalog:

The Colorectal Surgery ACE focuses on the care of patients suffering from diseases and disorders of the colon, rectum and anus. This includes such diseases as colorectal cancer, anal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, diverticulitis, colon polyps, and benign anorectal conditions. The goal of the rotation is to broaden the student’s understanding about the pathophysiology, clinical presentation, work-up and treatment of common colorectal diseases. The students will be exposed to all aspects of the care of the patient including evaluation in the clinic, pre-op teaching, operative management, post op care and discharge. Students will see a variety of surgical techniques including laparoscopic, open, and robotic cases as well as advanced endoscopic procedures and anorectal cases. Students will function as part of the colorectal team and will be assigned patients that they will follow throughout the duration of their hospital stay. They will be expected to participate on rounds as well as attend/present at the weekly colorectal surgery conference.

SURG-5618: Hepatobiliary

Our goal is to help you gain experience and expertise in the treatment of a variety of hepatobiliary disorders and liver transplant. Surgery Residents on Service: PGY-1, PGY-3, PGY-4

From the course catalog:

The hepatobiliary and liver transplant surgery rotation includes the full spectrum of benign and malignant disease of the liver, pancreas and bile ducts. This service allows exposure for rotating students to complex hepatobiliary anatomy and pathophysiology, including liver failure. Unique to this rotation is the opportunity to participate in organ procurements, a very popular operation amongst surgical students. Abdominal organ procurement offers unparalleled anatomic exposure to the abdomen and pelvis. Rotating students will participate directly in these operations and they have the right of first refusal on each procurement. As there is ample opportunity to see these operations, a waiting list is compiled for other students to travel for these operations, which are often off site.

Students will have the opportunity to function as an integral member within the surgical resident clinical teams, as well as attend weekly clinics and teaching conferences, including Hepatobiliary Conference, Liver Transplant Selection Committee and Liver Team Walk Rounds. The course will focus on enhancing student clinical practice-based learning skills. Students will have the opportunity to (1) deepen their understanding of the complex anatomy and pathophysiology of the liver, (2) learn the basic principles of multidisciplinary management of liver failure, (3) review the differential diagnoses and therapeutic strategies for the liver mass and (4) understand the numerous complications seen after hepatobiliary and liver transplant procedures.  Additionally, students will not be expected to stay for overnight call on a rotating schedule. However, given the emergency nature of procurements and transplants, after hour effort is common, as dictated by the on-call attending and resident staff.

SURG-5620: Neurological Surgery

(only offered June – October)

Neurosurgery is a fast-paced, challenging field dedicated to the comprehensive treatment of critically ill patients with neurologic diseases. It is an incredibly diverse specialty, incorporating treatment of children and adults suffering from CNS tumors, cerebrovascular disease, movement disorders, spine disorders, peripheral nerve diseases, and trauma. Each student will spend their 4 weeks rotating through the 4 different neurosurgical services to gain a broad exposure to the field. Students will take part in the care of inpatients, the workup of consults, and the technical aspects of a variety of bedside and operative procedures. They will also attend several outpatient clinics and take overnight call with the junior resident on a Q4 schedule. Students will participate in career development sessions designed to prepare them for the residency application process and will give several short presentations to the clinical teams and the department throughout the rotation.

SURG-5630: Cardiac Surgery

Cardiac Surgery is a rotation designed to introduce trainees to the principles of cardiac surgery management, specifically to patient assessment in the preoperative and postoperative periods. Surgery Residents on Service: None. There is a fellow.

From the course catalog:

The cardiac surgical service deals with congenital and acquired heart disease, pulmonary vascular disease, and anomalies of the arterial and venous systems in the chest in both pediatric and adult patients. Students will have the opportunity to evaluate patients in the clinic with complex vascular, valvular, and cardiac lesions and understand their anatomy and physiology. They will be introduced to cardiac ECHO, cardiac MRI, CT scans of the chest, and cardiac catheterization by the attending surgeon. They will follow the patient to the operating room where they will participate in the surgical repair and to the CVICU and step-down unit for postoperative care. In the CVICU the student will be introduced to the evaluation of hemodynamic parameters; use of vasopressors, dilators and antiarrhythmics; postoperative pacing, ECHO and ventilator management. During the four-week course the student may get the opportunity to participate in an aortic dissection repair, ventricular assist device insertion, cardiac transplant, or organ retrieval.

SURG-5632: Thoracic Surgery

During this rotation, trainees will better understand the pathophysiology of thoracic diseases including lung, esophagus, and chest wall diseases. Trainees will identify the general risks and complications of thoracic surgery operations, and learn the preoperative and postoperative care of patients undergoing thoracic surgery operations. Surgery Residents on Service: PGY-2, PGY-4

From the course catalog:

The Vanderbilt Thoracic Surgery Advanced Clinical Experience will introduce students to preoperative workup, basic thoracic surgery operative skills, and postoperative care of general thoracic surgery patients. Students will have the opportunity to participate in open, minimally invasive and robotic procedures as well as the busy lung transplant program. Students will be able to expand on previously learned surgical techniques with highlights including opportunities to suture in the OR and chest tube placement.

