In early January 2012, AACOM signed a master agreement for participation in the Visiting Student Application Service (VSAS) by AACOM member schools. Administered by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), VSAS is designed to streamline the application process for senior "away" electives at U.S. LCME medical schools and independent academic medical centers that are members of the Council of Teaching Hospitals and Health Systems (COTH). With the AACOM-AAMC agreement in place, all AACOM member colleges that have students who are eligible to participate have signed on to participate in VSAS.
Based on current listings and availability of programs to DO students in the Extramural Electives Compendium (the directory of electives for DO and International students), there are 94 host institutions. To date, 81 of these institutions have indicated that electives will be available to DO students. These institutions are offering a total of 7,705 electives, 92 percent of which are open to DO students.
AACOM and its member colleges are supporting the majority of the financial commitment required for VSAS participation. However, student participation fees will be the same as the fees charged to students of AAMC member colleges; $35 for the first institution applied to, and $15 for each additional institution. Students choosing to use VSAS also will be responsible for the processing fees (generally in the $25 to $100 range) when a program makes an offer and the student accepts the offer. Programs also may charge tuition to visiting students. For more information on VSAS, contact AACOM Vice President for Research and Application Services Tom Levitan, MEd, at email@example.com.