Visiting Learner

We offer community-based medicine, hands-on learning environment, large and diverse patient base, special emphasis on primary care, opportunities in a variety of subspecialties, as well as state-of-the-art medical and educational institutions. The Spectrum Health Office of Research and Education provides and coordinates clinical medical education to residents, medical students and advanced practice provider students, including physician assistant, nurse practitioner and nurse midwife. We offer primary care and subspecialty electives in both inpatient and office experience opportunities. Spectrum Health has more than 1,500 volunteer faculty members and the community of Grand Rapids has been engaged in graduated medical education programs and clinical learning for over 50 years. Our regional network of hospitals and offices also offer learning opportunities outside the Grand Rapids campus.

Note: In response to  COVID-19, visitors are limited at all Spectrum Health locations. This includes visiting learners. However, some opportunities remain available to residents, fellows and students with limited availability. 

Medical Students

Spectrum Health and Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children's Hospital are committed to providing high-quality medical educational opportunities. Choosing a medical education program that best fits your interests and passion starts in West Michigan. The program offers a dynamic experience through our dedication to fostering growth of medical knowledge and high-quality, safe health care. All rotations are scheduled through the Spectrum Health Office of Medical Education. 

Elective rotations are awarded based on available educational opportunities and approval of the residency program director. Applications are prioritized as follows:

  • Students from affiliated schools (Michigan State University College of Human Medicine)
  • Fourth or final year students from other accredited medical schools in the U.S.
  • Students from medical schools outside the U.S. who have demonstrated a tie to West Michigan

U.S. Applicants

  • All visiting medical student applications must be submitted through the AAMC Visiting Student Learning Opportunities program
  • The Spectrum Health course catalog for rotation opportunities is available for the 2021 - 2022 academic year, applications will be accepted starting April 15, 2021

International Applicants

Contact Liz Johnson with any additional questions.

Minority Visiting Scholars Program 

The Minority Visiting Scholars Program (MVSP) is sponsored by the Spectrum Health Office of Medical Education as a supplement to our Visiting Learner program for medical students. MVSP provides mentoring and networking for fourth year and qualified third year medical students underrepresented in medicine, such as racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQI-identified or gender nonconforming individuals, individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, and those with special needs. The mission of the MVSP is to enrich medical education, advance research and strengthen our clinical practices by fostering a culture of inclusion. Learn more about the Minority Visiting Scholars Program.

Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Midwife Students

The Spectrum Health preferred advanced practice registered nurse schools are: Davenport University, Frontier Nursing University, Grand Valley State University, Michigan State University, University of Cincinnati, University of Michigan, University of Michigan – Flint and Wayne State University. If you are a Spectrum Health employed nurse practitioner or nurse midwife student, please see the Spectrum Health Office of Research and Education InSite page for placement details and rotation application.

For all other nurse practitioner students attending preferred schools, select acute care rotations may be available on a limited basis. We currently do not offer rotations in family medicine, pediatrics, or women’s health to Spectrum Health non-employed students. Please contact for details and the Spectrum Health non-employed NP student application. 

Physician Assistant Students

Spectrum Health’s preferred physician assistant schools are Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, Michigan State University, University of Michigan-Flint, Wayne State University and Western Michigan University. At this time, we only accept applications from students attending these institutions. Please contact Lynn McBurney for the student application or with any additional questions.

Residents and Fellows

Resident and fellow physicians in ACGME-sponsored programs are welcome to apply for rotations at Spectrum Health using the Visiting Resident Application. Elective rotations are awarded based on available educational opportunities and approval of the residency program for inpatient service rotations. Send the completed application or any questions to Sidra Alexander.