Medical and Graduate

Visiting Clerkship Program

The Visiting Clerkship Program (VCP) provides support for fourth-year and qualified third-year medical students, especially those from groups underrepresented in medicine (URiM) as defined by the AAMC (e.g. African American, Hispanic, Latinx, American Indian, Alaskan Native) to participate in the Harvard Medical School (HMS) Exchange Clerkship Program. The VCP is sponsored by the Minority Faculty Development Program of the Harvard Medical School Office for Diversity Inclusion and Community Partnership.

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.

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 having a background in, or having strong support of, a population that is underrepresented in medicine.
  • Be a full-time third or fourth year MD or DO student in good standing at an LCME- or COCA-accredited medical school.
  • Have completed core clerkships in medicine, surgery, pediatrics, and obstetrics.
  • Have completed USMLE Step 1 prior to the start of your rotation.

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.    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.

4.    To access the VCP application, click here.

Dates and Deadlines

Rotation Month Dates Application Deadline*
May May 1-28, 2023 January 31, 2023
June May 30 - June 25, 2023 March 1, 2023
July July 3 - 30, 2023 April 4, 2023
August July 31 – August 27, 2023 May 2, 2023
September August 28 - September 24, 2023 May 30, 2023
October September 25 - October 22, 2023 June 27, 2023
November October 23 - November 19, 2023 July 25, 2023

* see #3 above.

2023 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.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023, 12:00 - 1:00 ET | View webinar

Combined Orthopaedics
Tuesday, May 30, 2023, 12:00 - 1:00 ET | View webinar

Physical Medicine/Rehab
Tuesday, June 20, 2023, 12:00 - 1:00 ET | View webinar


Past Visiting Clerkship Program and Harvard Affiliated Residency Webinars:


Applying to Residency

Clinical Rotations


Emergency Medicine

Internal Medicine


Obstetrics & Gynecology






Surgical Subspecialities



The Office for Diversity Inclusion and Community Partnership, in collaboration with the Harvard-affiliated hospitals, hosted 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. 

Learn More...

Resources for Medical Students

Information on residency updates, US Medical Licensing Examination, and other useful links for medical students

Learn more...


Download PDF


Learn more...

AAMC Transition to Residency Guidelines

Learn more...


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