Away Rotation FAQ

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Application Procedure
Travel Arrangements and Orientation Attendance
Clinic Sessions
Coursework and Final Exam
Malpractice Insurance, Letter of Good Standing, Immunizations, and Other Information


Q: How do I apply for an away rotation? 
A: An “Away” rotation is any site that is greater than 2 hours from Georgetown.

Students must submit this application via Google form to initiate the away site approval process. This completed away site approval form must be submitted 12 weeks prior to the start of your scheduled rotation. The extended away site approval time is necessary to accommodate the lengthy approval process, which includes a MANDATORY faculty appointment for all new away site preceptors.  Please refer to the deadlines to submit the application.

All students are responsible for contacting potential away sites themselves. To assist you in finding a site, you can find a list of away sites where students have previously completed their Family Medicine rotation in CourseChaser or (click on the “Students” tab at the top of the page and then click on the “Active Away Sites By State” link in the drop down menu there). You may also contact sites listed in the AAFP Residency Directory (please note that some residency sites may only take fourth-year students). ALL sites, regardless if they were previously approved, will still need a review and final approval before confirmation. You are required to complete this Google Form, regardless of whether it is a new or previously approved site. Spots are first come, first served: therefore, even if you have made a connection with an away site and are ready to be confirmed as an away student, if we have no more away rotation spots available during your block, your away site request cannot be approved.  The number of away spots is determined by the course Director and may depend on the number of students enrolled for that block. It is best to start looking for a site as early as possible and to check in with the Clerkship Coordinator to make sure that there are still away spots available during your block.

Q: How do I confirm my away rotation spot with my away site and the Department of Family Medicine?
A: It is your responsibility to reach out to possible preceptors and find someone who can take you on rotation. Your preceptor MUST be Board Certified in Family Medicine and able to precept you Monday-Thursday for the 4 weeks of the rotation. In the event that your preceptor is not available all 4 days of each week, you may also work with an NP, PA, or another MD/DO but no more than 25% of your clinic rotation time.

In order to secure an away spot:
1) Submit this Google form: at least 12 weeks prior to the start of your rotation
2) Email the clerkship coordinator that you have completed the form along with a confirmation email from the preceptor/site willing to host you. The Department will then initiate the approval process with your selected site. 
3) Once the site has been approved by the Department, the clerkship coordinator will send you an email stating that your rotation has been confirmed and that you now have one of your block’s away rotation spots.

Due to the extensive logistics required for this experience, we will not approve any away rotation requests submitted later than the deadline date, except under truly extenuating circumstances and with the approval of the Clerkship Director.


Q: Can I book my travel arrangements before my participation in an away rotation has been approved?
A: If your rotation is not confirmed, we do not recommend scheduling any travel plans until you receive a confirmation email from the Department of Family Medicine. The Department of Family Medicine will not be responsible for any cost incurred for a change to your travel plans if your site is not approved. In addition, students who receive an away rotation confirmation for the time of their End of the Year OSCE should still wait to make their travel arrangements until they receive their high stakes OSCE date and time during that block.

Q: Are away students required to attend orientation? What if orientation falls on the day after a holiday or break?
A:  Orientation is mandatory and virtual. All students are required to attend orientation from 8:00am-12:00pm EST. Participation in the Musculoskeletal workshop following orientation is required for only those students assigned to LOCAL sites regardless of whether this falls after a holiday or break. Students who are doing an AWAY rotation will attend orientation virtually and must be prepared to begin clinic following orientation at their approved away site. Orientation sessions are NOT recorded.


Do I need to return to Georgetown to take the Shelf exam?
A: No. The NBME shelf exam is currently being administered virtually in the afternoon on the last day of your clerkship rotation. The OSCE is held in the morning on the last day of your clerkship rotation before the shelf exam. Currently the OSCE is virtual.


Q: Where can I stay during my away rotation? Does the Department of Family Medicine provide a housing list?
A: No, the Department of Family Medicine does not provide housing information to students. It is your responsibility to arrange housing, travel, and any other similar tasks related to your stay. The best option is to contact the site itself for information on local housing options. The Department of Family Medicine awards scholarships through its AHEC program for students interested in pursuing an away site in a rural or underserved area. For more information on this scholarship visit the AHEC program website.


Q: When am I expected to arrive at my away site? 
A: Orientation is mandatory and virtual 8:00am-12:00pm EST. Students are required to be prepared to begin their clinical rotation following orientation.

Q: What should I do if I am unable to attend a clinical or didactic session?
A: If you need to miss a session due to illness, etc., you MUST notify your preceptor, Clerkship Director and Clerkship Coordinator ASAP. You will be expected to make up any missed clinical time during the rotation.  

Q: Are away students still required to participate in didactic sessions, small group discussions, and workshops? 
A: Yes. Away students are required to attend all virtual didactic sessions. While LOCAL students participate in onsite workshops at GUSOM, away students will be required to be in clinic during this time or will have an alternate activity to complete in lieu of the MSK workshop.  All away students must participate in all Friday discussion sessions, seminars and workshops remotely via Zoom conference unless otherwise noted in the away confirmation email. Students are required to have a computer and high speed Internet access at their away location. Students should check their Georgetown email and Canvas (used extensively for didactics) daily for updates.


Q: Will I still be covered by Georgetown University Hospital’s malpractice policy at my away site? 
A: Yes. All medical students are covered by this policy wherever they are when they are engaged in patient care activities as part of their assigned curriculum. 

Q: My site has asked for proof that I am covered by malpractice insurance and in good academic standing and/or needs proof of my recent immunizations. How can I obtain this information? 
A: Contact Medical Student Affairs at for a record of all of your immunizations, proof of malpractice insurance, proof of HIPAA training, and/or a letter of good standing for your sites.

Updated December 2023