Externship Program

Externship Program

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, externship blocks extending into August have been cancelled. We are unable to provide more information about future dates at this time. 

It is our mission to provide you with the best possible externship experience. Our goal of excellence in education makes it our responsibility to inspire the next generation.

The externship program has been designed to offer you, the learner:

  • Exposure to a broad cross-section of the orthopaedic domains through in patient, out patient, tutorial, and didactic experiences
  • A structured, but customized learning experience
  • All externs are given a personal, one-on-one experience
  • In-depth instruction to develop competency and mastery of musculoskeletal examination techniques and skills
  • Intense exposure to the in and out patient treatment of the traumatic orthopaedic patient through participation in clinical, operative and call activities at the Level I Trauma Center
  • Direct instruction and mentoring from faculty members fellowship-trained in their respective orthopaedic subspecialties
  • Ample opportunities to participate in new and ongoing research initiatives within the department

The externship rotation is designed for medical students in their final year of study. To maximize the learning experience for all students, only one student is placed on any given rotation. 

In an effort to promote cultural diversity within the medical school the Washington University Office of Diversity Programs has established a visiting elective program for students that are members of groups that are underrepresented in medicine or that are socioeconomically disadvantaged. Students that are accepted into the program will be reimbursed up to $2,000 to offset costs associated with travel, housing, living expenses, and application fees. For more information please visit the Office of Diversity website or contact the office at 314-362-6854.

We will offer 4 week blocks beginning Monday, June 22, 2020 through Friday, December 4, 2020. Please note that externships are not offered from Monday, June 1, 2020 to Friday, June 19, 2020.

Students are responsible for procuring their own housing for the duration of the externship. The Core Apartment Residences are located just minutes from Washington University School of Medicine. Past students have also used Rotating Room, a website designed to help area students sublet rooms.

Students must have access to transportation, as many rotations are not on main campus. 

Medical students on Orthopaedic Surgery Rotations will be responsible for the following:

  • Participation in Clinic and OR Hours
  • The demonstration of basic knowledge of patient care during clinic
  • Conference attendance
  • Attendance and participation in tutorials
  • Participation in call
  • Patient Workups
  • Maturity and Professionalism

St. Louis Living
Eclectic restaurants, affordable living, a world class symphony, great local and national entertainment acts, an active loft district with nightlife and shops, and of course our much-loved sports teams make this city an attractive choice for young professionals. The Washington University Medical Center and Barnes-Jewish Hospital are adjacent to Forest Park, one of the largest urban parks in the nation. Along with an affordable public golf course and extensive running, biking and walking trails, Forest Park features many activities available to the public for little to no cost, such as the St. Louis Zoo, the St. Louis Science Center, the St. Louis Art Museum and the Missouri History Museum. The park is also home to the St. Louis Municipal Theater, or MUNY, which brings national musical theater acts to the outdoor stage during the spring and summer months.

For more information on what St. Louis has to offer, click here.


PLEASE CONTACT Heather Robinson before applying to VSAS. We will begin accepting preliminary applications on February 12, 2020. Contact Heather by email or by telephone at (314) 747-2996 to apply.


After making contact with Heather Robinson, please apply to the externship program by using the Visiting Student Application Service (VSAS) maintained by the Curriculum Office at Washington University School of Medicine to obtain information and the application. NOTE: The VSAS website opens May 1, 2020.

The VSAS website address is: https://md.wustl.edu/academics/visiting-students. NOTE: In order to be placed in an externship, you must complete all of the necessary paperwork required by the School of Medicine at least 30 days prior to the first day of your rotation. You must also have completed all core clerkships and must be in your final year of medical school training by the first day of your rotation.

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