Electives At University of Florida Shands Medical Center

UF Shands Medical Center

UF Shands Medical Center

Hi Folks,

A big hello from sunny Gainesville Florida! At last, I have completed my last core rotation, which was surgery in London, and am now finishing off my medical education with a few more elective rotations. I’ve decided to do Neurology, Nephrology, and Cardiology (4 weeks each) at the University of Florida’s Shands Hospital because I heard great things about the training here from former AUC students who have been there. Gainesville was also an ideal place for me to do rotations because I wanted to spend some time with family. My brother Jimmy and his family live here in town. He is a well-known wedding photographer here in Gainesville, and was also the one who took our engagement photos. Also in the news, my wife Irene recently found a job as a PA in her hometown of Valdosta, less than 2 hours away north of here. She is working at a pulmonology clinic, and I am very proud of her. Again, we will be long distance for the next three months, but at least we’ll be relatively close to each other, and able to see each other on the weekends.

Setting up elective rotations at hospitals like UF Shands is not as easy as setting up rotations at the main AUC-affiliated hospitals like Bronx-Lebanon or Nassau, which your clinical advisor can easily do for you. Instead, you’d have to set it up yourself. It took me some time to figure out the process, and so I’d like to share with you the steps that I took to do it. Hopefully this would help some AUC students who would be interested in coming to UF Shands for elective rotations.

According to the Florida state statute, students of non-LCME schools (which includes AUC) can only do rotations at Floridian institutions that have an affiliation or agreement with their schools. As of 2013, AUC has agreements with the following institutes in Florida:

  • Center for Haitian Studies (Miami)
  • Cleveland Clinic (Weston)
  • University of Florida/Shands Medical Center (Gainesville)
  • Bayfront Medical Center (St. Petersburg)
  • Tallahassee Memorial Hospital (Tallahassee)
  • Orlando Regional hospital (Orlando)
  • Medical Examiner’s Office (Browards County)

Unlike the other institutions in Florida, in order to do rotations at UF Shands, AUC students need to first get approval from a faculty member who would agree to sponsor them and evaluate them.


  1. Figure out which rotations at UF you would like to do. Not all rotations will be available to AUC students at all times, since UF students take first pick over visiting medical students. You can check out the available options here.
  2. Email the secretary or the rotation director of the field you are interested in rotating (preferably the secretary). In the email, introduce yourself, tell them your interest in the rotation, the dates you are interested in, and ask them to contact the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, Dr. Patrick Duff, for final approval. It’s very common to not hear back from them via email. In this case, be persistent! If you don’t hear back from them in a week, I’d suggest calling them directly over the telephone.
  3. Once they approve of you, forward that email to Rita Ford at the Office of Student Affairs and Registration. Make sure to introduce yourself to Rita too! She’s a nice lady. Rita: ritaford@ufl.edu and (352) 273-7977
  4. Once Rita receives the approval email, she will email you a packet of documents that must be completed and sent back to her. Make sure the secretary and Rita have you down on their schedule on the exact dates of your rotation. Make sure Rita knows the exact course name for the rotation. You can look up the course name here.
  5. Fill in as much information as you can on the package, and then send it all to your clinical advisor at AUC. He/She will then fill out the rest of the documents. Have your clinical advisor send all the completed documents to Rita. Make sure your AUC clinical advisor have your UF rotations on your official AUC clinical schedule as well.
  6. Go to the Application Fee Page and pay the $25 application processing fee. Go to the Weekly Rotation Fee Page and prepay the $800 per week ($3200 for a 4-week rotation) for the elective. You’ll have to pay this upon approval of the rotation and no less than 7 days before the start of the rotation. Since AUC has an agreement with UF, the hefty rotation fee will be covered by AUC tuition, and AUC will reimburse you the money at the end of the rotation. When you pay for the elective, make sure to save the receipt (like print-screen the receipt page, or save the confirmation email)!! You will need this document in order to get reimbursed by AUC!
  7. Once Rita receives all your paperwork, she will let you know that you are good to go. Let your AUC advisor know that you are good to go as well.
  8. Get ready for the move! You can find some housing information here. In the meantime, you can complete the HIPAA training online. Once you have completed the training, print the confidentiality statement and bring it with you signed to Gainesville to give to Rita.
  9. Move to Gainesville!
  10. On the first day, go to Rita’s office. She will give you a brief orientation about your stay at UF. Bring with you $16.25 to pay for the Gator One photo ID. If your rotation requires you to go to the SOuth Tower of the hospital, you will also need to bring $20 for a deposite on a key fob that will give you access there.
  11. Rita will take you to go meet your attending or his secretary, and from there you will start your rotation.


