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International Rotations for Medical Residents/Fellows

Medical Residents

The University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine (UCD SOM) Graduate Medical Education (GME) is committed to providing residents with an educational program that offers them a personal program of learning and broad education in the science and art of medicine.  Recognizing that some educational experiences are more valuable in a community of an international location, this policy is adopted concerning those experiences. As there must be full consideration of the quality of the rotation, including goals, objections and supervision; the educational necessity of the rotation; the accreditation implications; and the financial implications of the rotation, the following procedures must be followed.

Overview & Definition

International Residency Rotation educational experiences are defined as those educational experiences:

  1. Not specifically required by ACGME program requirements; and
  2. Occurring outside the United States.

International Residency Rotations must be approved by:

  1. Program Director
  2. Dr. Carol Rumack, Associate Dean, Graduate Medical Education or designee
Application Timeline 

Early and timely applications and thorough preparation are essential to a successful experience


9 months in prior to departure:
  1. Secure Program Director approval
  2. Determine whether or not the destination country is on the U.S. State Department’s Warning List. The university automatically suspends resident travel to countries with an active travel warning, but the suspension may be appealed.  Learn more about the appeal process and locate the Travel Appeal form on the Office of Global Education website. Direct questions to the International Risk Management Committee Chair, Alana Jones:
  3. With assistance from the Program Coordinator, begin processing the Institutional Program Letter of Agreement between the residency or fellowship program and the overseas site of practice.  Supporting documents include the Site Directors CV written in English.
  4. If the rotation will include human subjects research, secure COMIRB approval.
  5. Verify that your passport will be valid more than 6 months beyond the conclusion of the international rotation and your anticipated date of departure from the host country.  If it will expire before then, apply for a new passport.
6 months prior to departure:
  1. Complete the online application for GME Resident International Electives.
  2. Initiate a visa application for travel to the host country, if applicable. Please note that in many instances, the work Medical Residents do abroad will violate the provisions of a tourist visa. Visit the U.S. State Department travel website for country-specific visa information.
  3. Schedule a Travel Medicine Consultation for pre-travel vaccines, medications, and malaria prophylaxis (if applicable). Pre-travel consultations, vaccinations, and prophylactic medications are not covered by the CU GME Health/Dental Benefits Plan and are therefore the responsibility of the resident. The resident may elect to use any appropriate Travel Clinic.  We recommend checking the  CDC website for country-specific information, but do not recommend self-treatment.  Two conveniently located services are the Travel Clinic at Denver Health (P: 303-602-3520) and TEAM Clinic at University Hospital located on the 7th Floor Outpatient Pavilion (P: 720-848-0191).
  4. Your university malpractice insurance does not cover you during your international rotation. Check with the international rotation site/agency to find out if they cover your malpractice insurance while you are on the rotation or if they have recommended coverage that you must purchase. If necessary, purchase malpractice insurance for the duration of your rotation from an outside carrier as you would for external moonlighting.
One to Three Months Prior to Travel:
  1. Secure travel arrangements.
  2. Review the insurance and assistance information on the University Risk Management website about International Travel to determine whether additional insurance is indicated for your travel.
  3. Once travel arrangements have been made, register with International SOS’s MyTrips program and the U.S. State Department Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). Instructions for MyTrips registration and a copy of the International SOS membership card are contained within the online GME International Resident Application.
  4. Contact the Office of Regulatory Compliance to ensure compliance with any export control regulations prior to departure.
Immediately Prior to Departure:
  1. Notify Program Director of any Program Changes.
  2. Recheck State Department Travel Advisories and Warnings and with International SOS.
  3. Verify your emergency contact information in your online application.
  4. Organize all personal contact information both abroad and domestic, and share with Program Director, family/spouse/friend, and overseas program director.
International Travel Risk
  1. Visit the U.S. State Department Travel Site for more information about international travel and travel to host country:
  2. Ensure that your destination country does not have a current U.S. State Department Travel Warning. Check travel warnings: The University of Colorado Denver automatically suspends resident and fellow travel to countries with a Travel Warning. Residents may appeal the suspension by completing a Travel Appeal. Learn more here:
  3. Attend an International Travel Workshop. These sessions are conducted by the Office of Global Education and are held on the Anschutz campus once per month. They cover the application for international travel as well as common health and safety risks encountered abroad. It includes information about international health insurance and other resources. While not mandatory for residents, attendance is recommended. Contact for the dates of upcoming sessions.
  4. CU Denver has purchased international health and evacuation insurance for all university employees, including residents, traveling internationally for university-related purposes. The plan includes medical coverage abroad as well as medical, political, and natural disaster evacuation coverage. Learn more and register at, Group Access Code – QHG99999UCBT.​
  5. The University of Colorado subscribes to International SOS, an international emergency assistance provider. Their password secured website includes valuable, country-specific information about security, health, legal and travel issues. ISOS can organize a wide range of international emergency services, many for a fee. University international travelers are required to register their travel details with International SOS before leaving the country. Instructions for registration and a copy of the International SOS membership card are contained within the online GME International Resident Application.
  6. Before departure, make note of local emergency numbers, U.S. Embassy or local U.S. Consulate, International SOS, GeoBlue health insurance, host institution contacts, etc. Emergency Contact information for the university can be found here:
GME Program Director Info
Program Director must confirm the following:
  1. Resident must be in good standing at the time of the request.
  2. Resident must not be in the first year nor final three months of training.
  3. Resident must be on track to complete all program/RRC requirements (i.e. case logs, educational time, etc.) without extending the length of the residency due to international elective.
  4. International residency rotation, including travel time, will not exceed two months per rotation.
  5. Resident has taken no more than two international residency rotations during the entire residency.
  6. International residency rotation is in compliance with all program requirements, including Common Program Requirements and does not conflict with applicable Board eligibility requirements.
  7. Granting of international residency rotation will not result in a failure to meet contractual resident staffing agreements with participating hospitals.
  8. Receipt of evaluation from international residency rotation Site Director who supervised the resident.
  9. Resident produces either a written report or PowerPoint presentation on international residency rotation experience.
Contact information       

For more information or questions about the program, or for issues related to GME, program and eligibility, contact:


Graduate Medical Education
Ashley Walter, Director of Administration and Finance
For issues related to GME, program and eligibility, etc.


For issues related to the online application system, international travel resources contact:


Office of International Affairs/ Global Education
Catherine Bogle, Senior Study Abroad Coordinator; Anschutz contact​