The IUSM offers an extensive list of elective courses in the course catalog. However, students can identify and create rotation opportunities called “Special Electives”, which are rotations outside of the regular catalog offerings in a student’s area of interest. Special electives may be rotations offered in the state of Indiana or out of state. A special elective request requires review by IUSM faculty and staff to ensure academic integrity, compliance with IUSM standards, and appropriateness for the student’s academic program. Please note: Submission of a proposal does not guarantee approval. A special elective proposal must be submitted a minimum of 30 days in advance for ALL special elective rotations including rotations at IUSM, VSLO/VSAS, Military, and international rotations.
Types of Special Electives:
- Military Special Electives (“Military” on request form): Students completing required Military rotations must submit a special elective request form with supporting documentation a minimum of 30 days before the start of the rotation.
- AAMC VSLO Special Electives (“VSLO” on request form): Students interested in rotations at other institutions participating in the AAMC VSLO Program should use the AAMC VSLO system to find and apply for opportunities away from IUSM. A special elective request form must be submitted with supporting documentation from the host institution as soon as approval has been received for the rotation from the host institution. A special elective request form must be submitted a minimum of 30 days before the start of the rotation. Approval through VSLO for aways does not guarantee approval for credit by IUSM.
- International Special Electives (“International Special Elective” on request form): To initiate the process of applying for an International Special Elective, please contact the Registrar, Amanda Ybarra (firstname.lastname@example.org). It is strongly recommended that students begin the planning and application process 4-6 months in advance for International rotations. A special elective request form and supporting documentation must be submitted no later than four months prior to the first day of the rotation. Students must have approval from the Course Director/Host Institution and the IUPUI Study Abroad Office before submitting a special elective request form. Pre-requisites for international special elective rotations: IUSM Students Only – 4th year status in good standing; 3rd year students will only be considered under exceptional circumstances and must have completed a majority of clinical rotations.
- IUSM Special Electives & Away Rotations that are not through AAMC VSLO (“Special Elective (All Other Request Types)” on request form): Students may propose special electives at IUSM and IUSM-affiliated sites that are outside of the regular electives catalog offerings. Students may also propose special elective rotations outside of IUSM at LCME-accredited institutions, non-LCME accredited institutions, and private practice sites that are not affiliated with IUSM and that are not part of the AAMC VSLO Program. A special elective request form must be submitted a minimum of 30 days before the start of the rotation. Rotations at LCME-accredited, non-LCME accredited, and private practice sites that are not affiliated with the IUSM and that are not part of the AAMC VSLO program may require additional information following submission of the proposal form about the Site/Institution and/or the Course Director’s credentials. A faculty and/or staff member may contact you during the proposal review process if additional information is required regarding the Site/Institution and/or the Course Director’s credentials. For special electives at IUSM and IUSM-affiliated sites, please see the information below about individuals to contact in Departments and at regional campuses to begin the process of identifying special elective opportunities. The Campus and Departmental contacts specified below should be contacted before submitting a special elective proposal form (form link below).
IUSM Special Elective Contacts
Special electives allow students to develop unique experiences at the School of Medicine or at outside institutions. To assist students with finding special elective opportunities in their areas of interest at IUSM and IUSM-affiliated sites, we have provided a list of Campus and Departmental contacts below that you should reach out to in order to find these opportunities. These Campus and Departmental contacts will help connect you with available faculty members and play a critical role in ensuring the availability of faculty time, space, and resources across all our clinical rotations.
These Campus and Departmental contacts should be contacted before submitting a special elective proposal form.
Regional Campus Contacts:
- Bloomington – Students interested in special electives in Bloomington should reach out to Dr. Hiller (email@example.com).
- Evansville – Students interested in special electives at the Evansville campus will first need to reach out to Caren Whitehouse (firstname.lastname@example.org) for faculty availability, clinical site coordination, and facility requirements.
- Fort Wayne – Students interested in special electives at the Fort Wayne regional campus will first need to reach out to Sharon Roberts (email@example.com) for faculty availability, clinical site coordination, and facility requirements.
- Muncie – Students interested in special electives at the Muncie regional campus should reach out to their Lead Advisor and/or the preceptor they are interested in working with.
- Northwest-Gary – Students interested in a special elective at the Northwest campus should contact Amy Han, PhD (firstname.lastname@example.org) prior to completing the approval process.
- South Bend – Students who are interested in creating a Special Elective at the IUSM-South Bend campus should contact Stacey Patrick (email@example.com) for review and approval.
- Terre Haute – Students interested in special electives at the Terre Haute regional campus will first need to reach out to Heather LeBrun (firstname.lastname@example.org) for faculty availability, clinical site coordination, and facility requirements.
- West Lafayette – Students interested in special electives at the West Lafayette Regional Campus will first need to reach out to Natalie O’Neal (email@example.com) for faculty availability, clinical site coordination and facility requirements.
Indianapolis Departmental Contacts:
- Anesthesia – Students interested in an Anesthesia Special Elective in Indianapolis, please reach out to the Anesthesia Education Team (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Emergency Medicine – Students interested in a special elective in Emergency Medicine in Indianapolis should reach out to Jim Graber (email@example.com).
- Family Medicine – Students interested in special electives in Family Medicine in Indianapolis should reach out to Natalie Rollman (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Neurology – Students interested in a special elective in Neurology should reach out to the preceptor that they will work with.
- Obstetrics & Gynecology – Students interested in special electives in OB/GYN should reach out to Andrea Hill (email@example.com) for information on how to start the process. Students should have an idea of what they would like to do (what their special elective would entail) and where/with whom they would complete the rotation, if approved.
- Psychiatry – Students interested in special electives in Psychiatry should reach out to Rachel Fitschen (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Radiology – Students interested in special electives in Diagnostic Radiology should reach out to Carlene Webb-Burton (email@example.com) or Dr. Richard Gunderman (firstname.lastname@example.org) or stop by our office, Riley, room #1053
- Surgery – Students interested in special electives in Surgery or surgical specialties should reach out to Megan Rendina (email@example.com).
- Other Indianapolis-Based Departments – Students interested in Indianapolis Departments that are not listed above should work with their Career Mentors, Lead Advisors, and/or Faculty to identify opportunities for special elective rotations.
Special Electives Form & Submission Information
Once you have discussed the rotation with the contacts above and have obtained email approval from a Course Director/Host Institution, you must submit a special elective request form a minimum of 30 days before the start of the rotation:
The completed form and supporting documentation must be submitted a minimum of 30 days prior to the start of the rotation (unless otherwise noted above for International requests).
- A rotation is not officially approved until all the appropriate IUSM faculty and staff have reviewed and approved the proposal. Students will receive a notification once their proposal has been approved.
- For information about the required duration of special electives to earn academic credit, please see the FAQs on the Electives Information Page.
- If you plan on taking an elective that is not in the IUSM catalog (special elective) there is a possibility the host school or facility will require an educational affiliation agreement.Please be aware these agreements can take some time to complete, especially if the site does not use the nationally recognized AAMC Uniform Clinical Training Affiliation Agreement. There is also the possibility, although rare, that IUSM and the host will not be able to come to terms.
- IUSM cannot sign any document received directly from the host site. All agreements must be routed through the Buy.IU contract management systemand approved/signed by the IU General Counsel Office and the IUSM Dean of Medical Student Education. IUSM will not begin the agreement process prior to your accepting an offer from the site. So it will be beneficial to get started on the agreement as soon as possible.
- Please send all questions regarding the affiliation agreement process to MEDSTUDENT HOSP AFFILIATES.
For these reasons, we strongly recommend planning ahead – do not wait until the last minute.