How rotations have been impacted by COVID-19

For the 2021/22 academic year, Cleveland Clinic will follow the AAMC guidelines and allow domestic students to rotate in one elective per specialty.

Lastly, as of October 26, 2021 - international student rotations are still suspended for 2021 until further notice. Cleveland Clinic will review this decision on Jan. 1. Do not email asking for updates, please check this page for future updates as to when this may change. Once international visitors return, you will be able to submit an application on our website. Thank you for your patience during this unique time.


Cleveland Clinic (Cleveland, OH) does not participate in VSLO. All applications must be submitted through our website. A couple of departments (ortho surg and plastic surg) have begun to use VSLO to expand their reach of students but please note, once accepted through VSLO by orthopedics or plastic surgery department, student will need to submit an application on the Cleveland Clinic elective website.

Working Hours

Clinic (outpatient) services are typically 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Hospital services vary with each department.

The Elective Coordinator in each department will provide your specific working hours and schedule.

Absence During Your Rotation

If you need to be absent during your rotation, please complete an absence form (also on the Orientation Tab). Complete the form and have it signed and approved by the department.

According to the policy, you can be absent no more than three days out of the four weeks. If you're absent more than three days, you may not receive credit for the rotation and/or have the rotation cancelled.


You are responsible for all meals except on-call meals.

On-call meals are provided only when you are required to stay over in the hospital. A badge swipe system is used for on-call meals. When you receive your on-call schedule, you will need to give the Elective office the information needed to activate your badge.

Meal allowance will expire at the end of your rotation. They are non-transferable and not redeemable for cash. Expiration dates will not be extended. Those on a B1/B2 Visa are not eligible for meals.


We ask that you do not have mail delivered unless it is urgent. If so, you can have your mail forwarded to:

Cleveland Clinic Elective Program
Your name (C/O: Andrea Beyer)
9500 Euclid Avenue
Health Education Campus
EC10 Room 191B8
Cleveland, OH 44195

Please do not have shopping packages sent to this location.

Emergency Medical Care

Cleveland Clinic's Primary Health Care Department and Emergency Department provide emergency visits for medical students. Check your personal insurance hospitalization plan for coverage information.


If your school requires an evaluation of your performance, please provide the form to the clinical department you are presenting to.

Please note that the Elective office does not complete any type of evaluation form; evaluations must come from the clinical area you are rotating with. If your school does not have a form and you wish to have an evaluation completed, you can use the visiting student end of rotation assessment form.

TOEFL Requirements

TOEFL is required for all international students. Student must score high in reading and listening skills and good in speaking and writing skills.

Reading: High (22-30)
Listening: High (22-30)
Speaking: Good (26-30)
Writing: Good (24-30)

If you are attending medical school in an English-speaking country, you may submit a statement to that effect. English-speaking countries include those where English is predominantly spoken, such as Canada, Ireland, UK, offshore Caribbean and South Africa. Additionally, you may be eligible for a TOEFL waiver if you have attended secondary school or university in the US, Canada or another predominantly English-speaking country. If so, submit your school transcript and include this information on your CV. If your medical school is not located in a predominantly English-speaking country, we will not accept an official letter from your dean stating that your school is conducted in English.

Please do not request a waiver without meeting the above criteria.

However, TOEFL scores may also be required by Cleveland Clinic for any applicant at the elective office's discretion.

Background Check

Domestic Visiting Students: We accept Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) compliant National Criminal Database Search or The Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) and FBI reports.

International Visiting Students: We accept background check reports from the local magistrate/police department in the city and country where you are currently attending medical school.

Background checks are to be completed within one year of the student's scheduled rotation dates.

We do not give recommendations about where to get your background check.

Missing Documents/Information

Since many items may be supplied after acceptance, you can apply without having these documents, but you will need to upload something attesting you will send the information after acceptance (e.g., proof of malpractice, health insurance and visa).

Also, we realize some results may take time to receive. You can apply without the results, but you will need to upload a document attesting that you will submit the required information once you have received it. If you do not, your application will be considered incomplete. Examples of this include: background check, urine drug screen or letter of good standing (many schools may wish to send the letter directly).

Drug Tests

We require a five-panel drug test. Anything over the five panel is accepted (as long as they include the five listed below). Results of your test should be within three months of your start date or current at the time of application.

What drugs are included in a 5 panel drug test?

  • Cocaine
  • Amphetamines
  • Opiates
  • PCP
  • THC

Malpractice Insurance and Limits

Malpractice insurance is required. Malpractice limits are as follows:

  • Claim Limit: $1,000,000
  • Aggregate Limit: $3,000,000

If your school offers malpractice coverage for away rotations but doesn't meet the malpractice dollar limits noted above, you must purchase supplemental malpractice insurance.

Conflict of Dates

Many students' academic calendars do not align with our own, but we cannot switch dates. We must adhere to our own dates to allow the maximum number of spots for students to rotate. Some students incorporate a week of vacation time to make the schedules work.

Deadline to Apply

The application for each time-frame will close about three months prior to start date. Applications are not processed first come first serve. Students will be notified of acceptance/denial 30-60 days prior to start date.


Cleveland Clinic does not charge tuition. Cost to rotate is the application fee and other cost of living fees for the month while in Cleveland, Ohio.

Domestic vs. International application?

If you are a domestic student attending an international medical school, you would apply as an international student. Please upload your US passport in the visa section. Type of application is based on student's medical school.