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Visiting Elective Scholarship Program (VESP) for Department of Medicine Clerkships

Fourth-year medical students from U.S. schools may choose to take an away rotation at UC San Diego School of Medicine, especially if they are interested in learning more about our UC San Diego Internal Medicine Residency program. The Visiting Elective Scholarship (VESP) Program provides support for 4th-year students who are interested in working with underserved populations and/or from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. The scholarship program provides up to $2,000 and is designed to:

  • Expose 4th-year medical students who are from economically disadvantaged backgrounds or interested in working with underserved populations to an academic training program.
  • Promote student interest in applying to an academic residency training program
  • Provide faculty and housestaff mentorship during the clinical elective experience

Clinical electives are 4 weeks in length and are available, space permitting, to U.S. visiting students. VESP participants are assigned a faculty advisor and have the opportunity to network with UC San Diego faculty, housestaff, and students. A dinner with faculty and housestaff is held during the visiting clerkship. In addition, all participants are invited and encouraged to attend various seminars and lectures including those offered by the UC San Diego Office of Diversity and Community Partnerships and the UC San Diego Cross Cultural Center.


Eligible participants are full-time, 4th-year medical students in good standing at accredited U.S. medical schools. Students remain registered at their own schools while participating in the 4-week elective at UC San Diego. Students must have applied and be accepted to the desired UC San Diego Department of Medicine's clinical elective program through the AAMC Visiting Student Learning Opportunity (VSLO) before the scholarship is processed, and eligible students need to participate in a Department of Medicine clerkship.

At the moment, eligible Department of Medicine clerkship rotations include, Acting-Internship in Medicine, Pulmonary and Critical Care, Cardiology, Nephrology, Endocrine, Rheumatology, Gastroenterology, Infectious Diseases and Hematology-Oncology.


Before applying to the scholarship, each student must complete an application form through the American Association of Medical Colleges' Visiting Student Learning Opportunity (VSLO)'s Online Application. For more information, go to UC San Diego's Visiting Student.

To apply for the scholarship, send a completed application UCSD Visiting Elective Program Application and a current transcript with grades to Colleen Reich: Applications will only be reviewed once all required documents are received.


Scholarships* will be awarded on the basis of:

  • Interest in pursuing a career in academic medicine
  • Interest in working with underserved populations
  • Leadership
  • Community Service
  • Academic achievement as indicated by transcripts and letter of recommendation.

*Up to $2,000 per person, to be used toward visiting student elective fees, transportation costs and lodging. Funds are awarded upon completion of the elective. Receipts must be submitted for reimbursement.


The scholarship applications are reviewed on a rolling basis between July – December.


Contact Us

For more information, contact:

Luis Castellanos, MD, MPH