Dear Mr./Mrs. _________,

My name is _________ and I am entering my fourth year of medical school at the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine. I am interested in coming to UF Shands as a visiting student for the _________ elective rotation and was told by the Office of Student Affairs and Registration to contact your department regarding sponsorship from an attending who is available to teach and evaluate me. I’d like to ask if your department would be able to sponsor me. I would really like to do a rotation sometime between ___________ and ____________, preferably starting ____________. Please let me know, and hope to hear from you soon.
Thank you for your consideration,
__________ ______
My contact information:
(123) 456-7890


AUC will reimburse for affiliated clinical sites like UF Shands. While other hospitals may just invoice the school, for UF Shands, you’ll have to pay the rotation fees upfront before the start of the rotation. After the rotation ends, ask your AUC clinical advisor to send you a reimbursement form. Fill out the reimbursement form and send it to your advisor along with the completed rotation evaluation and receipt of your rotation fees. AUC will then write you a check to reimburse you.


To set up rotations, here are some of the people to contact. However, to find an updated list, consult the links I have above.

  • Office of Student Affairs and Registration: Ms. Rita Ford; ritaford@ufl.edu; (352) 273-7977
  • Neurology: Ms. Deborah Kahakua; deborah.kahakua@neurology.ufl.edu; (352) 273-590.
  • NephrologyMs. Jamie Sims; Jamie.Sims@medicine.ufl.edu; (352) 273-8821.
  • Cardiology: Ms. Mimi Jolicoeur; Mireille.Jolicoeur@medicine.ufl.edu; 352-273-9079.

18 comments to Electives At University of Florida Shands Medical Center

  • Anonymous Hip Hop Girl

    Honestly Benji you rock!!! thank you

  • Laura

    Hey there!

    Best of luck in your rotations! I have a question on residency too. I have heard that as a student from AUC, matching for a residency is better if one does their rotations on the east coast. Do you happen to know if there is any truth to that?

    • Benji

      Thanks Laura. I have never heard of that. I think there are much more important factors in determining if you match, like step scores, letters of recommendations, grades during clinicals, MSPE letters, etc.

  • Thuy Mateo


    I saw that you recently did a rotation at Nassau. I was having problem when I clicked on the “Application” button because nothing would loaded up so that I can apply online. I wanted to apply for my sister who is a 4th year at AUA.

    Could you email me at my personal email and let me know how you applied there.

    Great Appreciated!

    • Benji

      Hi Thuy, Nassau is one of AUC’s affiliated hospitals, and so because of this, I just scheduled the rotations through my school advisor. I’m not sure what the procedure would be for non-affiliated, non-LCME schools but you’d probably have to go through VSAS. I’d contact the hospital for more info.

  • Sey

    Welcome to Gainesville! I’m a rising MS2 here at UFCOM; you’ve probably become well-adjusted to Gainesville by now after a few weeks, but if you need suggestions or any more help around town feel free to e-mail!

    • Benji

      Hi Sey! Thanks! I’m adjusting quite well here, especially since I have family who are locals here in Gainesville. You go to a school with really good training, and I’m glad I came to do rotations here at Shands.

  • nk

    Hi Benji, is there a way to find out electives for other states that AUC has an agreement with. Thanks!

  • Josh

    Hi Benji, thank you for all the great info. Can you please explain how you went about obtaining a faculty sponsor at UF? Thanks!

    • Benji

      Hey Josh,
      I thought I made the post pretty clear on how to do this, even providing a sample email to send. Is there anything you’d like clarification on?

  • Josh

    Benji, I just reread the entire post and found the information I was looking for in the sample letter you mentioned. I overlooked that part thinking I didn’t need help writing a letter 😛 Apparently I do!! Thanks for responding.


  • Josh

    Hi again Benji, do you know if AUC students are able to rotate at the University of Florida Jacksonville program?

  • Mohammad

    Hello Benji,

    I want to know which of the electives you did there was the best in your opinion? is Cardio a good one there?

    • Benji

      Hi Mohammad. I did neurology, nephrology, and cardiology and they were all excellent rotations with lots of learning opportunities and attendings and residents that are knowledgeable who push you to succeed. Which one you choose depends on your personal interests. I don’t think one is better than the other because all three subjects interest me very much.

  • Josh

    Hi Benji,

    I was wondering how many electives an AUC student is allowed to have as “bluebook” and not have any licensure issues down the road.

    I noticed you did emergency medicine at Nassau (which was bluebook), so I thought you could provide some more information.


    • Benji

      Hi Josh, I don’t know if there is a maximum number of bluebook electives you are allowed. According to the AUC student handbook, we are allowed no more than eight weeks of electives at a non-affiliated hospital, and any non-ACGME (bluebook) rotation must be approved by AUC for you to do it. The number of bluebook rotations you should consider doing really depends on which states you want to be licensed in, as they all have different requirements. To be on the safe side, I don’t recommend doing any bluebook rotations. As for Emergency Medicine at Nassau, it is actually greenbook via the Northshore-LIJ Emergency Medicine Residency Program, which regularly sends EM residents to rotate there. Best of luck!

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