Visiting Learner

Spectrum Health is an integrated health system with a team of nationally recognized physicians. Through hands-on learning, we are committed to provide a learning experience tailored for you. Spanning a 13-county area, learners may experience primary care exposure or opportunities in a variety of subspecialties – all within state-of-the-art facilities. 

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 faculty members and the West Michigan community 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 foster growth of medical knowledge and high-quality, safe health care. All rotations are scheduled through the Spectrum Health Office of Research and 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

Note: Starting July 1, 2021, Visiting Medical Student applications will not be accepted and VSLO electives will appear closed. This is temporary and we anticipate accepting medical student applications again soon.

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 Medical Student Scheduling with any 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.

Resident and Fellow Physicians

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