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Visitors Engaging in Medical Electives & Observerships

Medical Electives or Clerkships:

A foreign medical student (i.e. person who is studying at a foreign medical school) is permitted to enter the US in B-1, B-2, WB or WT status to engage in an “elective clerkship” at a US medical school. The foreign medical student must be in their third or fourth year (or foreign equivalent) of medical school and pursuing the US medical elective as part of their foreign medical school degree. 

Medical electives are organized with the Vanderbilt School of Medicine (SOM).  Please read the information on their website at https :// medschool . vanderbilt . edu /registrar/visiting-students and contact them directly for additional information.  

The Office of International Services (OIS) will provide immigration assistance only for foreign medical students who have been approved by the SOM for an elective clerkship.  OIS cannot answer questions about medical elective opportunities.  Students interested in medical electives should contact the SOM at


Medical or Non-Medical Observerships:

A person who is coming to the United States merely and exclusively to observe the conduct of business or other professional or vocational activity, without remuneration, may do so using the B-1 or Visa Waiver entry. Medical Observerships can only be undertaken by persons who already hold a medical degree or graduate degree. Foreign medical students must take a medical elective (see above).