Medical and Graduate

Visiting Clerkship Program

Visiting Clerkship Program

Sponsored by the Minority Faculty Development Program of the Harvard Medical School Office for Diversity Inclusion and Community Partnership, the Visiting Clerkship Program (VCP) provides support for fourth-year medical students, particularly individuals from groups underrepresented in medicine and/or disadvantaged individuals, to participate in the HMS Exchange Clerkship Program at a Harvard-affiliated hospital.

VCP is designed to:

  • Increase medical student awareness of opportunities in academic medicine.
  • Increase student consideration of academic training programs for internship and residency.
  • Increase the number of students applying to HMS-affiliated hospital training programs from groups underrepresented in medicine.

Download the VCP flyer or scroll below for more information.

Clerkship Options and Scheduling

The Visiting Clerkship Program accepts students for May through November month rotations. VCP will support students for one clerkship month. Students are welcome to complete additional clerkships, but the VCP cannot provide financial or programmatic support for those extra months. Please visit the HMS Registrar’s Exchange Clerkship page for the dates for each month-long elective (scroll down to the calendar table). These dates are not flexible.

HMS places students in over 200 clerkships in all specialties across the Harvard-affiliates. Review these options within the ExClerk Catalog. Placement and scheduling is completed through the AAMC Visiting Student Application Service (VSAS) and is monitored by the HMS Registrar’s Exchange Clerkship Program administrator.

Students remain registered at their own schools while participating in exchange clerkships at Harvard Medical School. They are not officially enrolled as students at Harvard University.


Mentoring and Networking

VCP participants are assigned a faculty advisor and offered opportunities to network with HMS faculty, students, and staff. A lunch or dinner meeting for faculty and students is held during each rotation.

Financial Assistance

Participants in the Visiting Clerkship Program receive a stipend of $2,500 that is awarded at the end of the clerkship period.  


To be eligible to apply for VCP you must:

  • Identify as being from a group that is underrepresented in medicine or come from a disadvantaged background.
  • Be a full-time 3rd or 4th year student in good standing at an LCME– or COCA - accredited medical school.
  • Completed core clerkships in medicine, surgery, pediatrics, and obstetrics prior to the start of the rotation.
  • Have completed USMLE or COMLEX Step 1 prior to the start of the rotation.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

Application Process

The VCP program accepts applications from students applying for rotations during the months of May - November. Note that spots within the VCP are limited and some applicants may be placed in a clerkship by the HMS registrar but not accepted into the VCP. In those cases, the applicant may still participate in their placed clerkship, but will not receive programmatic or financial support from the VCP.

  1. Apply to your preferred clerkships following the HMS Registrar’s VSLO application instructions.
  2. Before you begin your application for the VCP program, confirm a faculty member who has observed you in a clinical setting who will be providing a letter of recommendation for you. You will not be able to submit your application without this information.
  3. Access the VCP application.

Dates and Deadlines

The deadline for the VCP application is the same as the deadline for the VSLO application. However, we will continue to consider applications for the VCP program up until six weeks prior to the start of the clerkship rotation, provided that space remains in the program.

Rotation Month Dates Application Deadline
May 2024 April 29 - May 26 January 30
June 2024 May 28 - June 23 February 28
July 2024 July 1 - July 28 April 2
August 2024 July 29 - August 25 April 30
September 2024 August 26 - September 22 May 28
October 2024 September 30 - October 27 July 2
November 2024 October 28 - November 24 July 30

Participating Hospitals

Participants in the Visiting Clerkship Program will be scheduled for clerkships at one of the Harvard-affiliated teaching hospitals:

  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
  • Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • Cambridge Health Alliance
  • Dana Farber Cancer Institute
  • Joslin Diabetes Center
  • Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary
  • Massachusetts General Hospital
  • McLean Hospital
  • Mt. Auburn Hospital
  • Spaulding Rehab Hospital
  • VA Medical Center

Visiting Clerkship Program and Harvard Affiliated Residency Webinars

Each year, the Harvard Medical School Visiting Clerkship Program (VCP) hosts a series of discussions with Harvard affiliated residency program directors. Join us to learn why you should choose Harvard for the next step in your medical career.

Harvard Affiliated Residency Programs Showcase

The Office for Diversity Inclusion and Community Partnership, in collaboration with the Harvard-affiliated hospitals, hosts the Harvard Affiliated Residency Programs Showcase, providing URM medical students in their 3rd or 4th year with an opportunity to meet and network with Harvard affiliated residency program training directors, attending physicians, fellows and residents.


For questions regarding the Visiting Clerkship Program, please contact us at:

Visiting Clerkship Program
Harvard Medical School
164 Longwood Avenue, 2nd Floor
Boston, MA 02115-5818


Follow us on Twitter! @HMS_VCP