SURG-5660: Pediatric Surgery

This rotation is designed to introduce trainees to the management of surgical diseases of infants and children. Surgery Residents on Service: PGY-1, PGY-3, PGY-4 (at times)

From the course catalog:

Pediatric surgeons provide care to a diverse patient population including neonates, children and even some young adults. Patients are in a variety of healthcare settings including the outpatient clinic, emergency room, trauma bay, inpatient wards, pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), and of course, the operating room. The course will focus on honing the students’ clinical skills in accurate history taking, clinical assessment of both acute and chronically ill neonates and children, developing an appropriate operative (or non-operative) plan, participation in the operative management of these same patients and following their post-operative progress until discharge. The students will have the opportunity to (1) improve their knowledge of the common pathologies encountered in a pediatric surgical practice, (2) broaden their understanding of the surgical management of these problems, (3) gain firsthand experience with the depth and breadth of a clinically busy pediatric surgical service and (4) mentor younger students. During the rotation, students will spend time with the team in clinic, in the operating rooms, on the wards and seeing new consults. Students will be expected to present new consults and clinic patients in a concise, informed manner to the fellows and attendings. Additionally, students will be expected to stay for overnight call at least 4 times during a 4-week rotation with 1 over a weekend.

SURG-5670: Surgical Oncology and Endocrinology

Our goal is to help you gain experience and expertise in the treatment of a variety of oncology and endocrine disorders. Surgery Residents on Service: PGY-1 (O/E), PGY-3 (Endocrinology), PGY-4 (at times), PGY-5 (Surg Onc)

From the course catalog:

The Advanced Clinical Experience (ACE) in Surgical Oncology offers students a broad and detailed clinical experience in the treatment of malignancies. Emphasis will be on the multidisciplinary management of a variety of malignancies including those of the liver and biliary tract, pancreas, gastrointestinal tract, retroperitoneum, breast, skin and soft tissue and endocrine systems. Students will be active participants both in the inpatient (including the operating room and floor) and outpatient settings and participate in several educational conferences including multidisciplinary tumor board, surgical oncology conferences and others and Vanderbilt University Hospital. Students will be expected to take overnight call four times during the four-week rotation.

SURG-5680: Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery is a broad field with subspecialties that include craniofacial, microsurgery, hand, breast reconstruction, burn, and aesthetics.  Plastic surgeons treat patients of all ages and work on almost every part of the body from head to toe.  During this advance clinical experience, you will have the opportunity to learn about the diagnosis and management of a wide variety of reconstructive and aesthetic problems. Learning opportunities with faculty and residents are abundant and you will get plenty of experience in both the operating room and the clinics.

SURG-5840: Trauma

(only offered October – December)

The trauma program at Vanderbilt is unique in that trainees gain exposure to the problems of both urban and rural trauma care. Surgery Residents on Service: PGY-1, PGY-2, PGY-4

From the course catalog:

The trauma Advanced Clinical Elective (ACE) allows students to follow injured patients from the moment they arrive until discharge. This includes management in all settings, ICU, floor, clinic and the option of time in the comprehensive traumatic brain injury clinic. Students will be introduced to high-level procedure-based situations including central venous access, tube thoracostomies, bronchoscopy, advanced suturing techniques and operative management of the trauma patient. Expectations will focus on the complex management of patients including coordination of care with other subspecialties, identifying and managing critical care issues such as ventilator management, massive resuscitation efforts, complexities of organ failure and sepsis, end-of-life decisions and organ donation. Opportunities for both day and night coverage will allow the student to obtain a complete understanding of the field of trauma (the #1 cause of death for all patients age 1-45).

UROL-5640: Urology

Requirement: Personal statement (student upload)

(Only offered July – October. Application deadline is March 31st, 2024 for this elective only. Offers will go out by 4/15/2024.)

This Advanced Clinical Elective (ACE) will encompass the care of the surgery patients admitted to the Urology service. The student will be expected to function as a member of the team at a supervised level for patient management and communication with other healthcare providers. This will include preparing the admission history and physical examination, entering orders, writing daily progress notes, presenting patients on daily work rounds, participating in surgical procedures, and coordinating discharge planning. Students will be additionally be given opportunity for outpatient experiences in the clinics. Students will be expected to participate in select weekend rounds and assist with triage of consults for the inpatient service. Visiting students are encouraged to apply EARLY. The Urology department will begin reviewing applications and extending invitations, on a rolling basis starting March 22, 2020.