Away Rotation FAQ

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Travel Arrangements and Orientation Attendance
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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.

Block 3: (8/2-8/29) May 2 (12 weeks prior to start of rotation)

Block 4: (8/30-9/24) May 30 (12 weeks prior to start of rotation)

Block 5: (9/27-10/24) June 27 (12 weeks prior to start of rotation)

Block 6: (10/25-11/19) July 25 (12 weeks prior to start of rotation)

Block 7: (11/22-12/19) September 6 (12 weeks prior to start of rotation)

Block 8: (1/3-1/28) October 3 (12 weeks prior to start of rotation)

Block 9: (1/31-2/27) October 31 (12 weeks prior to start of rotation)

Block 10: (2/28-3/25) July 28 (12 weeks prior to start of rotation)

Please note: choosing Away option in the lottery only tells us that you are interested in going away–it does NOT guarantee you an away spot. 
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 (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: prior to the deadline for your block (note schedule earlier on this page) 
2) The Department will 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. All LOCAL students (and Baltimore sites) are required to be onsite for orientation from 8:00am-5:00pm on the 1st day of the rotation regardless of whether this falls after a holiday or break. Students who are doing an AWAY rotation may seek approval to participate in the 1st day orientation via Zoom at their away location (8am-12:00pm EST). These requests for virtual orientation must be submitted at least 1 week prior to the start of the rotation.


Do I need to return to Georgetown to take the Shelf exam?
A: PENDING. The NBME shelf exam is currently being administered virtually. This site will be updated pending further guidance. Pre-COVID-19, all students were required to take NBME shelf exams in person. We are hoping to maintain the virtual option for the AWAY students in Academic Year 2021-2022. The OSCE is held in the morning on the last day of your clerkship rotation. Currently the OSCE is virtual. Pre-COVID-19, students were required to return to campus for the OSCE. At this time, a decision has not been made regarding the continued availability of the virtual OSCE.


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.


Q: When am I expected to arrive at my away site? 
A: Away students who attend orientation at GUSOM will be permitted one full travel day after Orientation and are expected to begin clinic the following morning after traveling. If you attend Orientation via Zoom, you are expected to begin clinic that same day.

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 (in person or via Zoom) the morning orientation on day one of their rotation. All students on site for orientation will attend that afternoon musculoskeletal workshop. Students who zoomed in for orientation 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 March 2021