Visiting International Students in San Antonio (VISSA)
The Department of Surgery is pleased to sponsor the Visiting International Students in San Antonio (VISSA) program, designed to bring top international senior medical students to rotate and train in our institution for a period of two months.
The Program: The Visiting International Students in San Antonio (VISSA) program is offered through the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA) and its affiliated hospitals. We aim to facilitate the exchange of medical knowledge regarding new methods and technology with international medical students. Students participating in educational programs benefit from the latest scientific discoveries and state-of-the-art technology available throughout the medical center. In our surgical program we offer rotations on minimally invasive surgery, transplant (kidney, liver, heart and lungs), surgical oncology, plastic surgery, gastrointestinal surgery, trauma and surgical intensive care.
In addition to cutting-edge technology in general surgery and the surgical sub-specialties, our affiliated training hospital, University Hospital, is a Level I trauma center, able to deal with the most complex trauma cases including patients airlifted from other centers.
The selected students will be able to choose up to two rotations from among the surgical specialties and sub-specialties.
Transcripts submitted by the student must indicate that they have completed the following core clerkships: Family Medicine, Medicine, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Surgery.
Please note: The VISSA program includes ONLY surgery rotations. If VISSA participants are interested in additional rotations in other clinical departments, they will need to contact the School of Medicine: Click here for more information on other medical school clinical rotations - click on 'Visiting Students'.
Step 1. Download and complete information requested on all forms listed below (total of 10 files).
Step 2. Email all completed forms to Sylvia Marez — email@example.com
- Visa and Passport
- Application and requirements
- Application for elective
- Background check
- Bank letter
- Insurance attestation
- Lab coat
- Parent financial support
Prerequisite Training / Selection Criteria — Additional required information:
- B1/B2 visa must be obtained by applicant.
- Completion of the initial 4 years of a 6 year program, OR completion of the initial 3 years of a 4 year program. This program is only for medical students. No medical school graduates should apply.
- Student's medical school should be listed on International Medical Education Directory (IMED).
- Participation is open to all qualified international medical students.
- Curriculum vitae
- Personal statement/essay
- Copy of results of test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) - mandatory.
- Copy of medical school transcript (grades) from beginning of medical career to present. Transcripts submitted by the student must indicate that they have completed the following core clerkships: Family Medicine, Medicine, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Surgery; this is a mandatory requirement.
- Class rank, position in the class. This could be position/number of the students in the class, or percentile. This is a mandatory requirement and if it is not available an explanation letter is required.
- Certification of good standing with the student's medical school, signed by the Dean of the student's medical school.
- Three letters of reference from faculty of the student's medical school, including at least one from a surgeon.
- Proof of health insurance.
The most qualified students will be interviewed. Students being considered for selection in the program will be required to undergo and pass a background screening.
2-month Rotations - 2013-2014
Deadline date for documents to be in our office:
January - February 2014
August 1, 2013
March - April 2014
October 1 1, 2013
May - June 2014
December 1, 2013
July - August 2014
February 1, 2014
September - October 2013
April 1, 2013
November - December 2013
June 1, 2013
Program Duration: A limited number of senior medical students per semester are selected to participate in the program. Selection is based on grades, curriculum vitae and reference letters. Each student will select and participate in two consecutive one-month rotations. Rotation schedules will be adjusted to suit the students needs and interests. This is a highly competitive program. Our goal is to select the best qualified students from a diverse sample of countries. Each application is judged independent of any other.
Program Facilities: Facilities include the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and our teaching hospitals:
- University Health System - University Hospital, San Antonio
- Christus Santa Rosa Children's Hospital and Christus Santa Rosa Medical Center
- Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veterans Hospital
Educational Programs: This is a non-degree program.
Students participating in this program must be engaged in full-time training, study, and research.
Students will attend the Department of Surgery Grand Rounds once a week, usually given by a local or nationally renowned physician. Students will also participate in mandatory weekly seminars, as well as daily conferences to discuss the pathologies of the patients admitted on the service.
Students will observe the peri-operative care of the patients on their rotation. Students will be supervised at all times by a senior member of the surgical team.
Research will be available on an extracurricular basis.
Seven separate specialty areas are offered; students will select several in which to participate. The specialties that are offered include:
- General Surgery A / Surgical Oncology - Dr. Kenneth Sirinek
- General Surgery B - Dr. Wayne Schwesinger
- Trauma/ Emergency Surgery - Dr. Ronald Stewart, Dr. Helen Markowski
- Vascular Surgery - Dr. Boulos Toursarkissian
- Surgical Critical Care - Dr. Ronald Stewart, Dr. Jason Aydelotte
- Plastic Surgery - Dr. Howard Wang
- Transplant Surgery - Dr. Glenn Halff and Dr. Robert Esterl
Evaluation and Educational Objectives: After each rotation, the medical student will be evaluated by faculty members who have observed the student throughout that rotation. Faculty evaluation is a requirement in order for the student to receive credit for the rotation.
If the student successfully completes all rotations, evaluations, and established program requirements, the student will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the program. The certificate may be presented to their home medical school to contribute credits toward their medical degree.
Sylvia Marez |