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 Medical 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.

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 Visiting Student Learning Opportunities program (formerly known as VSAS).
  • The Spectrum Health course catalog for rotation opportunities is available for the 2019-2020 academic year

International Applicants

Please contact if you have 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. For more information on the Minority Visiting Scholars Program, click here

All applicants must submit a completed Spectrum Health MVSP application.

Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Midwife Students

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

For all other nurse practitioner students, 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 are only accepting applications from students attending these institutions. Please contact Lynn McBurney for the student application or with any additional questions.

All visiting resident/fellow applications must be submitted to Sidra Alexander. Completed applications are due no later than 90 days prior to the start of the requested rotation. Requests are honored on a first-come, first-served basis.