MedLaunch - College of Medicine and Life Sciences

VSLO (Aways)

Decision Making | Before You Apply | Applying | Common Requirements

Deciding to do an away rotation

  • Students can explore their career goals through various pathways, including away rotations for those who find them beneficial.
    • Consider an away rotation in the case of: highly competitive specialty, rotation in that specialty is not available at UToledo, away rotations are required (i.e. Emergency Medicine SLOE).
    • Also consider if you hope to apply to a specific geographic region, want to audition for a specific residency program or want to experience a program more in depth than interview day.
    • Talk to people in the class above you. They are an invaluable resource and can help guide you as they recently went through the same process.
  • Additional Considerations
    • Cost. Away rotations incur a significant expense including housing, travel, etc. Cost of housing may be attenuated with friends or family in the area
    • Be aware of the Fourth Year Important Dates including Step 2 CS and CK.

Before You Apply to the Visiting Student Learning Opportunities (VSLO)

  • The Visiting Student Learning Opportunities program is a centralized application service with United States and Global Networks intended to employ unified requirements and policies to facilitate student mobility between institutions.
    • Create a personal list of criteria to determine the programs to which you want to apply. (Refer to criteria that may be important when creating your rank list under M4 content.)
  • Prior to the applying, research information such as deadlines and requirements for each program through the VSLO catalogue and the program's website. Contact schools directly if their information is unclear.


  • The number of programs you should apply to is speciality-dependent. Keep in mind this is a professional endeavor and institutions may not respond positively if you schedule away rotations and then cancel.
Dates and Deadlines
  • Deadlines are unique to programs and are updated at different times. Check frequently.
    • Certain programs have a pre-approval period before their VSLO deadline, which you will learn only through their website.
    • There are different dates for viewing programs on VSLO, application period opening and application processing.
    • If the program's schedule does not align with UT's 4th year schedule you will be required to use flex time. Some programs allow you to enter your own unique start/end dates.
  • Apply ASAP, on the first day programs accept applications if possible.
  • If you are late to the game, it's okay. Open positions will be available. Reach out to programs directly to express interest. Coordinators may be able to find an open position for you.
Application Approval
  • Submit course descriptions from each program you want to apply to the UToledo clerkship coordinator for your desired field.
    • The clerkship coordinator will email your list to Dr. Matus, who will approve it within 7 days.
    • Once you receive confirmation that your list has been approved, you can submit your application on VSLO.
    • Be sure to email approval from coordinator and Dr. Matus to the Registrar's Office at if they were not included on the original emails.
  • CRITICAL: For the first program that you submit your VSLO application to, UToledo will have to verify your application before it can be accepted. The entire process can take up to several weeks (based on background checks, complete required health requirements, etc.). After UToledo has verified your application for the first program, you won't have to wait for it to be submitted to subsequent programs.
    • Please be prompt and mindful of application deadlines during planning and when you submit for UToledo approval. Sending your applications in up to 2 weeks ahead of when you would like them to reach the program is recommended.
Decision making
  • When choosing which rotations to apply to, be sure to thoroughly research each rotation and its associated program. You should only apply to rotations at programs where you are interested in rotating and where you would seriously consider completing residency.
  • Applying to more rotations than time slots you have available is acceptable, but be aware that if you end up having to decline a rotation, it may harm your chances for an interview later on.

Common Requirements

  • Start completing VSLO requirements early. After you submit the required information to various agencies, it takes time for them to be sent back to UToledo. Don't be intimidated, contact schools directly if you have questions about their requirements.
Background Check
    • Fingerprinting Office at UToledo Main Campus Police Department: Schedule fills quickly.
      • See updated pricing on Away Elective website.
      • Bring your driver's license (or another form of government ID). Bring cash or check.
      • Results will be sent to HSC Registrar. Once they receive it you will have to physically go to HSC Student Services counter on the first floor of Mulford to pick it up. Email to request a copy of your background check to be emailed. Don't hesitate to contact the registrar's office if it's been awhile since you completed your background check. Utilizing the UToledo Main Campus Police Department may take up to 3-4 weeks to receive your completed background check.
      • The Fingerprinting Office at the UToledo Police Department is the preferred way to request a background check since they know exactly what is needed for medical students and where the background check is to be sent.
      Lucas County Sheriff Office: 419.213.4975
    • See updated pricing on Sherrif website. Appointments are required.
    • Bring coins to pay for street parking. Bring your driver's license (or another form of government ID). Bring cash. 
    • You will have to physically go to HSC Student Services counter on the first floor of Mulford to pick it up. Email to request a copy of your background check to be emailed. Utilizing the Sheriff's Office may take up to 3 weeks to receive your completed background check.
  • The Registrar's Office must receive background checks directly from the Ohio Attorney General's Office. Background checks will not be accepted from the student or other institutions, even if the envelope has not been opened.
  • If you're out of town (e.g. on an AHEC), check with local police stations and sheriff's offices to see if they offer background check/fingerprinting services.
  • If you intend on applying only in Ohio, you only need the BCI. If you intend on applying out-of-state, you only need the FBI.
    • Reason codes for fingerprint - FBI: NCPA VCA | BCI: other: medical student applying for away rotations
Immunization Record
  • Download the AAMC Standardized Immunization Form from the VSLO website. Some programs also have their own Immunization Form in addition to the AAMC form.
  • Vaccination Records
    • Sign into your myUT account → click on "More Records Options" → click on the "Personal Information" tab → click on "Individual Immunization Compliance Report"
    • CRITICAL: Make sure that your vaccinations do not expire before or during your away rotation.
    • Bring the completed form to the HSC Student Health and Wellness Center (Ruppert Center, Room 0013 in the basement). They will include the required copies of your vaccination records, sign the AAMC form, and give it all back to you.
  • You can also email your immunization form to Jamia Johnson ( She will verify it, attach all the necessary documents, and email it back to you as a PDF.
  • If you have any questions, contact Jamia Johnson (, 419.383.3745) in the HSC Student Health and Wellness Center.
Drug Screening
  • Not all programs require this. Check the program requirements to determine if a 9 or 10 panel screening is required.
    • You can get a drug screening done only at HSC Student Health and Wellness. Call 419.383.5000 to schedule an appointment. Cost: $53 (if not covered by your insurance).
  • CRITICAL: Make sure your appointment is scheduled with Jamia Johnson, she is the only UToledo employee qualified to do a drug screen.
    • A Release of Information will be required. You can complete this before or during your appointment.
    • Results will be sent directly to the registrar's office (
    • If you provide your own drug screening results from an outside facility, it will not be accepted by the registrar's office and they will not upload it to your VSAS account.
  • If you have any questions, contact Jamia Johnson (, 419.383.3745) in the HSC Student Health and Wellness Center.
  • UToledo will provide free headshots that you will receive approximately 1 week after the photos are taken. These are unedited photos taken with a DSLR.
  • Headshots are also offered at JCPenney and local photography studios, which will utilize editing software.
Copy of Step 1 Report
  • If you didn't download a copy of your Step One score report, log into the NLES site → click on "Score Report" → download (or purchase if it's no longer available for free)
HIPAA Certificate
  • Visit the UToledo Safety Training Test Bank website. Login with your UTAD credentials → Past Results → Print Certificate
  • You can find PDF copies of your ACLS and BLS cards from the AHA site.
    • When you completed your ACLS and BLS courses in Bridge Week or Internal Medicine, they sent you an email to claim you eCard. Click on the link in that email → click on "Email Cards" → you'll receive an email with a pdf copy of your card
  • If you have any questions, contact Jim Cress (419.383.6724)
Proof of Professional Liability (Malpractice) Insurance
  • Information regarding proof of professional liability insurance is located here
Last Updated: 2/28/24